1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Brute - Ithaca Beer Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

768 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 385
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.26%

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed with vintage (aged) local hops, barley, wheat, corn, aged in oak with Brett and finished with three types of champagne yeast.

(Beer added by: albern on 06-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 768 | Reviews: 385 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch # E!037

750ml bottle poured into a Deschutes Tulip glass.

A - Pours a golden, straw color with a huge off-white head. Great retention.

S - Belgian yeast, spice, green apples.

T - Champagne like, apples, slight funk.

D - Belgian tartness, tons of carbonation with a light body.

O - Delicious, light and airy.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 02:34:19 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of celticfutblclub


4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to MyIronLung for this one.

750ml into a duvel tulip

A - opaque golden yellow/orange body with a pure white frothy head two to three fingers deep. superb retention.

S - sour apples, oak, earthy malts, peach.

T - sugary sweetness sour apple cherry peach earthy malts. some lemon zest in there as well.

M - light to medium bodied with tons of carbonation. great tartness from this brew. strong but not overbearing.

O - a superb brew. maybe a little bit more laid back than i prefer for this style but still very very good.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 00:29:06 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of JordonHoltzman

New York

4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first ever sour ale.

poured into a champagne flute, foams just like champagne, other than the fact that it is not filtered, it pours and looks like champagne. very bubbly, and instead of fizzling out quickly like most champagnes, this has strong head retention.

has the tart and sour citrus smell, characters that derive from the champagne yeast used in the bottle conditioning.

The sourness is an unknown and interesting taste for me since this is the first time i've had a beer of this style, but i like it a lot. It is not mouth puckering strong, which is a good thing. has notes of grapefruit and lemon too.

mouthfeel is like a champagne, as the bubbles are effervescent. made for great carbonation

I look forward to having this beer a second time as well as trying new sour/wilds. great beer

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 21:24:35 | More by JordonHoltzman
Photo of rlee1390


4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!37

A-Cloudy yellow-orange, two finger head well carbonated but goes flat after a while.

S-Lemon, tartness with some wheat.

T-Lemon, wheat. Not overly sour more of a well balanced tartness.

M-Light an very carbonated at first, but it starts to go flat after a while.

O-A wonderful beer. Not extremely sour but tart borderline sour. The lemon and wheat flavor is great. Glad I went to the release.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 04:15:55 | More by rlee1390
Photo of hippityhops85


4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle poured into champagne flute

Pours an opaque orange/lemon peel color. Minimal head that forms a nice ring around the circumference of the glass

The nose is exceptional. Tons of lemon peel, citrus, bretty goodness. Granny Smith apples play a big role here as well.

The taste follows suit on the nose. Really exceptional and clean. Tons of tart lemony flavors along with a big Granny Smith apple puckering flavor. Very Dry. Yum.

The mouth feel is surprising but not expected. It is pretty aggressive on the carbonation but I feel that it adds to the tart characteristics of the beer rather that distract. Embraces the "Brute" label. Highly recommended. I hope this gets to see distribution again rather than a brewery release.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 18:52:10 | More by hippityhops85
Photo of aasher


4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. This bottle was courtesy of thagr81us in a massive trade a few months back. Thanks for hitting this HUGE want of mine Calton!

This beer pours a very cloudy and medium bodied tangerine orange in color with a two finger and beady head. This beer appears to have a lot of activity. It has a really nice nose. You get citrusy tartness, funk, brett, chapagne yeast, chardonnay barrel, and a white grape like fruitness. The flavors feature a nice tart white grape aspect, funk, brett, citrus peels, brett, and it finishes really smooth. This beer has insane drinkability for the style. It has the perfect level of tartness and is mouthwatering. I expected a lot from this beer and it delivered and then some. This beer is somewhat comparable to Temptation for me and I loved it. I'll have to track down a few more bottles.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 04:10:47 | More by aasher
Photo of mrand01

New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle labeled batch E!027 poured in to a generic Crate & Barrel tulip.

A: Golden, opaque. Thin head that stays thicker towards the rim of the pour. Sticky lacing.

S: Funk, citrus zest, tart. Spicy in some way, but very hard to place.

T: Again, I've never had such a hard time describing a beer. Everyone I was drinking with agreed that it's most likely the addition of corn that contributes to the sweet & savory taste, but it's very difficult to describe.

M: Medium bodied with a playful champagne-like carbonation.

O: Knockout brew from Ithaca. Really wish this was getting distributed again instead of becoming a brewery exclusive.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 16:34:13 | More by mrand01
Photo of UDbeernut

New York

4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with friends, Hazy gold hue shines in the glass capped by a silkey white foam head with good retention. Nice funky aroma, lemon zest, perhaps apple too. Mild and enjoyable tartiness balance slight biscuit. All sorts of fruit enhance the taste. Smooth and bubbling mouth. Quite an enjoyable concoction.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 16:43:52 | More by UDbeernut
Photo of rudzud


4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at BBF, and numerous times since then.

A - Pours a nice clear golden yellow hue with a thin white head that faded to leave a nice halo. Theres like the glow of the sun radiating from the glass.

S - Very nice aromas of a wild ale here. Very nice brett notes, with good sweet apples, funk, big citrus notes (lemon/oranges).

T - Great sourness/tartness here. It is more sour citrus than the barnyard funk in the nose. Almost puckeringly sour, delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit harsher than I had expected. Higher carbonation here combined with the puckering tartness almost makes this a chore to drink, however, its so damn tasty one cant stop.

O - This is a very excellent wild ale. Great aromas, flavors, and mouthfeel here. A superb example of the wild ale style.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 15:30:41 | More by rudzud
Photo of SpdKilz


4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Chris (SpyCow) for sharing this at CBS. Batch E!018

Appearance – Pours a hazy lemon, golden color into a tulip with massive thick JP looking head.

Smell – Damn – lots of brett, lemon zest, citrus, slight barnyard funk/wet hay. Apricots and peaches come through a bit later.

Taste – A bit sweeter than I was expecting, though still quite mouth puckering. Lemon zest is prevalent, though it melds with malted grains. As I have heard others discuss, this is similar to Temptation (which happens to be one of my favorite RR sours). Other citrus notes of green apples, an oakiness, and earthiness. Quite good.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, dry.

Overall – Delicious. A great surprise to have (and I coincidentally brought a E!037 but of course Chris had to bust out the E!018) and I can only hope mine becomes this with age. A great sour.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 03:32:09 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice darker chardonnayish champagney looking beer. Really pretty. Aroma revealed more of the same aroma aspects from a white wine, but also some virgin oak I would guess with the clean brett existence (not so much funkitude up in this one).

Taste, beautiful, clean, sour. Very similar to The Vine from Cascade, this one is a little more sessionable and less sour, relying on brett more than the aforementioned, which I believe divies up its sourness between a variety of bugs. Acidity kept in check, I don't really care about that one, acidic or not, a beer is not good based upon that factor in my book. Fruit existence is low, might be something like green apple, maybe some light citrus like lemon, but that's about it, definitely no dark fruit. Carbonation was perfect.

I brought this one to the sour share in Reno last month.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 16:32:21 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of ne0m00re


4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

09/14/11- Review of a 750 mL from Batch El037. Before I begin, I'll just inform you that my first bottle blew up inexplicably in my cellar. It was kindly replaced by Ithaca (along with a very nice glass to boot). This was poured into this very glass.
A: Yellow golden with a slight glow, nice white head.
S: Nice rustic apple, angel food cake, slight honey and caramel with a citrus (tangerine). Excellent.
T: Mild tartness, good white wine acidity, fruitiness, bitter woodiness. Good.
M: Good creamy froth, medium body, mild, crisp finish.
O: Great. Well balanced and doesn't attack your taste buds. The acidity is great.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 03:30:49 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of chalsk

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a gift from Damico. Held off on cracking this open until now... New Years Eve. Pours a golden orange color with a white foam head. Has an aroma of lemon, grass and funk with pehaps a hint of cherry. Has a dry sweet taste with a nice sour hit. Some gentle bitters mixed in. Nice medium mouthfeel from the carbonation kick up. Very champagne like. Here’s to 2011 kicking 2010’s backside. Happy New Year to my RateBeer campaneros Leafs93 and Damico.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 03:00:15 | More by chalsk
Photo of amphion1065


4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, Batch E!037, poured into a Duvel tulip. Kudos to Chris.

After removing the vaguely disturbing, slug-like orange wax cork, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is quite a pretty beer. Hazy pale gold, almost peach. A huge, billowing, shockingly pure white head, an easy two fingers' worth. Crazy retention and lacing.

Aroma is rich with bretty funk. Huge citrus overtones, with big notes of lemon juice. Hay and grass, almost wheat-like. Some pineapples are in the mix as well.

The taste is more sour than funky, and it's delicious. Lots of tart, acidic citrus flavors. This is very lemony, with the kind of puckering sourness I long for in AWAs. Big brett notes, but without too much earthy, mineral funk.

Great, lively carbonation - I really dig the mouthfeel. I started to feel the burn after a little while, but couldn't bring myself to stop.

A really excellent wild ale, and it hit every note I look for in the style. I'd love to try one with a little age on it, and can only wonder how the sourness intensifies over time. I really hope this makes it into distro next year, though I won't hold my breath.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 02:34:17 | More by amphion1065
Photo of jayhawk73


4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared by Matt- Thanks dude!

From notes:

Pours a golden color with a slim one finger white head. Good carbonation, and almost zero lacing. Very cloudy in appearance. Smell is that of grass, some fruit, funk, and oak. Amazing nose. Taste is tart, w/ a nice funk vibe. Very smooth feel in spite of the tartness. Very easy going down. Feel is a carbonated tartness w/ a smoothness that balances it out. Overall, this is a great beer, and I'm happy I got a chance to try it.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 17:23:17 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of BrewCrew2010


4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright straw body with a large, white, fuzzy head that has nice head retention, spotty lacing, and loads of visible carbonation.

S: Smells like champagne with a beer twist- duh! Notes of vinegar, lemon zest, white grapes, brett, and some funk.

T: Wow! This one is amazing! Lots of vinegar and funk which is to be expected from the Brett, but this taste like a champagne. Some sweetness balanced with some tart and some funk all makes this a great beer. A little fruity with some white grape adds a nice touch.

M: Light body; lively carbonation; puckering mouthfeel.

O: Wild ales aren't my favorite style, but I love this ale. Very drinkable, but like wild ales, I prefer them with food. So glad I got a case of this.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 01:29:29 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of dmsohyea


4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle opened by airfoil, thanks, this was a real treat.

A - Light yellow with just a bit of fizzy head that disapated to a small ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S - A little yeasty, but mostly nice table sugar and lemony tartness. Not much funk, just enough, also no cheesy scents that I have come accustomed to with some of these sour styles.

T - Wow, very much like a traditional gueuze. Nice sour funk and lemon peel. A good sweetness to back up the moderate tartness. Very nice, no alcohol present.

M - moderate body with upper moderate carbonation. A touch of astringency, and not at all watery.

O - very impressed with this beer. One of the best American sours I have had.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 21:15:08 | More by dmsohyea
Photo of lovindahops

New York

4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

my favorite brewery has made brute a brewery release only. Phe.... I'm close to Ithaca

a- pours a flourescent hazy yellow with a SASSY head of foam on the glass.Brute is bright and literally glows across my ithaca tulip

S- a blast of citrus flavor and brett that is as strong as it can be. A slight theme of wheat and pepper round off that funky barnyard scent that some many love. Brute pushes the brett experience in a brew

t- very lively and powerful with the flavors. The freshness makes me pucker, due to the borderline sour taste. This is what an american wild should taste like. Bursting flavors of citrus and brett all over

m- carbonation is exactly how you would want it to be

o- what can be the closure for summarizing this brew? it has flavors of sweetness and sour elements that engulf the palate. experiencing brute makes an american wild ale experience complete. Great job ithaca

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 18:29:41 | More by lovindahops
Photo of jamescain


4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to who ever brought this to the bottle share!

Appearance: Large rocky white head about two fingers thick, opaque yellow-brown color.

Aroma: Tart, earthly and very rustic with a hint of barnyard funk, pineapples, citrus and peaches.

Taste: Apples, peaches, and citrus with a tart mouthfeel and sour finish. Very earthy and spicy.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall: Very good beer and I've wanted to try it for a while, I'm glad I finally got the chance.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 16:54:53 | More by jamescain
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Huzuhbendah for having this one at his house for a really cool tasting. Matt for President!

A: Clear, and sort of an orange-brown (in that order) color, and with a few bubbles collecting in the corner posing as a head.

S: Sort of a sour, brown sugar-esque quality, that was quite organic and gourmet in nature. Nothing fake about this one!

T: On the taste, the sourness overpowers the brown sugar a bit, but not by much. This was not a sour bomb in any way, shape, or form and I did not sense my jaw starting to lock even once.

M: The carbonation was low, which I quite expected, and the lacing was virtually nill. I didn't get anything that remotely resemble a vinegary linger and my palate stayed quite please throughout the siphoning of my share. I highly recommend this one! ISO:???

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 00:19:59 | More by Chaney
Photo of AshleyMiller


4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a special thanks to Ejeffer11 again for this beer! poured into a stone snifter. batch E!037.

a- the perfect warm sunny yellow-brown, an opaque masterpiece with thousands of tiny champagne bubbles

s- heavenly, brett in all its glory

t- much the same as the smell, quick tart apple-pear tinge with a clean finish, not acidic mouth-puckering, but sour non the less

m- the body of the trickle off of third dam, a lesser known ithaca waterfall, a rush of balanced sour on the tongue, softening quickly

o- truly a delight to drink. not overwhelming. simple elegance in a bottle. will be seeking this one out permanently.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 02:32:15 | More by AshleyMiller
Photo of kscaldef


4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage

A: Huge frothy head.

S: Lemon and funky barnyard aromas

T: Good pure sour with moderate tartness and slight sweetness.

M: High carbonation and a long linger

O: Not the most complex sour, but clean, tasty, and refreshing. Somewhat gueuze-like.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 23:13:30 | More by kscaldef
Photo of ChadQuest


3.55/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour presents a hazy golden hue that resembles a sunshine lit straw prairie at sunset. large voluminous head that is white as the bone of skeletor.
The aroma has some levels of funk but not a massive onslaught of funk and sour notes, about the level i would expect a good authentic saison to have, with some subtle barnyard notes and some mild fruits.
The flavors are enjoyable and refreshing, subtle and pulls you into itself to seek out the funk, pears, apples, peach, straw and wheat, and some citrusy notes.
This beer is really dry and attenuated, super clean and refreshing on the mouthfeel with crisp light bubbles and intice another sip.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 02:52:36 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of homebrew311


4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to the Central PA crew for sending this in the Gang Bang BIF. This was one of the highlights of our tasting.

A: pours a hazy yellow, good lacing, decent retention of a thin dense white head

S: white grapes, dashes of vinegar, lactobacillus, and oak. Nose hints at a wonderfully sour experience on the palate...

T: very tart up front, slightly puckering, notes of fruit come through at the end, dry finish, very refreshing

MF: high carbonation, very refreshing mouthfeel, fits the beer well

O: this is a great Wild Ale. It features a acidic sour profile and a nice balance. This is a must try for any fan of sours/Wild Ales.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 06:16:47 | More by homebrew311
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: Pours a very nice medium yellow with plenty of character and a slight orange hue. pours with a nice finger of very active and fizzy head that dissipates quickly, leaves minimal lacing, has a solid amount of carbonation bubbles. very hazy throughout
S: sweetness, tart, raspberries and also something like white wine of white grape juice, stings the nostrils
T: great taste for the style, like white grape juice with more tartness and bite,
M: very strong on the carbonation from the second it hits the lips, smooths out towards the middle end and leaves and nice sweetness and awakened feeling in the mouth
O: sweet, sour, tart, bright, complex, its got everything, beautiful representation of the style, cant wait to see what this one does with a few years of aging under its belt

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 01:51:26 | More by BigPlay1824
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.