St. Bretta (Summer) | Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

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St. Bretta (Summer)St. Bretta (Summer)

Brewed by:
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Colorado, United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DrinkSlurm on 06-20-2013

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 551
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share at Tieman's tasting.

2013 vintage. Batch 3.

Pours a murky yellow with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, yeast, and Brett aromas. Taste is much the same with chalk and Brett flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of Brett bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells very nice but the chalk-like flavor I am getting is a bit odd.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

absolutely outstanding. crooked stave just owns this style of beer right now. even better than the spring version, this pours a less cloudy than anticipated pale yellow color with a lively white head over an inch tall but fading pretty fast. the nose is really bretty, sour too, and more well hopped than I remember the other one being. its got a defined citrus aroma, but I cant pick out an orange type specifically. musty wheat malt base. the flavor matches the nose, but is way more sour than it smells. acidity is somehow tempered by the wheat malt, which is nice, makes it a very drinkable beer. bretty funk all the way through, and the citrus is really prominent. a superior quality beer in every way, special stuff here. soft feel but super carbonated, an odd combination, its delicate and robust at the same time. I would drink this every single day if I could.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This level of complexity and drinkability should not exist in one single glass- tart refreshment commands the ale from sip to finish while the taste of citrus, sweat, sour, and must all come into play along the way...

Pouring a hazy golden straw color, the beer layers into the glass with a reluctant release of delicate white foam. Once separated, its long standing sheet of froth laces with well defined rings with each sip. Its an ideal Belgian-type appearance.

The first whiff evokes immediate mouth watering effect because of the combined tartness, earthiness and saltiness. Orange peels, limes, grapes and young berries aid the sourish scent while a stern whiff of sea air, weathered wood, attic-like must and horse blanket wrap around the tart fruit notes. Wet hay and dry crackers and a dusting of yeast round out the ales ultra-complex scent.

Short-lived bready sweetness is immediately engulfed by sourness. Sour grapes, limes, bitter orange peels, vinous dry white wine and green berries all play into the fruity tartness- just ahead of the earthy notes at middle palate. That's when the salty brine, musty, hay and leather flavors balance the sourness and aid in a dry wheat taste to finish its taste.

The beer's mouthfeel has a sliver of wheat, and that's the only real thing that keeps it from complete dryness. Its slim softness is a welcome reprieve from the brunt of acidity that would be felt otherwise. Light powdery tannin, palate cleansing fruit acidity, and light alcohol warmth ensures a dry and refreshed palate in the end.

There's a lot of strategy that goes into an ale that seems so haphazard. Certain sharpness, delicate softness, and a cocoon of earthiness layers onto the palate brilliantly. Its a taste that's complex enough to discuss et nauseum or to drink with with unabashed thirst quenching relief.

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Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottling; Batch 3

Appearance: Pours a very murky golden color with what starts out as an impressive head; the retention, however, is not great though it leaves a few squiggles behind

Smell: This is Exhibit A for horseblanket, with some fruity, grassy and spicy towns in the supporting cast

Taste: A hint of fruit and then the horseblanket flavor takes over; very spicy, in the middle, with a strong dose of coriander and white pepper; the orange peel emerges after the swallow, bringing some tartness along with it

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: As good as this beer is, I wish I liked it more but I found that the strong flavors clashed a bit on my palate

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

No time to drink a summer beer like December, right? Batch 2 2014 vintage bottle served into a tulip and reviewed live as an American wild ale since it's identifed as a "brettanomyces citrus wildbier" on the label. Expectations are pretty high on account of the brewery and my previous experience with beers in this series.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

HEAD: Foam gushes out upon opening, the first indication of overcarbonation (seeing as this has sat in a fridge dormant for over a year). Head is white and fizzy; some might say thin and weak. Reduces quickly, betraying its poor consistency. Lacks lacing. 4 minute retention.

BODY: Somewhat hazy bright yellow adorned by lively bubble activity. Translucent and semitransparent, but not clear per se. Above average vibrance. No yeast is visible within.

Appears overcarbonated. It's a nice appearance for its style, but not a unique or special one.

AROMA: Damp oak wood, must, dry biscuity brettanomyces yeast(s) with a funky edge, and mild citrus. Actually, the citrus is disappointingly downplayed; I hoped for a freshy juicy Valenica orange presence, but it's anything but vivid and/or expressive = just some lemony twang. Barnyard must, hay, and dry straw fill out the farmhouse-redolent vibe. Not sour or tart, but the funkiness is maybe a 5/10 in terms of intensity.

Aromatic intensity is above average. Suggests a dry brew with a disappointing citrus presence.

TASTE: Follows the aroma, with more of a zappy citrus zest than anticipated - thankfully. It's not juicy vivid Valencia orange, but rather a rindy almost grapefruity citrus presence; overripe if anything without being twangy. The dry brettanomyces presence goes nicely with the slightly tart fruit, but this just isn't as cohesive as other beers in the St. Bretta series have been, and never quite feels like a gestalt whole. It's not that the citrus and the yeast(s) clash, but they certainly don't complement one another. Depth of flavour could be improved, as could intricacy and subtlety of execution. There isn't a whole lot of flavour here in comparison to other wild ales.

Balance needs work as well. The premise is superior to the execution.

TEXTURE: Dry, lightly coarse, and somewhat dragging on the palate, preventing it from being refreshing. I hoped for a juicy mouthfeel to coax out the orange flavour, but that isn't the case. Overcarbonated, oddly medium-bodied (where it should be light and refreshing), and not real soft.

Fails to elevate the beer as a whole, or to accentuate the best in the beer. Instead, it emphasizes the dry brettanomyces, fatiguing the palate.

OVERALL: I have a lot of respect for Crooked Stave, but this isn't their finest work. Maybe the mild aging I gave this did it a disservice, but common sentiment is that wild ales improve with age. Drinkable and enjoyable, but not anywhere near a paragon of the style. I'm glad I tried it once, but I've preferred other brews in the St. Bretta line.

B- (3.40) / WORTHY

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml capped bottle, dated 2013, Batch 3. 100% brettanomyces "Whitebier". Seasonal citrus: blood oranges. Fermented in oak foeders.

A: Pours a hazy pale straw-yellow with a 1/2" white head which fades slowly leaving spotty lace. Some chunky yeast settles to the bottom of the glass.

N: Lemony citrus, yeast, grass/hay, herbal, horseblanket funk and barnyard, earthy with estery fruit.

T: Brett funk ala horseblanket, bright and light sunshine, hay/grass, herbal, with some bready and grainy notes.

M: Semi-moderate body and medium carbonation. Dry, orange zest and brett yeast finish.

O: Refreshing, easy drinking, yummy funk.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: 2014 Vintage, Batch 3

A: Pours cloudy medium yellowish/orangish in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and a hint of straw + lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy white head that slowly reduces to a mottled thick film covering the entire surface of the beer made up of medium to large sized bubbles and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are moderate to strong aromas of horse blanket and citrus/lemon along with traditional brett flavors. Light to moderate aromas of grassy + spicy hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of grainy malts with a lighter flavor of slightly sour wheat. There is a moderate flavor of horse blanket and lemon citrus along with a tart brett flavor. Hints of grassy and spicy hops in the finish. Light amounts of oak are subtle but present.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: Very enjoyable, refreshing, and easy to drink. Definitely a very well constructed brew with a great brett presence. Highly recommend.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 10/21/13 notes. 2013 vintage, batch 3. Poured from a 375ml bottle into my LA stemware.

a - Pours a bright murky orange-yellow color with two inches of bright white head and moderate to high carbonation evident. Little bit of head retention throughout drinking it.

s - Smells of brett, citrus, oranges, yeast, cloves, spices, pepper, floral hops, and earthy malts. Awesome nose; tons of brett and citrus to it, reminds me more of a bretty saison, which I love.

t - Tastes of spice, pepper, yeast, lemon, citrus, brett, floral notes, fruit, earthy malts, like oranges, and bread. Taste is good but more spice and less brett than the nose. Good, but a step down from the nose in my opinion.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty good beer. I loved the nose as it was full of brett and oranges/citrus, while the taste had more spice to it. A good beer I'd definitely have again, though if I'm paying CS prices for their beers I'd prefer Hop Savant to this.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gusher alert. Served at cellar temp. Apparently, that was a bad idea.

The beer is hazy and light orange with a small white head. The aroma is nice, offering citrus, brettanomyces, coriander, floral hops, farmhouse yeast. Enticing. Tart and sour. Light and refreshing, citrus and brett blend beautifully. Lingering saison yeast and tangy citrus. A delicious beer. Glad to have more of this one.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375 mL bottle poured into a chalice. 2013 bottle, batch 2.

Appearance - Mostly hazy pale orange body. Small white head. Medium collar and a few bits floating on the surface.

Smell - Lots of wheat, some bright acids of the lemony variety. For brief moments it reminds me of a lambic acidity, but it's fleeting. The slighest pseudofunk accompanies it, but again it's brief.

Taste - The brett flavor is distinct, but doesn't overpower. Much more of the tart lemony flavors. The backdrop has a bit of oak and a hint at what could be funk, but it's very faint. Grainy as all getout. The flavor drops off, leaving a lingering bretty tart aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light and crisp. The right amount of sourness. A bit of a dropoff in body and flavor at the very end though.

Overall - Crooked Stave has elevated this witbier beyond its station in the beer world. Impressive.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle marked Batch 3. Poured into a weisse vase, the beer is a pale, hazy, almost opaque, lemon yellow coloring with a sparse, wispy, filmy surface coat of head. Steady carbonation flow throughout the body of the beer. Aromas of tangy cherry, citrus, and tart/sour notes. Subtle, but what is there on the nose smells solid. Flavors are very tart forward, with a toasted grain backbone. Cherry, tart and sweet, with lemon grass, blood orange, and lemon highlights. The tart character is solid throughout, and transitions to an astringent, dry character into the aftertaste, losing much of the fruity notes but gaining some more grain and green characteristics. The body is slightly effervesced on the palate to an almost sharp feel at the end. Very crisp, tart finish that dries and cleans your taste buds, readying for more. This is Brett to the letter, and it is a tasty brew.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The summer version of St. Bretta has blood oranges added in some capacity. This doesn't really change anything aside from the taste and the feel.
It looks amazing, a bit hazy. Light golden, brass. Nice big white head settles to a thick collar. Some lacing.

Aroma has that hint of blood orange which is semi sweet but also tart. Florals. Hints of grassy hops. A bit of funk.

Light biscuit starts off the taste then moves to a floral middle. Oranges make an appearance towards the end of the middle and carry on. Somewhat lemony. Blended with the oranges it almost seems like it's rosy.
Nice snappy dryness on the end along with some tartness. Just shy of bready. Very easy drinking

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review from 10-05-13

Bottle poured in to tulip.

A - Cloudy bright golden yellow with half a finger of off-white head that quickly reduced to a thin layer.

S - Funk/hay-like aroma up front. Bready sweetness, orange, lemon zest and spice.

T - Dry funk hits the tongue at first. Lemon zest, bready sweetness and spice mid-palate with the blood orange showing up in the finish.

M - Medium body; somewhat creamy. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of dar482
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

The beer comes in a gorgeous hazy golden color

The aroma has lemons, lactic sour, wheat, a bright funk of barnyard and hay.

The flavor tastes of tart lemon candy, almost like a lemonade. A bit of lactic sour and a creamy mouthfeel. The mandarin comes through as the beer almost tastes of fresh squeeze lemonade.

Drying n the back end.

Another great brew from Crooked Stave.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375mL bottle poured into a tulip. 2013 Batch #3

(A)- Pours a cloudy goldenrod color that produced a decent frothy white head. Good retention.

(S)- Bone dry with plenty of grassy barnyard Brett funk. Hints of orange and lemon peel.

(T)- Not quite as dry as the smell, but just as funky. Plenty of zesty but bitter orange, almost grapefruit-like.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Slightly sweet yet bitter with the awesome Brett funk.

(O)- Easily a great witbier with the Brett addition to mix it up. A good level of funkiness with the zesty citrus brings a nice feel to the beer overall.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

100% Brett Witbier. The summer edition has an addition of blood oranges. Tried at Ma Che Siete Venuti A FĂ  in Rome. 375ml brown bottle.

Pours a clear golden colour without the yeast. With it (and I did add it after checking the clarity), it's a pale straw-yellow with a frothy fine head of white. This persists only as a sudsy ring and some messy lace. Body is light and limpid. Carbonation is fine but racing fast through the glass. Looks good.

Nose is Brett all the way. Barnyard, sharp and crisp with a hint of frenetic wildness—plenty of funk, no acidity. Some coriander and spice comes through a little, but the Brett is master of this beer, ruling powerfully: it kills almost everything else.

Taste is similar. Very Bretty right from the start, leaving the beer dry and sharp, but pretty intense. Apple cider dryness desiccates the mid-palate leaving some clinging iodine mineral characters on the back. It's clean in some strange way, despite all the earthiness, and it certainly has complexity to it.

Feel is pretty light. It's suitable.

It's pretty drinkable, even if there's not much to it beyond the Brett-bomb. I love the funkiness, but some additional spice or body or anything would add a little balance and counter-intuitively, make a more intense beer experience.

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Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very cloudy, bright golden banana yellow color with a half finger white head that quickly disappears. Minimal spotty lacing left behind.

Very inviting nose with an amazing earthy brett character that is perfectly integrated into the witbier notes. Musty, dry and grassy with peppery spice notes countered by bready yeast and light fruit esters. Hints of ginger and grains of paradise followed by citrus peel and pale fruit notes.

Lighter end of medium body with a nice dry, musty brett presence that's well integrated into the elements of the base beer. Not as exciting as the aroma suggests with subtle funk, earthy hop, grass and straw along with peppery spice, sourdough bread and light fruit notes. Some coriander and ginger along with banana bread, wild yeast, citrus rind and light fruit. Decent but somewhat of a let down considering the complexity and appeal of the aroma.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle, year 2013 batch 3. Poured into a Hill Farmstead taster glass today, 2/26/2014.

App- Clear golden-straw yellow body, effervescent 2 finger head with good retention, good lacing, leaves a nice collar.

Smell- Crisp orange peel, tart lemon zest, ground pepper, crackers, a bit of white wine vinous quality. Slight rubbery funk as it warms.

Flavour- Vinous, peppery, crackers, lemon tartness, orange peel. Slight barnyard, very dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Proper body, medium or so, good carbonation, very dry, funky meets white wine finish and quite refreshing.

Overall- Damn if this is not your typical witbier. There is a lot of citrus undertones and a nice funk. It's probably not recognizable as a witbier since well, it's 100% brett, but it's quite interesting and enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Back label says 2014/Batch 2.

A- Pours a dark golden color with a 1/4 inch white head that doesn't retain long before becoming a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and a tiny center patch of bubbly surface foam. No lacing.

S- Solid funky Brett aroma with a lot of citrus quality coming along with it.

T- Higher on the sourness scale than expected. The tartness is assertive at first but soon washes away leaving a light note of green olive from the Brett behind. Then, multiple consecutive sips become irresistible as my palate craves more of the soury goodness.

M- Medium-high pucker with medium-low carbonation and a light body.

O- Though it doesn't look like much and I would've liked a bit more carbonation, this is a super tasty sour wit with more sour characteristic than wit plus a nice, clean Brett funk in the nose.

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Photo of avalon07
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange-ish color and a cloudy texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Fair lacing.

S: An incredibly sweet-smelling aroma of citrus and some yeast as well.

T: You expect to find some fruit elements in a witbier, but St. Bretta takes this to a whole other level. Lots of citrus (orange, maybe a little lemon), yeast, the advertised brett, pepper, and cloves. A vibrant, light, and sweet flavor.

M: Highly carbonated beer with a prickly finish. Light-bodied.

O: An excellent Americanized version of a witbier. Likeable and easy to drink - provided you like sweet stuff.

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Photo of tigg924
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours hazy orange-yellow with 1/4 inch head that disappears quickly. Taste is amazing citrus: Lemon, orange, tangerine, brett, hay...This is the best witbier that I have had in a while. Really clean. Maybe due to the brett and carbonation, but the citrus really pops here. Super glad I picked this up. Will be really interested in trying more from Crooked Stave.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is spices, light wheat and strong Brett notes. The flavor is citrus, wheat, spices and strong Brett funkiness/mild sourness into the finish. Good if a little too much Brett.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 7.28.13
2013/Batch 3

A - Pours a hazy light orange wth a foamy off-white head with good retention.

S - Tart, farmhouse funky, citrusy, orange.

T - Tart and very citrusy. Lots of wood and tangeloes.

D - Good carbonation with a medium to light body.

O - Tart, citrus with a nice farmhouse impact.

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Photo of champ103
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2

A: Pours a hazed golden/yellow color. A massive and dense white head forms immediately, that sticks around forever. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: At first a funky/musty yeast, acidic fruits. Citrus and orange rind. Light wheat aromas. I can almost feel the carbonation on my nose, before even taking a sip I know this has really high carbonation.
T: Musty yeast, with really acidic fruits. Orange and lemon rind. Tart, acidic and sweet passion fruits intermingle with the yeast and wheat character.
M/D: A light body with supper spritzy carbonation which is prickly on the tongue. I love the carbonation level here. While the fruits added give a sweetness, this finises on the dry side. Really easy and enjoyable to drink. The bottle is gone way to quickly.

Very solid. The tart and acidic fruits work well, and I like the the ultra high carbonation here. Another well done beer from Crooked Stave.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Batch 2, 2013. Pours a hazy yellow with one finger white fluffy head. Amazing Brett aroma with definite oranges and spice. Flavor is big and bold tart lemon with an orange sweetness on the back end that lingers with the tart. Very dry, lots of carbonation. Light body. This is an incredible summer brew, which I hope will be readily available next year here in Florida. Need to get my hands on the other seasons now.

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St. Bretta (Summer) from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
4.09 out of 5 based on 551 ratings.
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