Twelve bottles and five and a half years went into this project, the first of my cellar series and the beer that gave it its name: The Brux Project! Now this project, like the wild yeast it’s named after, is alive and growing! I’ve added in several beers, including one non-wild yeast one just for fun. I have plans to add others when the timing is right. I hope to keep this project going and evolving, both for my own enjoyment and as a practical primer for other people looking to age beer. However, it all started with this Sierra Nevada Brewing and Russian River Brewing collaboration all those years ago! Now it’s done.
For nearly six years, these bottles resided in my temperature controlled, humidity stable Vinotemp wine cooler. The bottles were on their side, both because that’s how the cooler is designed as well as to keep the cork moist to keep it from shrinking. It’s been fun watching the beer develop over time. The Brettanomyces Bruxellensis has been an interesting drinking companion. It’ll be fun to do a full post-mortem and look through all the reviews and see what the trends were.
Appearance: Hazy orange, beige head, no retention. The head quickly fizzes out of existence, although the carbonation is still very present in the mouthfeel.
Aroma: Oranges, ripe banana, pepper, tropical fruit notes, pineapple, mild funk.
taste: pepper, ripe bananas, biscuit, grainy, mild earthiness.
Overall Impression: The brett is definitely heading in a fruity direction throwing a lot of tropical notes like banana and pineapple, but it’s balanced with some quality funk and earthiness and a nice peppery hit on the finish. The brett is also chewing through the body creating a thinner mouthfeel than the beer used to have. This is pretty common with older brett beers. A lot of the sugars that are non-fermentable by standard yeast are quite tasty to brett, so over time, the brett will eat through a lot of what’s left in the beer, while using up any oxygen, to create all kinds of funkiness.
If you still have some, drink them now! Although, I think if they’re being and have been properly cellared, they still have some more time left on them.
Availability: This beer has been sold out for year, but stores that cellar beer are starting to break out cases. In Portland, OR, Belmont Station recently added some to their shelves. If you’ve seen it at a retailer in the last few weeks, please leave a comment with your city and which store carries it!