1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brute - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

793 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 793
Reviews: 389
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 1,132
Gots: 142 | FT: 6
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 793 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SkiBum22

New York

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Batch E!037

A - Pours a beautiful yellowish/orange with a huge off-white head. Great retention.

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

T - The taste follows the nose. Really exceptional and clean. Tons of tart lemony flavors along with a big Granny Smith apple puckering flavor.

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

O - One of the best sours I've ever had. This easily stands up to any of the RR sours. I hope they brew this again.

07-06-2012 00:36:17 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of Risser09


5/5  rDev +12.6%

750mL bottle poured into a snifter - fridge temp - 2008 batch E!010

Appearance: Pours a golden color with lots of visible carbonation flowing to the surface. The head rises 1.5" tall with lots of foaminess and shows great retention. Spotty lace clings to the glass.

Smell: Tart and funky. Acrid apples, brettanomyces, horseblanket, some dormant lemon citrus. Slight hop aroma as well. Perfect for me.

Taste: Funky, sour and tart. This beer screams Belgian at the top of its lungs. Oak, apple, brett, lemon, horseblanket are all flavors. There are so many more complexities.

Mouthfeel: Effervescent, lightly bodied, tart, funky and oaky. Some tannins soaks through. Lingering tartness and sourness. Alcohol is there, but not in a big way.

Drinkability: Incredible. I had high hopes for this brew and I got my socks knocked off. Everything that you could want in a beer. Plenty of complexity and thirst quenching properties. One of my new favorites for sure.

04-03-2009 12:49:11 | More by Risser09
Photo of Kadonny


4.05/5  rDev -8.8%

Poured from tap at Capones sour event into a tasting glass.

A: Cloudy pale yellow color that looks exactly like grapefruit juice. Slight thin white head no lacing.

S: Tart fruits with apple and some funk.

T: Again the tart blasts out first with sour apples, apricot, pear and some grape. A sugar sweetness offsets the sour for a few seconds but that sour funk comes pounding back in. I got some grassy hops that offset the sour and smooth out the finish. Not as crisp and clean as the Temptation. Finish is not near as lingering either.

M: Tart, crisp but a bit thin on finish but overall very smooth. No alcohol traces at all.

D: High, these are much more mellow and smoother than the Temptation, thus more drinkable.

Overall a great beer that left me wanting just a little bit more. It is still awesome and a beer I would drink anytime.

12-11-2009 22:02:28 | More by Kadonny
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

4.83/5  rDev +8.8%

I am still peeved that Ithaca uses wine bottles for their whole excelsior! series. The cap has embossed grapes on the top. Come on! Anyways, the label is shiny and gold.

a- This poured a super hazy, murky golden otange color with a super massive frothy, fizzy white head. This head holds its shape well. Aroma is super fruity. Candy sweet. Lots of nice bitter apple smells. Awesome champagne character.

t - Funky and earthy! Fucking brilliant! Lots of champagne flavor from the yeast they added. Nice tart apple flavor. Some pepperyness.

Mf/d- Champagne but less carbonation than one. Slightly drying finish that makes your mouth water.
Beautifully balanced and surprisingly refreshing.

09-05-2010 17:18:45 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of tewaris


3.85/5  rDev -13.3%

Thanks SourNotes for sharing a long time want.

Bubbly, very very bubbly. Clear golden color and big white head is inviting. Aroma is funky and leathery. Taste is dominated by acetic sourness but the (extremely) high carbonation keeps it alive... I am not a fan of vinegar in some Flanders style beers because it seems to settle on the palate but it works in Brute.

Very much champagne like as was expected... a simpler beer with great drinkability.

4.5, 4, 3.5, 4.5, 4

04-05-2012 19:09:50 | More by tewaris
Photo of everetends


4.75/5  rDev +7%

750ml bottle sent to me by the great Lum. I have heard him and the rest of the LNBA crew that have enjoyed this pimp the hell out of it, and I am stoked to have the chance. Served up in a tulip. Batch # E!010

A: First off this beer is capped and corked. Once you uncork this fool, you get a huge pop. Have to be careful when you pour this sweetheart because she foams easily. Slow pour got me a huge white, foamy head. Head has decent retention and doesn't really ever go away, only falling to a completely solid top cap that produces some spotty lacing. The body is a really pretty hazy, sunny yellow color that shine brighter when held to the light. Lots of carbonation steadily streams from the bottom of the glass. Really pretty beer.

S: My goodness does this lady wear a fine perfume. As soon as you pop that cork, a massive amount of aroma fills the area and really gives you a treat. There is first a foremost a really dank ass musty, musky scent coming out. Then comes all that sweet ass and sour ass fruity goodness. Sour, sweet and tart fruits. Green apple, grape, melon, pear, lemon, orange. All of these are in here. There is a slight and sweet vinegar smell coming out as well. Then, comes a bit of wood (oak) and earthiness (a barn full of hay). This is just great.

T: Man is this a tart and tasty little lady. The fruits take center stage, no teasing whatsoever, just full on entertainment. The sweet and sour green apple. Sweet melon, zesty lemon, sugary and tart pear. Grapefruit pucker. Grapes all over this with a nice white wine tartness. Stupid amount of fruit goodness. There is an apple cider vinegar presence that is slightly vinegary but still adds to the fruity sweetness in here. The barnyard funk is here as well with some dirty hay and a touch of salty leather. It can't get much better than this. I would give it a 5 but my experience with Wild Ales is minimal, so I will give the others the benefit of the doubt but I don't think it can get any better.

M: This is a medium bodied brew that has just a high carbonation crispness that doesn't stop. The beer is just so damned light and bubbly on the palate and tingles on the way down. ABV is low and doesn't even play a factor in here. The beer is very light on the palate and doesn't linger too long but doesn't leave too early. All those fruits come out in the aftertaste and allow you to thoroughly explore this crazy good beer.

D: This beer is amazing. Hands down, amazing. This beer is an incredible achievement and it is successful in all categories. This beer is just so complex, yet easy to drink and enjoy. This is one of those beers you pop for nonbelievers, serve up in wine glasses, let them enjoy, and then BAM, "Thats a beer, bitches!". No one will believe you. Just a powerful and beautiful brew that goes down so easy I had to keep myself in check and from gulping this down. This 750 will be savored and then mourned once it is killed. I envy those in and near Ithaca. Thanks, Paul.

02-18-2009 05:36:28 | More by everetends
Photo of brownbeer


4.58/5  rDev +3.2%

Pale golden with a big white head and lots of bubbles. Looks a little like Champagne.

Funky nose, as expected, white peach, sweat, and leather to boot. The aroma of a great American Wild.

Flavors of under-ripe peach and white grapes, great fruit to sour balance. CO2 effervescence and a super dry finish make it a very Champange-like experience. More? Yes, please.

03-05-2010 00:41:28 | More by brownbeer
Photo of PhineasGage


5/5  rDev +12.6%

12-14-2011 05:05:23 | More by PhineasGage
Photo of Gushue3


4/5  rDev -9.9%

11-15-2011 05:02:20 | More by Gushue3
Photo of jbuddle

New York

3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

01-16-2013 21:48:28 | More by jbuddle
Photo of leschkie


4/5  rDev -9.9%

01-03-2012 03:50:32 | More by leschkie
Photo of timtim

District of Columbia

4.6/5  rDev +3.6%

batch E!027 pours a hazy, glowing, (pink?)peach color with an off-white head that holds for a while before shrinking to a substantial film with a big collar. wow! nose!!! this beer is gorges. first thing i am reminded of is those sticks of candy that looked like a piece of chalk that you would dip in different flavors of flavored stuff. grapefruit comes through next, accompanied by apricot, peach, earth, hop?(thought they would have lost all their flavor before aging), the slightest tiniest bit of oak and a touch of wet-rock-cobweb-barn-funk. complex, but bright and playful. taste is a blast of citrus (and tropical fruit), tart and sweet with a lively level of prickliness that lifts everything off the palate to expose a really kind of like wet rock mountain spring thing that really gets the point across about why they call this Brute (brut). dry as a bone and citrusy sweet? nicely done. medium body that is relatively creamy underneath the zippy carbonation and zing of the wheat. something in the finish of this beer definitely says ithaca too, and i like that. accidentally started chugging my glass halfway through my first pour. 5 for drinkability. creative. unique.

03-01-2011 01:41:52 | More by timtim
Photo of sendsilk


3/5  rDev -32.4%

06-11-2012 04:58:20 | More by sendsilk
Photo of jayhawk73


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

10-08-2011 17:23:17 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of cfh64


4.75/5  rDev +7%

07-21-2012 20:43:05 | More by cfh64
Photo of Lunch


5/5  rDev +12.6%

11-17-2011 06:57:17 | More by Lunch
Photo of PeprSprYoFace


4.9/5  rDev +10.4%

Batch E!018. I shared my bottle in line at the Veritas 007 release yesterday. Gave myself a decent pour though

Poured a nice light golden color, similar to a plain lambic not fruited and what not. Nice thin head. No real lacing.

Aroma of tart lemons and a little of the Brett funk you would expect. Smells great.

Taste is exceptional. Very tart but not as tart as say La Folie but up there. A little dryer than say Isabelle and to me slightly more oaky than others. Nice tartness with a slight funk with a champaign finish. Very similar to a champaign flavor but the tartness is the main player in this beer for sure.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated like a champaign. Probably due to the champaign yeast. Dry taste that works.

Overall an awesome beer. Glad to have another I have put away for a while. Hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did.

04-19-2010 04:52:20 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of cavedave

New York

4.35/5  rDev -2%

It pours a cloudy dark straw color, topped by a thick and massive light beige head. Sheets of lace cling to the glass.

The aroma is a mixture of the full range of funk, lighter tart, and even some sweet. It is a strong bouquet, perfectly balanced, with layers of the smells creating enticement.

The taste doesn't disappoint. Like the nose it is strong, a mix of funkiness and lighter tart, a touch of sweet, with staggering complexity in the layers of flavor. As it warms the tart gains a bit, but never overbears, and the clean flavors stay sharp and delicious.

Mouthfeel is perfect, highly carb.'ed, but not overcarb.ed by any means, thick but easy drinking, and an epic finish that is just dry enough.

Drinkability is extremely high for the style.

Impression: The best wild ale I have tried.

10-08-2010 10:40:40 | More by cavedave
Photo of Callmecoon


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

08-26-2012 21:25:39 | More by Callmecoon
Photo of Googs

New York

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

11-29-2012 04:27:28 | More by Googs
Photo of tsauce2


4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

12-07-2013 17:49:06 | More by tsauce2
Photo of chcfan


4.45/5  rDev +0.2%

Bottle into New Belgium globe

Brute is a beautiful thing. It just fills the glass with bubbles upon the first pour. I can wait...it's well worth it. So much complexity in the smell and taste. It's just an experience. There's a tart bite, but it isn't overpowering. Some citrus notes are present in the taste.

The other American sours I've enjoyed most are from Russian River, but I believe this stacks right up with them.

01-08-2011 04:14:00 | More by chcfan
Photo of jjheinrichs


4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

01-09-2013 05:29:17 | More by jjheinrichs
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN


4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

05-04-2012 21:46:00 | More by BdubleEdubleRUN
Photo of phingdong

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

08-12-2012 15:43:27 | More by phingdong
Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 793 ratings.