Well, six months have come and gone and it’s time to review the 2nd bottle from my case of Pfriem Family Brewers Brett Brux Pale. I got a case, courtesy of Josh Pfriem, just after it was released. I wanted to added it to my cellar project. I’ve been working my way through a case of Sierra Nevada and Russian River’s collaboration “Brux” beer. I’m 4 years and 8 bottles into the project. You can read more about it at “The Brux Project.”
Here’s what I wrote the last time:
“It was only a matter of time before a brewery as adept at brewing Belgian-style beers as Pfriem Family Brewers would trot out a Brett finished Belgian-style pale ale. But really, like anyone brewing a Belgian-style Pale Ale finished with Brettanomyces, this beer is an homage to the great Orval Trappist Ale. Orval is a unique beer in the world and one to which a style was created to provide a category for it to reside in. It also let’s brewers create their beery love letters to one of the most famous beers of the Trappist world.
If you’re not familiar with Orval, and many aren’t in the overly local focused craft beer scene, it’s a beer of approximately 6.9% ABV; golden amber in color, highly hopped; and most importantly, finished with the Brettanomyces yeast strain. Orval is famous for its ability to evolve and age. The Brettanomyces will continue to eat the complex sugars left in the dry beer and release a whole host of funky flavors that make this strain of yeast so famous.
I was excited to see that Pfriem would be releasing a bottle conditioned Belgian Pale Ale. Pfriem’s bottle-conditioned Belgian-style beers have been spot on. The heavy glass and the cork and cage allow for the needed high CO2 levels make real Belgian beers stand out from most poorly executed American imitations. Properly mashed and fermented in the tanks and then properly conditioned in the bottle, Pfriem’s beers stand with the best of Belgium.
All things considered, I thought this beer would be a perfect addition to my cellaring project. The combination of bottle conditioning and Brett yeast mean this beer should have several years of development in the bottle. Pfriem Brett Brux Pale Ale is finished using the Brettanomyces Bruxellensis strain of Brett.”
Here’s bottle no. 2 – Bottled on 12/09/2015 and tasted on 7/04/2016.
Appearance: Hazy copper, off white head, great retention.
Aroma: Fruity, pineapple, earthy notes, anise, tropical fruit.
Taste: Lightly grainy, banana, fruity, light pepper finish.
Overall Impression: While still very fresh, some of the hoppiness has dropped back allowing a bit of Brett Brux’s fruity and slightly “dirty” nature to come forward some more. We’re still in the pretty new phase of the beer. It’s just barely 6 and 1/2 months old on a high carbonation, bottle conditioned, brett beer. So in reality, it’s pretty much still new and still tasting darn good. I will say, in comparison to Orval, it feels a bit less earthy and herbal and more on the fruity/tropical side. This is probably due to the some differences in both equipment, technique, and hops. Afterall, Pfriem doesn’t have those big old horizontal fermenters that Orval uses to dry hop. I’ll be excited to see what the next 6 months in my cellar will do this this beauty.
Disclosure: I work for the company that distributes Pfriem in Oregon, although I don’t manage or work with their portfolio directly. Josh Pfriem donated this case to the project.