Escoffier Bretta Ale - Brewery Vivant

Not Rated.
Escoffier Bretta AleEscoffier Bretta Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

189 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 19
Gots: 29 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.25% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GRPunk on 09-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 46
Reviews by spointon:
Photo of spointon
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I poured this one from a tall can into a Duvel stemmed tulip.

A= This ale poured a crystal clear orange amber color with a 3/8" white head. The head dropped to zero super fast. No lace to speak of.

S= Aroma was mostly one note...apple skin tannic...with a bright burst of the Vivant house yeast esters to give it what little depth it has.

T= Starts off lightly sweet, then moves into the ralm of tart apple and grape skins. Not a lot of malt character, or any hops, or any real esters or Brett character to note. It's really a sort of blah, one note beer. Finishes puckery with that apple skin tannin ruling the day.

MF= Light to medium body, with a moderate carbonation level. Not a lot of visible carbonation release despite the nuclear ion point in the glass.

D= Pretty drinkable, but the flavors are very one note and the brett is almost non-existant. If I didn't know this was a brett beer, I wouldn't know this was a brett beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Put "Brett" on the label and I'm immediately drawn in like a pike to the shiny metallic lure; being a local Michigan beer only makes it more alluring. Escoffier pours a translucent copper color - hazy, but not quite as hazy as I was expecting this bretta ale to be. The gray-tinted foam settles rapidly atop the brew as it loudly fizzles and crackles as it wisps away to nothing but a collar.

Funky ass Brett fills my nostrils with the first whiff; it's the kind of Brett that makes you wonder why the hell people enjoy beer that smells like a horse's ass... but dammit, I love it. Old, overripe, funky pineapple tartness, dirty barn floors, and damp, musty bales of hay. I'm unsure if this beer was made with 100% brettanomyces, but from the aroma, I would be shocked if it wasn't.

It's not completely one-track minded, however. There's a very nice fruitiness that combats the funk and keeps things from getting too out of kilter. Strawberry, cherry, and lighter hints of apple and lemon zest. There's a subtle tartness that comes along with the fruit, but not enough to make me think that this beer will be anything close to "puckering" upon taking the first sip.

And I'm right, for the most part. The fruit comes out first; apple, cherry, and pineapple with a sharp and nearly astringent tartness, but not enough to make you wince or grimace. The tartness quickly fades into the funky abyss. It's like licking a barnyard wall after a strong rain. So musty and old and funky, but in such a strangely compelling way.

Just as you start digesting the lovely horsey funk flavors and earthy must, the fruit makes a Aerosmith-like comeback at the end, finishing strong with some tart, bitter cherry skins, a mild citrus push, and a touch of acetone. If anything, Escoffier was quite a bit more complex than I ever thought it would be. Carbonated heavily, medium bodied; slick and fairly soft on the palate.

Very interesting beer, right here. Not quite a sour ale or a "wild ale" as it's listed here, and it's actually much closer to being a Belgian ale. Think something along the lines of Orval, perhaps with a bit more funk and tartness. I'm assuming some extended shelf time will only develop this beer and stir things up a bit more. Excited to see how it plays out over the years to come.

Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, Spartan213!

(Aged for 6+ months)

Clear dark orange and amber. Moderate near-white head. Decent retention. Standard, irregular lined lacing left down the glass. Pretty.

While the aroma is certainly yeast-forward, there's some definite candied, mandarin orange character as well. Some grass and farmhouse elements play nicely. I like this quite a bit.

The flavor is similar, with yeast and mandarin orange notes playing nicely, decent amount of barnyard and dry grass, and low bitterness. Incredibly drinkable. Alcohol is exceptionally well hidden. As it warms, this becomes a touch too sweet.

Medium bodied with fairly high carbonation.

Easily, the best saison I've ever had from a can!

Photo of jeonseh
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Can poured into a HF tulip

A - Light copper color with a reflective body. Had a one finger crisp white head that settled down to only slight foam on the slides. Lots of carbonation trailing upwards

S - Light tart lemon, slight vinegar, and Brett initially. There is also a soft green apple that reminds me a bit of Chardonnay

T - Light sweet apple, lemon, and slightly grassy. Lots of amber malt comes in the middle to give it a bready, slightly sweet that reminds me a bit of Fat Tire actually. The finish is slight green apple and bready malt.

MF - Medium, slightly thick beer with light carbonation. Dry finish

O - Overall, this reminds me of a slightly tart and bretted version of Fat Tire. There is a lot more bready, sweet malt than there is tartness or Brett. Slightly disappointed by this one.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an amber gold with a one finger white head which dissapates fairly quickly. Leaves a ring a thin covering. Lots of small bubbles visible in the body.

S: Has a hoppy yet funky aroma with a backing of malt. Nothing overpowering.

T: Initially fairly hoppy with a kick of Brett funk. Some smooth sweeter malts in the background. Enjoyable to sip. Booze is pretty well hidden in the tartness.

M: Smooth easy drinking. Has a dry and crisp feel to it. Slightly more than average carbonation.

Overall a collaboration I am glad was made possible. Two breweries focused on the Belgian spirit.

Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wild mildly sharp aroma, enticing. Orange colour orange taste,in fact a long finish of orange, though mildly sour mid-sip.Some tart berry, lemon Good drinkability. Brian’s can, thanks for sharing. Sweetened by sugar, brett. Perhaps next batch will really hit the mark.

Photo of MSEGUIN
4.67/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into Tulip. Very impressed by the funk, and apple "juice" notes. Just getting into really enjoying sour beers and happy to have this made so close to home and its awesome that Vivant collaboated with New Belgium. Definetly will have this again.

Photo of emerge077
2.99/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Cellared this for awhile in hopes it would improve, but it seemed the same.

Decanted into a tulip glass, it has a bright clarity and saturated orange copper color. Initial head of foam dwindles to nothing, no lace or surface skim at all which is odd. KInd of a dull winey appearance.

Brett aromas of wet hay, spice and dried fruit. Tangy and a little sweet.

More tanginess in the taste, just sort of oddly jarring and sweet, slick with low carbonation. Not much complexity, some minor dried fruit notes, mushy apple baby food, dull and overly sweet. Reminds me more of an Old Ale like Gales than a Bretty Belgian. Not dry at all really, just flabby and sweet with an odd tangy Brett finish. Not a fan, will probably dump out the last can... it's not worth drinking.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a Bruery tulip.
9.25% ABV, no date.

A - Escoffier must have been filled to the brim, because opening the can caused a spray of beer to dot the surrounding area with liquid. It pours a clear bronze color with a quickly forming off white head that disappears with no lacing left over.

S - Sharp wild yeast emerges from this beer's aroma quite abruptly. Traces of barnyard funk swirl around the dry toasted amber malt with subtle notes of peach, lemongrass, and mango behind.

T - Conflicted flavors clash without rhyme or reason in Escoffier. Toasted amber malt and the beer's somewhat clean, crisp feel suggest a Vienna lager but subtle Belgian yeast notes cloud that with coriander and lemongrass spice notes. Nuances of tropical fruit blend with a variety of European hops for a disjointed profile that moves into a finishing trace of wild yeast tartness, peaches, and faint spicy alcohol.

M - The first sip is like carbonated apple juice; somewhat thin but not exactly watery and sweet with a finishing hint of tartness. This beer avoids it's high alcohol level exceptionally well; too well I would wager. Sourness opens as it warms, and dryness and spice begin to flourish. Despite the disjointed flavor the feel flows incredibly well from malty sweetness to a dry, sour finish.

O - Brewery Vivant's Escoffier leaps from style to style with it's varying ingredients and yeast strains but in the end it's a beer crying out to be paired with unique foods that compliment it's strange flavors and tart finish. Keep an eye on your consumption though; this one hides it's alcohol all too well.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark orange, somewhat rusty coloured, with a light tan finger and a half of bubbly head and lots of streaming bubbles. Leaves some foam behind.

The aroma is definitely funk, with some wet hay and musk, granny smith apple skins and a dash of acidity.

A somewhat odd taste... There's the Brett and a touch or tartness, and surprising fruity sweetness. It grows on you.

Mouthfeel is average. Somewhat low in carbonation, slick, somewhat soapy.

Unique and pretty enjoyable. Worth the try for sure.

Photo of minterro
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Got this beer for free at work, its been sitting around for a while... no bottling date but my guess is that it is quite old. Although, I just noticed that it says ages up to 5 years on the can so maybe the delay might be good for it. It certainly wont get sun damaged.

A&S: Very lively fizzy head when poured non aggressively. Translucent light copper colored beer with a off white head that dies quickly. Very intriguing aroma: peaches, pears, grassy hops.

T&M: Very fruity and flowery upon first taste. At first the was finish is kinda offensive... I tried to check to see if there was any plastic lining to this can, it doesn't appear to be any and it tastes like there isn't. This later faded away to a sour green apple tart like taste. non-bitter with super well hidden alcohol. Moderate amount of carbonation, on the lowish side of mouthfeel.

Overall: Minus the unfortunate can finish in the beginning of this beer it was pretty solid. Overall enjoyable but would have been a bit disappointed paying around $5 for this one, like it was originally marked as. Rather have the wild something something

Photo of ThickNStout
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz can from IAmJacksHopTongue that I have kept for almost 2 years now. Served in a goblet.

Pours a brilliant copper with a finger and a half manilla froth. The head fades quickly to a thin ring and a little surface haze, leaving nothing in the way of lace.

The aroma is very assertive with yeasty barnyard funk. Some malty wet hay and vaguely sugary sweetness lingers in the background. Lighter notes of spice and mild fruit also make appearances.

The flavor is considerably better than the nose led me to expect. Over ripe fruit, white wine, wet hay, yeasty funk, old vegitables, mild clove, simple syrup, candi sugar and a little alcohol. This almost comes across like a funky mead. Lots of fruit and funk with a nice booze bite.

Medium full body with faint carbonation. Finish is dry with funk, meady sweetness and a little spice.

I'm not much of a wild ale aficionado but Escoffier is some good stuff. The heft of it's body and the sweetness give this an edge over most other wild ales I've tried. I can't speak to what this was like when fresh in late 2012 but this particular can was delicious.

Photo of pb9613
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Looks like apple juice. Extremely clear with a decent head, but that evaporates during the drinking experience.

Smell – A lot of funk on top of a heavy apple/pear. The malts start to come through as the beer warms slightly in the glass. There is no hop to speak of but that is not uncommon with Brett beers.

Taste - Play that funky music white boy. A touch of apple cider vinegar on top of the malt builds. Like most Brett beers, there are very little hops.

Mouthfeel – A very dry beer with a medium body. Carbonation is excellent.

Overall – A solid sour beer. I have only just begun to appreciate the “wrong” side of the track in the beer world. I cannot wait to try the New Belgium version of this collaboration. Until then, I will continue to enjoy this funky example of an “American Wild Beer”. This is a misnomer since most beer in this style is not using wild yeast but a controlled yeast strain just like a standard IPA.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a can of Brewery Vivant's Escoffier Bretta Ale a couple weeks ago for $4.09 at The Lager Mill. I'm not the biggest fan of American Wild Ales and I haven't tried that many, but when two brewery's that I really like come together to collaborate on beer I'm going to take a chance on it regardless of style, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date but I know it's fairly fresh. Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip.

A- I really like the design of this can, it's not they typical special release can and it doesn't have a sticker, I really like the custom job they did on this can. It poured a slightly hazy light golden color that took on a nice amber hue when held to the light with a fingers worth of off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it didn't leave any lacing. This beer was pretty average looking the color was nice, but the head and lacing were pretty disappointing.

S- The aroma starts off with a nice fruity aroma with some green apples and pears sticking out the most. After that comes a pretty slight vinegar aroma followed by some nice bananas and Belgian yeast with some of those nice spices coming through from the yeast. Towards the end I get a light funky and barnyard like aroma with some straw seeming to stick out the most and it had also had a pretty high amount of sweetness. The aroma is pretty nice, it's fairly complex and not overly funky, I like it.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with green apples showing up first and imparting a nice crisp and clean flavor that kind of reminds me of a good hard cider. After that comes a light vinegar flavor that is similar to red wine vinegar. I also get some nice spicy Belgian yeast flavors that quickly give way to some light funky flavors with some straw and a very light horse blanket flavor. On the finish there really isn't any bitterness but there's a light amount of medium tartness that takes it's place and helps tie all the flavors together with a tart green apple and cider like aftertaste. This beer had a good taste, it was pretty complex and the flavors were nice and not overly funky or tart.

M- Very smooth, crisp, pretty dry, on the light side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. Thee mouthfeel was good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I liked this beer and I thought it was a good example of the style with my limited experience with this style, I thought it was pretty impressive, like I said I'm not really a fan of this style but I found myself enjoying this beer and how complex it was. This beer had really good drinkability, it's 9.2% but I can't taste any alcohol, it's very well hidden, it's almost dangerous, the flavors really held my attention, but one pint can is probably the right amount for me. What I liked the most about this beer was the taste, aroma and how great the alcohol was hidden, those three things made this beer pretty good. What I liked the least about this beer was the appearance, the head was just pretty dull and I expected a little more. I would buy this beer again, but not often, it's a nice tart and slightly funky treat to have every once in awhile, this would make a good introduction to the style and I recommend this to just about anyone.. All in all I was impressed with this beer, I came into it expecting something pretty wild and funky but this beer turned out to be just tame enough for me to enjoy, I like both of these brewery's and they came together to make a pretty nice beer, good job guys, I hope to see more collaborations in the future. 2013 Edit, had can with over a year of age on it and it was tasting really good, the alcohol was pretty much non existent.

Photo of Etan
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint can into a Hopleaf tulip.

A: Pours a clear brass with a small white head.

S: Mild berry-like tartness, some caramel malt and light hoppiness, some dry brett.

T: Very mild tartness in the taste, quickly washed away by the usual amber ale maltiness. Bready, caramel, slight hop bitterness, warmth.

M: Medium-bodied, light carbonation.

O: The aroma is pretty good, but the taste doesn't quite live up to it. I like this beer, but cutting down the ABV and giving the brett a little more conditioning time would make it a lot better. Still, it's miles ahead of New Belgium's "Brett Beer" as a brett-centric offering.

Photo of lurpy1
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Dusty's in Okemos, which can be counted on to have exactly 1 interesting beer on the list. Memory is a bit fuzzy. But I was really impressed by the interplay between the Brett, the belgian notes, and the apple juice flavor. Really made for a good tart beer. A little more of a Brett aroma could have put it over the top. My first Vivant beer didn't do much for me. This one did.

Photo of liamt07
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Brewery Vivant, served in a tulip.

Rose red body, without any retention or lacing to speak of. No real brett character on the nose, but holds cranberry, raspberry, red delicious and Granny Smith green apples. Taste has more tart apple character, berries, light spice and malt sweetness. Wasn't picking up much brett here either. Medium body, no alcohol. Tart finish. An alright beer, but I wasn't taken aback by this offering.

Photo of PincheNorteno
4.85/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I drank this when it was very fresh, and didn't know what to expect. I'd first tasted only one wild ale prior to this and was intrigued.

Mine poured a simple brown from the can, with a slight hue of copper if held to the light, a tad cloudy. Immediately you know that this brew is special. Medium bodied with a complex earthy woodish aroma, there's a great dryness and subdued tartness that hit your nose. The flavor is totally unique, it just reminded me of something rustic like stables and hay, Brett is not overpowering but it's funk is beyond words.

I still have a single can of this that I intend to cellar at least another year.

Photo of MichaelNickerson
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a light copper with semi cloudiness

Smell - not sure what I truly think about the smell, but I relate it very much like clean carpet. It's a very fresh smelling beer

Taste - fruity including apple and lemon with some sweetness to it. Finishes with a nice toasted bread

Mouthfeel - extremely thick beer with mild carbonation

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a tulip

appearance- clear, and deep orange, almost red in color. one and a half finger head that recedes slowly to a lacing along the sides

smell- wonderful smell of green apples and bretta.

taste- not quite up to the nose. the tart apples and bretta come in nicely but there is a slightly off taste that follows that is a little musky. the alcohol is well hidden and the taste mostly consists of sour and funk.

mouthfeel- lighter in body and pretty strong carbonation. a nice drinkable beer

overall- i really enjoy this beer except the slight muskiness that comes in the taste. i can't wait to try this with a little age under it.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I gotta give props and novelty points for my first "sour" beer in a can.

poured into duvel tulip.

Appearance: clear and dull gold yellow bodied beer. 2 finger of white head dropping quickly to a thin cap. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Malty, fruity, mild funk, earthy. Smells very saison like.

Taste: Wheat malts, straw/hay and wild honey. Biscuity and bready malts. A little bit of horse blanket. Very strong yeast presence in this beer. Finishes with a slight green apple and white grape tartness, some earthiness, and a touch of booze at the end.

Mouthfeel: low end of a medium bodied beer with carbonation that on the high end of low carbonation levels. Semi dry beer almost has a white wine feel to it. Little bit prickly carbonation and its also a little bit syrupy.

Overall: I would say this beer is mislabeled on its style. Its like a belgian strong pale ale with bugs in it and maybe even some saison influence. Its not much of a wild ale to me. Its a very different animal and it quite unique. Just had a bottle of a chardonnay barrel aged saison and this beer is on the opposite end of the spectrum of that beer and I loved the other beer! I think that if the beer had a drier mouthfeel and was more tart and funky the beer would have been a homerun. Still nice beer that interesting in its own right.

Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz. can poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a clear orange color. A good head of white froth formed. Good retention and lacing.

(S)- A dry but lively Brett, almost cheesy funk to it. Not in your face, but definitely the main component here. Subtle bits of lemon and caramel.

(T)- The Brett is there for sure. Has a definite spicy; almost clove-like yeast. Finishes lightly sweet/apple cider-like.

(M)- A good crisp carbonation level. It has a nice balance to it; the Brett definitely is the centerpoint of it, so dry and funky is the name of the game.

(O)- I look forward to seeing what time does to this even if I have never tried aging beer in a can. The Brett could use some more maturing to cut more of the sweetness out of the beer.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Never thought I'd see a beer pimping the memory of a French culinary pioneers. Nothing wrong with it, just a tad unexpected, is all. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear amber topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises nearly-tart mandarin orange, grapefruit zest, farmhouse-style funk, light apple cider, and a hint of sweet caramel in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with the Brett accentuating the innate tartness of the orange and the grapefruit without muddying the waters or ignoring its own funk. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a damn tasty brew, one that manages a lot of flavor without overdoing any aspect. Good times.

Photo of Thaddeus
2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Clear amber color with an average head, foamy and white.

Aroma & Taste: Had a weird smell and taste I couldn't place. Reminded me of a marsala wine I tried earlier in the year. Had some notes of soy sauce, but also had a sweetness and earthiness to it.

Photo of GRPunk
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint can poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- Clean copper body with loads of carbonation. 1-finger, khaki head fizzles to a light film all to quickly. Lacing falls back into body.

S- Lots of funk. Fruity esters of green apple and grape peels. Underlying caramel malt gets stronger with warmth. A little wine-like, woody? Vinegar quality comes out as it opens up. Muted beginnings really improve later on.

T- Oh that's good! Lots of tart funk. Granny Smith apples, grapes, red wine vinegar. Dry finish. ABV is is apparent, though in no way harsh. While my description may be lacking, the flavor of this beer is not.

M- Tart bite. Dry. Quite clean with medium-heavy carbonation. Medium body.

O- Awesome flavor. Very drinkable. With somewhat limited experience in the wild/sour world, it's hard to describe all that's going on. With the very limited MI release ( I only got it when my local shop happened upon an extra shipment), I'm hoping for more availability with the New Belgium version. I think I'll hold on to the rest of my 4-pack for some special occasions.

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Escoffier Bretta Ale from Brewery Vivant
87 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.