500ml bottle, part of a big swath of 8 Wired products to join their brethren on Alberta beer store shelves of late.
This beer pours a clear, bright pale golden yellow colour, with one chubby finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly dirty white head, which leaves a bit of sparse sudsy and cloudy lace around the glass as it quickly sinks out of sight.
It smells of rather funky and nearly offensive Brett bacteria 'inoculation' (I just farted, and that even smells better), bready and doughy pale malt, muted domestic citrus, a further earthy and spicy yeastiness, and leafy, weedy, and floral hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt, a still heady Brettanomyces infected horseblanket funkiness, the kind of white cheese that people bring over to my house that I really don't care for, still hard to get a handle on citrus notes, and more shoved out of the fucking way leafy, piney, and floral hoppiness.
The bubbles are pretty understated in their gentle and unassuming frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and not particularly smooth - if I have to say why, Imma gonna have to just stop doing this sort of thing. It finishes off-dry, the base malt and inherent hoppy fruitiness wailing away at their new station in life.
Yeah, if it wasn't already patently obvious, I find it egregiously stupid when a decent IPA (I imagine, here) is messed up by the addition of that undeserving bacterial starlet Brettanomyces. I'll give this one good marks for overall, because that was what the brewers were aiming for, but that's the end of what my dear departed Mom would have approved of me saying here.
An American India Pale Ale brewed with 100% Brettanomyces yeast you say? Indeed this was a hard one to categorise - is it classed as an American IPA or an American Wild Ale, it qualifies for both but as most beer sites only let you select one style when you add a beer I placed it under “American IPA”. Doubtless I’m expecting it to actually taste like a proper Wild Ale with that ever funky Brett yeast strain. Oh well, bloggers can’t be choosers*. I’m expecting it to be good, because 8 Wired haven’t faulted yet for me as a brewery, cheers Kiwis - too bad about the cricket team :-P
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: An intriguing bright, but hazed, almost banana yellow body with a punchy white foam head which quickly drops back to a nice lace ring. Certainly one of the more interesting beers I’ve ever seen with that wholly yellow body. 8/10.
S: Aroma hits right out of the park with a prominent funky yeast character, stone fruit hops, a herbal/floral note and a touch of candi sugar sweetness trying to break free from the funk. The overall fragrance of this brew has everything a craft connoisseur could ask for. 9/10.
T: Extraordinary beer this! The taste is big and touches all gustatory perceptions - bitter, sweet, sour, dry (standing in for umami)... ok maybe not salty - but who wants salty in a beer [amiright?!]... Gose drinkers, probably. Apart from the aforementioned flavours the stone fruit character has a bit of gooseberry in it for good measure, probably Nelson Sauvin hops, tastes like a top shelf NZ brew from one of the best Kiwi brewers - and it is. Can’t think of any negatives here so: 10/10.
M: Near medium bodied with a light carbonation and a hint of hop oils. 8/10.
D: This brew is the almost perfect culmination of IPA and Brett in a glass. I must admit I was sceptical when I saw “Brettanomyces” and “IPA” on the label but this beer is a genuine “wow!” beer. Other than that my only wish is that this brew was a tad cheaper ($15 for a 500ml bottle) and not a limited release, however I’m sure if it gets enough positive press in beer circles Brett IPAs could be the next Black/White IPAs [or any other quirky style trend] with other brewers releasing them, viva Brett! 8/10.
Food match: Comparing this beer to a complex white wine style, say a Viognier, I would pair this with grilled seafood and a mild curry (think a Korma).
*When it comes to adding more than one style on beer sites.