St. Bretta (Winter) - Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom

Not Rated.
St. Bretta (Winter)St. Bretta (Winter)

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very good

201 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 201
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.03%
Wants: 8
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: LotsofLupulin on 01-31-2014

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 201 | Reviews: 30
Reviews by spoony:
Photo of spoony
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 375 ml bottle (2014/Batch 5) to a tulip.

A-The beer is dark and cola-lioke in color. The head is thin, maybe a finger at its peak, and short-lived. There is no lacing. The foam is tan/mocha in color. Not particularly inspiring to look at.

S-This Bretta is far more sour/tart than the previous iterations with juicy orange citrus being the dominant flavor. I also detect a bit of cocoa. The funk level is low to medium with a bit of oak coming through as the beer nears room temp.

T-The taste is also on the sour side with a citrus/orange and lemon tartness and a bit of vinegar. Brett funk is mild, but not absent, and there is still a bit of cocoa.

M-The body is medium in heft and the carbonation is fine, but prickly on the palate.

O-To be honest, I enjoyed this beer more when I had it on tap at the brewery. That is not to say the bottled version is bad or undrinkable, but it is not the best beer I've had from CS, nor is it the best in St. Bretta series. The funk, cocoa, and sour just did not play as well with each other as you would hope. Still, this beer is worth a try for any CS aficionado.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Franziskaner
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky dark brown with an amber tint that is revealed when held up to light. No head retention. Aroma is Brett,citrus,and a tart red wine note mingled together. The Brett dominates the palate but the citrus lingers after the fade. The mouth is dry,crisp and refreshing.

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a tulip glass after aging a bit

appearance - dark brown on the pour with very little lacing.

Smell - roasty malts up front and i get some coffee and chocolates

Taste - super tart up front which leads into a sweet citrus taste to be complimented with malts and tart at the end

Mouthfeel - lots of acidity up front, but finished quite sweet

overall - by far my favorite seasonal st. bretta after letting them all age. this one had so much going on, that I found each sip different

Photo of russpowell
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014/Batch 6

Pours a super effervescent crimson/mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Stays effervescent, middling head retention & lacing

S: Sourness, leafy hops, oakyness, nice, not great nose

T: Much sourness, tartness, oakyness. hints of raspberry & sour cherry up front. Grapefruit & orange rind as this warms, nice dryness, tartness. Finishes tart, sour, with a little grapefruit, & lemongrass

MF: Light/medium bodied, subtle carbonation, very dry/pucker. Almost feel my enamel coming off my teeth

Very refreshing, tart, sour. Just got better as it warmed; picked up more citrus

Photo of Vonerichs
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, thin head that leaves just a few islands floating on the surface.

Very odd scent. Musty and tart, with a bit of sour milk. Light citrus. It's unappealing.

Thankfully, the tart and citrus are more pronounced in the flavor. Juicy and sour. A hint of dark roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium, as is the carbonation.

Overall, very meh. It's hard to get past the strange smells spouting from it.

Photo of Rutager
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ruddy brown with a little amber, thin ivory head. Funky red wine and wood, cherries and dark fruit, lactose sour. Taste is sour dark cherry, light funk and wood, touch of unsweetened chocolate. Good stuff.

Photo of smakawhat
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A thick chestnut brown malt color out of the bottle, and fills with a very dark mahogany brown and a bit of faint red. Barely a finger of tan head, leaving a thin collar. Looks a bit like a weak oud bruine.

Weak and subtle nose. Strange whipped milk chocolate, and brett like lemon dryness. Kind of subtle and not very distinct.

Palate is a bit lifeless particularly in the mouthfeel. Extremely wet bodied, and almost seltzery. Slightly juiced flavors and quality save it a bit, with hints of citrus orange and almost fruit punch. Minimal malt sweetness and a moderate acid. Not really much going on.

Overall it's not terrible, but really not that great either with not much for me to say.

Photo of metter98
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is close to being jet black in color—only slight traces of dark brown are present near the edges of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a short off whit head that died down, leaving delicate lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with notes of orange citrus.
T: The initial taste starts off like a Belgian Dark Ale but is sour and has notes of oranges towards the back end that lingers through the finish along with the sourness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little tart on the palate with a low amount of carbonation.
O: This beer doesn't initially look like a wild ale from the appearance, but once you taste it you start getting the sour flavors from the brett. The orange aromas and flavors add an interesting touch.

Photo of infinitebruner
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

April 6, 2015

375 ml bottle, tulip

A – Dark brown with an almost purplish hue. Slightly off-white, bubbly head is about an inch, with low retention. Poured somewhat thin and light.

S – Very funky and very sweet. Fruity, sweet cherries and tangerines. Funk is prominent, slightly barnyard but comes across as tart because of the accompanying sweetness. Perhaps some bread crust malt, and no hop aroma.

T – Brettanomyces character is much more prominent here, funky, barnyard. A slight sour impression again because of the high sweetness, which is not cloying. Maraschino cherry, perhaps grape or blueberry, and some lemon-orange notes. Malt and hops are not really discernible.

M – Fairly thin, with low carbonation and somewhat high residual sweetness. A bit of acidity on the finish lingers and strengthens on the aftertaste.

O – A solid offering from Crooked Stave, but not their best. Would do well with a bit more carbonation. I wonder if additional bottle-conditioning / aging would have helped.

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Batch 5 - 2014. 375ml capped bottle.

A: Pours a very dark brown with reddish highlights under a quarter-inch thick tan head which fades to a thin cap and rim leaving spots of lace.

N: Sour and tannic, lemon citrus zest, slightly bretty.

T: Sour oranges, oak tannic bite, barnyard brett, fruity, faintly basalmic.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Finishes orange fruits and astringent/acidic tannins.

O: Interesting dark saison/wild ale. The oak and citrus crush the brett funk.

Photo of NJBeer265
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funky and tart. Nice amount of oak with a citrus finish.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to ablackshear for this beer!

poured into a wine stem.

Appearance: black bodied beer with thick cap of khaki colored head. drops down to a thin ring around the glass.

Smell: sweet dark malts that are not roasty, they smell of a mellow sweetness. Chocolates maybe? Kind of fruity? Cant quite place that aroma... Sweet oranges are found in the aroma for sure. Lacto notes of cheesy funk.

Taste: Mild tartness. Oranges and lacto funk that actually complement each other nicely. A mid chocolatey sweetness that is kind of interesting. Sweet tarts brand candies. A general fruitiness to this beer as well. A good balance of all these flavors. decent complexity as well.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low moderate carbonation levels. Finish is dry just like all 3 other seasons of the St. Bretta series. Carbonation is slightly creamy and delicate. Drinks at it ABV.

Overall: Very unique beer, I have not tasted anything like beer before. For this final installment of the St bretta series for 2013, I gotta admit I didnt expect much of this beer and really wasnt all that interested in trying it. I felt a dark wild beer brewed with citrus was a little off beat. After trying this beer, it is a beer that I am glad that I had the oppurtunity to try. It was better than expected and has some unique flavors and aromas that I havent encountered before. Nicely balanced beer that had enough complexity to keep it interesting. Solid all around, but nothing that is over the top or mind blowing.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 4.11.14
2014/Batch 5

A - Pours a dark brown with a fluffy light brown head that fades slowly.

S - Spices, oaky, smokey-roasted.

T - Tart oak, cherry, roasted malty, citrus finish.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Tart and citrus, but nice winter spices and roasted malts.

Photo of SFC21
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not really a wild/sour fan but I found this one to be decent. Certainly the brett dominates but the darker malts and citrus provide some balance. Super dry finish reminiscent of dry red wine. Overall, an approachable beer if you are just beginning to test the waters in the wild/sour ale category.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Where Crooked Stave and their wild friends contribute a powdery-dry spicy wood tone, and then chase that "house" flavor across a brevity of styles as a gently rolling earthy character wafts about.

St. Bretta (Citrus Wildbier) showcases that on a surprisingly dark and mostly still ale to capture the demeanor of winter. Dark and tangy fruit captivate the nose and initial taste with sour black cherry, plum, dry cider, blackberry and currant; but with an earthen undercurrent of mushroom and game.

Acute in its sourness, the middle opens with jaw-locking acidity that plays out on the palate with near-red wine vinegar, cabernet, the bitter-sour taste of lime and an overall briny sense. Its subtle and dark balance is of mild toast, coffee, Curacao bitter orange and prune as a juicy taste resists the beer's drying texture.

But alas, dryness prevails as the finish continues to intensify in souring. Stripping the thirst form the palate with ease, the beer finishes mildly tannic, tart and with a feathery wood texture. Its clean aftertaste is ready for another sip immediately, leaving only echoes of black cherry and plum behind. There's surprisingly little "dark" taste to coincide with its macabre color.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up locally, enjoyed from a stemless snifter wine glass. Brew poured a deep brown almost black. Thin bubbly cap that didn't hang out long. Nose is dark sour brett and vinegar. Big tart flavor. Burgundy sour. Big mouth pucker, one of the more sour crooked stave brews I have tried. Vinegar. Overall not a bad brew but very different than the other bretta seasons I have tried. Glad to have tried but not really my bag, some of their dark sours I love, this was a bit too much for me.

Photo of scottfrie
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

2013, batch 3, snifter.

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale amber with a nice thick and fluffy bright white head that slowly collapsed into a faint collar.
S: Huge and dominating notes of earthy and musty brett, with just the faintest scent of cheesy funk. The oak is right there alongside the yeast and is easily noticeable. Mild notes of citrus comes through underneath, and maybe a hint of tart acid.
T: More citrus than the nose let on, with flavors of lemon juice, and what reminds me of bitter kumquat rind. Earthy, spicy and musty brett flavors follow next with woody and damp oak coming through in the finish. The aftertaste is full of buttery oak and lingering sour notes of brett and bitter citrus rind.
M: Medium-full body with a clean mouthfeel that has a good chew to it. The carbonation is fluffy and fairly soft, and the tartness is very mild with just a touch of acidity.
O: Tastes as advertised . Not my favorite but definitely a clean and flavorful brett witbier. Very earthy.

375ml into snifter. Batch 5:

A: pours a dark cola brown with a couple fingers of foamy dark tan head that slowly faded into a bubbly collar.
S: earthy and spicy scents of brett dominate followed by bright citrus and bready wheat. I get a very faint hint of tart acid and red berries as well.
T: tart and bright citrus and acid hit first and hit strong. Much more tart than the nose let on. Citrus mixes with the oak and brett and gives off a citric acid quality that has quite a bite to it. The finish is full of dark fruits, red berries, and blood orange. I get a strange hint of coffee, and a bready touch of wheat. Blood orange and buttery oak linger.
M: tart and acidic mouthfeel, dry and tannic medium body, with bubbly and splashy carbonation.
O: definitely rough around the edges. Decent flavor but distracting harsh tartness.

Photo of Brob245
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours almost black with little carbonation and no lacing.

Smell - dark fruits, maybe a dusty burnt hay.

Taste - initially sweet upfront but sours quickly. An assault of flavors on the tongue. Tangy citrus lingers as it finishes.

Mouthfeel - smooth feel with medium carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall - a good beer. I'm consistently impressed by the beers coming from Crooked Stave.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Well, CS makes awesome beers, but this one is the exception

Pours a dark blue/purple/red...and cola-like. Good head up front that drifted away.

Aroma is subtle dark sour cherries, some hints of blackberry.

The flavor is thin and one-dimensional. Tart/sour is the main ingredient with little backing. The dark cherry or blackberry or whatever is just this side of absent. I let it warm with no change.
Not a drain pour, but for CS this needs work

Photo of Moose90
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted 5/10/15 for NBS
Batch: Winter / 2014 / Batch 6

Appearance – (3.75) Pours a deep, dark, honied amber color. Settles to a rich ruby brown in the glass and is overall much darker than anticipated. Head is initially tan and fluffy, but disappears pretty quickly and leaves behind minimal tracing down the inside of the glass. Thin, tiny bubbles lay around the edges of the glass.

Aroma – (4.25) Light notes of oak, citrus, oranges, mandarins, lightly tart grapefruit, sweet and bright citrus, lightly funky and yeasty, little bit of a vinegar tone as well, dry and sharp notes of oak and orange pith.

Taste – (4.25) Sweet and tart, lightly fruity, some berry tones here as well, raspberry, strawberry, lemon, orange peel, mandarin sweetness, yeasty dryness, funky sour and bitter vinegar notes, light malt sweetness, very nice balance of initial sweetness with a dry and tart finish.

Mouthfeel – (4.5) Medium bodied, a very nice and light effervescence to it, coats the inside of the mouth with a little bit of residual sweetness. Leads to a long lasting finish that highlights some of the vanilla and sweet oak tones.

Overall – (4.25) Very nice offering from CS, this poured a bit darker than I expected and tasted a tad richer as well, still a fairly bright, clean, crisp, funky, and enjoyable brew, this highlights the citrus very well and balances it out with a lightly sweet oaky tone. I'll have to do this NBS thing more often.

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a rocky beige head that leaves dribs and drabs of lacing

Smell: Coffee, black bread, oak, citrus and tart tones

Taste: Starts with a black bread and coffee flavor, with lactic sourness and citrus tones building into the middle; the finish is dry and oaky, with the tartness building into the aftertaste, though the flavors of the front end linger beneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with effervescent carbonation
Overall: I really enjoyed the layers of flavor in this beer, particularly how there was a hint of malt in the finish

Photo of larryi86
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bigs thanks to KevinLA for throwing this in as an extra!
12.7 oz bottle, batch 5, poured into a teku

A- Dark brown, almost black with a two finger beige head, I agree with others that are saying that it is cola like.

S- Tart citrus, brett, some cocoa, some berries.

T- Sour berries, blackberries, citrus, slight lacto like finish, some oak, some cocoa.

M- Smooth, crisp, dry, light body.

O- Darker flavor are kind weak compared to how sour this beer is.
I feel this could be better if they just focused on this being sour or went for more balance with the dark flavors, but right now it is in a weird in between. I am still very happy I got to try this beer.

Photo of Spreetaper
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at their tasting room.

Photo of Brew33
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I adore Crooked Stave and that's the only reason I went for a Dark Saison. When I was looking at this I was wondering "why?" Why brew this beer? It was darker than I expected and the nose was incredibly roasty. I wouldn't say off-putting but the combination of roasted malts, citrus, and yeast was incredibly odd. Luckily, it tasted better than it smelled. The roasted malts aren't as prominent in the flavor as the aroma. It's a little messy and a touch more sour than I remember Spring or Summer being. The mouthfeel was fine, no complaints. Overall an interesting experience but I would prefer they left the dark malts out.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Tipples, noted 2014 Batch 6 on the bottle. Pours dark brown with a very small off white head. Aroma of citrus peel and lots of Brett, light roast. Flavor follows with bretty tart citrus peel, light roast (hey just like the smell), dry body and oaky. Finishes dry with medium carbonation, tart zesty mouthfeel. Overall decent but really enjoyed the Summer version much better. The darker/roast just doesn't work for me with sour or tart flavors.

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St. Bretta (Winter) from Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom
87 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.