Beer Review: Brett IPA by Category 12

20170127_230513If you’ve read my site, you’ll know that I love Category 12 Brewing. I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan boy, I just have a strong appreciation for quality and I’ve never had a beer from them that was less than stellar.

However, their big thing is the science behind creating beer, while this new release is refermented with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois Vrai, a yeast know for being wild and unpredictable and producing unexpected and unusual flavours.

Can the scientific method tame this wily little critter to bring out the delicious and aromatic compounds that it is loved for, or will Brett. create a chaotic concoction of off-flavours that has ruined many great brews?

This IPA was refermented with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois Vrai in locally procured red wine barrels. Ample time in barrels has allowed Brett. to create a deliciously funky and complex IPA with aromatic notes of tropical fruit.

  • Stats: ABV: 6.8%; IBU: 64; OG: 1.064; SRM: 9; Vol: 650 mL

Tasting notes:

This beer pours out a cloudy amber colour, with two fingers of puffy and foamy head that lasts almost to the last sip and leaves lots of frothy lacing.

The nose is packed with tropical fruit notes of mango, pineapple, and lychee, along with a mild resinous hop aroma and a distinctive sharp note of funky odours from the Brett. phenols. The palate is very similar, i.e., tropical fruit and barnyard funk, but with the addition of some gentle wood notes and the slightest hint of red wine from the second-use oak red wine barrels. The mouthfeel is light-to-medium bodied and tart with a slightly sweet finish that offsets any bitterness.

I’ve tried a number of Brett IPAs over the years, some good, some not so good and this is one of the very finest that I’ve ever tasted. Sometimes the phenols generated by the brett can generate odd off-flavours that come off medicinal, like band-aids. Or sometimes the funk is just way too funky and intense. Often aging the beer allows these characteristics to mellow and the harshness to subside.

I think that aging this beer in second-use red wine barrel for ten months really helped and made for a really well balanced Brett IPA that is perfect to drink fresh and doesn’t need bottle aging. Perhaps the primary fermentation with Saccharomyces also helped in this regard.

Whatever the case, this is a fantastic beer and I’d urge you to pick one up soon, as supplies are very limited!

Rating: 4.75/5