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
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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
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 lstokes
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

Photo of homebrew311
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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 Holland
3.56/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Photo of Mitchster
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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 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 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 superspak
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into tulip glass, no canning date, but probably August 2012. Pours fairly crystal clear golden orange color with a good 1-2 finger fluffy off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lace. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart apple, pear, grape, apricot, grass, herbal, bread, earth, clove, honey, funk, and light yeast spiciness. Very nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of tart apple, pear, grape, bread, grass, earth, clove, toast, honey, banana, light funk, and yeast spiciness. Fair amount of earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruit, bread, toast, grass, clove, banana, earth, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; fair amount of tartness that showcases a good amount of sweetness complexity; zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly slick and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian style wild ale. Nice flavor balance and complexity; and quite smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable 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 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 qthompso
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip from a 16oz can. No date to be found anywhere.

It pours a really clear light caramel orange. A finger of cream head that didn't stick around long.

Good funk on the nose. Aside from the Brett, there's a really nice sweet, tropically nose to this beer. I'm a big fan of the smell.

The funk that I would expect up front is definitely there are pretty strong. If you're a fan of the barnyard dankness of Brett, you'll enjoy this. Acidic, sweet, and maltier than I would've guessed. The tropical nose led me to believe that this would be a rather bitter beer but its breadier in the finish. The hops are certainly still there but don't add as much as I was expecting.

Good carbonation, pretty full mouthfeel on this beer. It's a 9.25% ABV beer, which is surprising. There's definitely a noticeable heat to the beer but not as much as I might've expected given the high ABV. For the style, pretty drinkable but I don't know how many more I could have in one sitting (if any).

Overall, a solid collaboration between Vivant and New Belgium. I had the chance to try both the Vivant version and the NB version side by side at Darkness Day and I would certainly say that Vivant's release is more interesting, which was also the consensus of my group.

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 pschul4
2.53/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Kind of aprehensive about trying this after how bad my first to BV beers were but here goes

A- Pours copper with a huge 3" off white head that isn't going anywhere fast

S- Getting a hint of sour with some funk along side it. Nothing too pungent

T- Meh. Kind of sour with some off notes to accompany it along with some boozy. Not digging this at all.

M- Smooth but not much good to say about it

O- 3 brewery vivant beers and 3 drainpours. I have nothing good to say about this brewery

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 ploobs
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a can from a 4-pack.

A - lots of carbonation, head fades to nothing and it has an apple-juice color.

S - mildly sour, light vinegar smell with sweet undertones.

T - deliciously light, clean flavor with a slightly sour mixed with floral taste.

M - feels clean and fresh in your mouth, and carbonation is not too much.

O - great beer, particularly if you like the flavor of Brett beers. I'm looking forward to drinking the rest, but also plan on aging one to see how the flavor changes (says on the can that it can mature up to 5 years).

Photo of chugalug06
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice smooth cream colored head easily flows from the pint sized can. Brew has awesome clarity and is a dark hazelnut color.

Apple/pear scent rises above a slight vinegar scent. Funky and lots of horseblanket going on... Slightly banana, but in a Triple/Quad kind of way.

Very dry and not sour. Funky and wild, forsure. Bitter green apple dominates the palette. Tons of barnyard funk... Belgian characteristics in it's undertones. Carbonation is mild and bitterness is too. But, highly dry and grassy. Sweetness is prevalent too.

A good brew, a nice extra, thanks Adam! Recommended, very unique for the style/collaboration, not overwhelmingly my favorite, but well worth a try.

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.