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Escoffier Bretta Ale - Brewery Vivant

Not Rated.
Escoffier Bretta AleEscoffier Bretta Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 191
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 22
Gots: 30 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 191
Photo of Treebs
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

16 oz. can served in a Brewery Vivant snifter.

A: Pours a grapefruit like color with a white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin collar that leaves some sticky lace down the glass.

S: A good amount of Brett is present in the nose. A little funky with some slightly cheesy undertones. Orange sweetness and fruitiness as well. Pale malt sweetness.

T: Oaky and dried grass with a good deal of Bretty funk. Grape-like with a very drying texture. The booze is sweet and not that well hidden. A bit of newspaper as well. A rotten plum flavor sort of creeps up on the back end. Not terrible, but not that appealing.

M: Medium to light bodied with a very drying texture. Medium high carbonation.

O: Very imbalanced and the Brett overtakes everything. I've been disappointed from Vivant lately. Hopefully they pick it back up and make some more balanced beers.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

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Photo of Thaddeus
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

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Photo of MichaelNickerson
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
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

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Photo of finstadp
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I recently had the pleasure of trying the Escoffier Bretta Ale from Brewery Vivant. This beer had a wonderful light bronze appearance. The aroma was very fruity and pleasant. The flavor was light bodied with delicious fruity notes. This is definitely a refreshing beer that would be great on a hot summer day.

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Photo of minterro
3.81/5  rDev -1%
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

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Photo of yourefragile
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can shared by Thorpe, thanks!

Pours a clear, medium dark copper with a transient thin white head that fades to a thin ring of bubbles. Nose of brett, sugar, apple, lemons, grass, and cinnamon. Pleasantly sweet and tart flavor, with a yeasty and bready base, with some sugar and green apple sweetness before a slightly tart finish. Medium light body with soft carbonation, well hidden alcohol. Pleasant but not exceptional.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of spointon
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky orange/brown with a bit less than a fingers worth of white head. The lacing slides down without sticking.

The nose is very funky to say the least. Horse blanket and some slightly tart notes blend with sweet lemongrass and apricot.

The flavors are similar to the notes but much more intense. Some dry and semi-tart barnyard funk flavors come around first, followed by some juicy tropical fruits such as apricot and guava. The high ABV is pretty well hidden underneath all of the flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and is pretty sticky. Ample carbonation that works well with the slight tartness.

Overall, this is a pretty good example of what brett can do to a beer and how it basically intensifies the flavors. Pretty tasty stuff.

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Photo of TubaManJack
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: a light golden copper body and a rim of lasting lace pretty standard for what would expect with barely any carbonation.

Smell: a weak and light nose there is some must but there isn't a tartness or horseblanket bit which I come to expect.

Taste: slight bitterness with some fruit but I was expecting more yeast funk to be there. It's kinda like a wet farmhouse ale even after it warms up.

Mouthfeel is different- for a higher than average abv I would have expected a longer and thinner finish but when combined with the lack of carbonation- it seemed a little dense and sluggish.

Overall I feel like the carbonation was lacking and thats why I don't feel that this beer had a fair chance with me. If I did have a can of it I'd be glad to try again and chalk some of this up to the bar's undercarbonation.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.85/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of lstokes
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber with a bright off white head, this smells like fermenting funky fruit--I'm mostly getting pineapple and tropical fruits--and those fruits carry into the taste, with the addition of some European hops, a nuttiness, and a lovely drying hint of funk. I get a hint of alcohol but am surprised by the 9.2%. Nice Americanized take on the Geuze!

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Photo of homebrew311
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is officially my first review of a Wild Ale from a can, an first from Vivant for that matter. Here we go... poured into oversized Tripel Karmliet glass. Appearance is a deep orange, almost red with nice clarity. Thin white head forms and barely retains. Some lacing present. Nose is intriguing, things start with bretty funk, similar to what I would expect from a Gueuze. Notes of lemon, sourdough, and a touch of the beloved horse blanket character are present. I also pick up some acidic components towards the end with a touch of cherry. Taste starts with mellow fruit character and a wave of sourness. The sourness is overtaken by funk which dries the palate. A final touch of tartness and cranberry character is present on the finish. A very well rounded brew with a very complex flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light with high carbonation. Overall, very impressed with this. The abv is non existent. This is a legit Wild that is available for a great value.

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Photo of Etan
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of Holland
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Otis for giving me this as an unexpected extra!

A: golden to almost amber orange in color with a small head that stays with it, covering half of the top and producing some decent lacing.

S: some musty smell, but it's mostly dominated by yeast and some fruity esters.

T: starts with a slight bitterness, then sweetness and light fruits, and finally a light malt flavor. Some Belgian yeast-like flavors come through, but almost no sourness and only a small amount of funk.

M: fairly heavy body for the style with medium carbonation makes for a stickier feeling than I'd like.

O: solid offering, but by no means would this be mind blowing unless it was the first foray into the world of brett. Definitely more fruit oriented than it is sour or funky.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can into New Glarus pilsner glass.

A: Pours a nice copper/amber color with a thin white head that dissipated quickly.

N: Lots of big tropical fruit notes, with some lasting sweetness that I pick up. Apple, mango, papaya, pineapple. Absolutely amazing. Nice brett character coming through as well.

T: More of that papaya, mango, and apple sensation from the nose. Really interesting, and quite flavorful. What a wonderful beer, honestly. Has a sweet body, but is balanced nicely by a slight hop.

M: Bright, and a bit prickly but almost sticky. Has some residual sweetness that sticks on my palate, but it isn't a terrible thing.

Drink and overall: Very tasty. I really enjoy this beer. I have a case I'm going to age for a while, and crack through out the winter and from then on.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A collaboration brew between Vivant and New Belgium. Fermented with Vivants house yeast for primary, then New Belgiums Brett Bruxellensis. 9.25% ABV

Pours out to a clear dark golden, forming a tall creamy yellow head. Firm carbonation about 3 carbs or so contributes to it's excellent retention and lacing. The nose is great...you get fruit like papaya, apple and mango from Vivants yeast and then the dusty, musty barnyard nose from Brett with some sour gummies in the mix. Mouthfeel is fullbodied. The taste is great...a tripel style malt bill, more than likely some sugar to get a nice dry finish, a pleasant bitterness which prevents the beer from being overbearing or one-dimensional. Finishes with tropical fruit in the aftertaste and a subtle metallic note interspersed with a mild sourness.

An interesting beer. I don't think this beer would be very good in a year or so...the sourness will likely be overpowering by then and mixed with the bitterness and metals, probably wouldn't sit well.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of liamt07
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of MSEGUIN
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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Escoffier Bretta Ale from Brewery Vivant
86 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.