Review of Brux Wild Ale

OK, one more commercial beer for research purposes only and then back to homebrew.

BRUX label

BRUX….. A collaboration between Russian River and Sierra Nevada. Though I have a feeling this one was mostly Vinny from RR. I’m just glad they were able to use Sierra Nevada’s distribution channels so I could get my hand on a bottle, or two, or three.

The beer is described thusly:

“What began as mutual admiration between Sierra Nevada’s Grossman Family and Russian River’s Cilurzos has grown and progressed into genuine friendship. Brux began as an idea and has grown into something altogether different:

The liquid manifestation of change over time.

Refermented in the bottle with Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Brux will change and develop over time. Copper-colored, dry and complex, with slightly tart notes of green grass, pear, spice and lemon – this ale will progress in the bottle for many years.”

This beer started out as an ale (I’m guessing a golden strong), fermented with a Belgian Yeast, and then refermented in the bottle with Brett (a wild yeast, now domesticated). Brett is found in the wild on the skins of fruit, and usually considered a spoiler yeast for winemaking. However, when used in beer making, can produce really complex flavors, but takes a long time in doing so.

Vinny comes from a family of winemakers and you can tell that from his beers. He does not hesitate to experiment with wild yeasts, sour beers, or aging in oak barrels that previously held wine. He is truly a pioneer and will probably always be on the cutting edge of brewing.

Now, how does Brux taste. Nothing short of awesome. There is a lot going on in this beer. It has a nose of sour apple, it comes across as kind of tart, has flavors of lime and green apples, and as it warms, you can pick up notes of pepper and other spices. This is truly a complex beer and reminiscent of drinking an outstanding bottle wine.

I could go on about Brux, but you’re just going to have to try it yourself to understand. It’s actually got me thinking about trying to work with Brett myself. I have a golden strong on my list to brew, so I was thinking if it came out OK, to brew another batch, ferment as usual, then secondary in the keg with Brett. It will probably take forever to develop, but it could be a nice treat in 6-12 months.

Anyway, as usual, Russian River does not disappoint.

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