Bay And Pepper Your Bretts
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Bay And Pepper Your BrettsBay And Pepper Your Bretts
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Style:
Belgian Saison
Ranked #1,627
ABV:
6.8%
Score:
85
Ranked #29,982
Avg:
3.75 | pDev: 13.6%
Reviews:
19
Ratings:
86
From:
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
 
Kentucky, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  3
Gots
  14
SCORE
85
Very Good
Bay And Pepper Your BrettsBay And Pepper Your Bretts
Notes: Josh Lehman (Holy Grale Chef) is the quintessential beer focused chef. Jerry Gnagy (ATG Brewmaster) is the quintessential strange brewer. So it only made sense they would work together on this bright, savory and spicy saison. What didn't and doesn't make sense is the name Bay and Pepper Your Bretts. But if it's good, does it have to make sense?
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 86
Photo of Jadjunk
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"Josh Lehman (Holy Grale Chef) is the quintessential beer focused chef. Jerry Gnagy (ATG Brewmaster) is the quintessential strange brewer. So it only made sense they would work together on this bright, savory and spicy saison. What didn't and doesn't make sense is the name Bay and Pepper Your Bretts. But if it's good, does it have to make sense?" Brewed in the style of a Saison Ale with Herbs and Spices added. Available in 750ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a snow white head of a foamy smooth consistency over a densely hazy medium amber body with light streaming carbonation and moderate speckled sediment in tow. Retention is average and lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Lightly toasted bread malts, fruit sugars and soft acidity and creeping funk of brettanomyces, effervescent pepperiness, with no discernible herbal notes to the aroma. An appealing aroma overall, very accessible with an aromatically rich yeast, malt and brett profile. 4

(Taste) The flavor largely follows the nose, with toasted bread crusts and mildly sweetened pale malt body, a residual fruity sweetness, a gentle peppery and spicy yeast backbone, and a soft note of acidity and funk on the backbone. Some soft herbal characteristics are detected on the finish and don't serve as a distraction from the traditional qualities of the style. Overall tasty for a saison, although the Brett character and adjuncts don't come through quite as boldly as they did in the aroma, and the resulting impression is slightly more ordinary than anticipated. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, smooth, lightly chewy, moderately dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a medium frothiness and a modestly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, shy of medium overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to peppery, earthy bitter, tangy and acidic. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters overall. 4

(Overall) This is a saison that seems to fall between acceptable and enjoyable. A peppery and herbal-infused saison could be an outstanding beer if the adjuncts are not overdone, but a wasted effort if they don't come through as evident. My overall impressions for this beer are good, although the herbs and spices don't really rise up above my expectations for the style, the fruitiness and malt body leave enough residual sweetness for there to be a bit more wiggle room for extremities, although I don't get that this beer takes those liberties. Overall, it's an enjoyable saison, but not one that ventures too wildly off the beaten path, significantly overpriced otherwise, considering all the quality comparable saison ales out there. 3.75

Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse's
Bay and Pepper your Bretts
3.84/5.00

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color. Poured with nice head that dissipated to thin veil and then nothing. Saison-brett nose with a hint of spice - cloying. Taste is somewhat saison but spice is noticeable and, for my taste, distracts from the base. A bit sweetish mouthfeel and thin.

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Photo of Emersonio
2.89/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Pour: Bomber bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance: Hazy pale straw in color. Thin white head present. Aroma: Huge lemony citrus. Notes of funk and yeasty earth. Spice and pepper aromas as well. Taste: Surprisingly falls flat on the sip. Very contradictory to the nose. Pepper, spice, and lemony citrus come through but is minimal. Aftertaste: Not much on the back end. Earthy and funky notes linger but recede quickly. Overall: Expected more with this one. Okay. 2.89 out of 5.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
1.65/5  rDev -56%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Murky bright straw yellow color. One finger of short lived white head that leaves about half of itself behind as irregular lacing.

1.25 S: When the cap came off, the worry began. My first though was: acetone. The taste nearly confirms my suspicions, but I'm still not fully sure. It could just be the bay leaves meshing poorly with the brett and saison funkiness. In any case, it smells terrible. Acetone astringency blocks out any attempt to find something better underneath, but I'll contradict myself and say I can pick up some lemon and brett funkiness.

1.25 T: I gave the nose a 1.25 so I could have some wiggle room to give a worse score for the taste, but alas, it is just as bad as the nose - no better and no worse. Again I'm getting acetone as the main flavor. Brett funk, lemon, and pepper follow but as above, it's difficult to want to get past the bad to see what's underneath.

3.5 M: The mouthfeel is actually pretty good though. Light and spritzy and dances on the tongue.

1.5 D: I really hope I'm right and this is the beginnings of an infection. If it isn't, then the brewer consciously released one of the worst beers ever made. Based on the other reviews here and on RB, I'd say it's the former. In any case, I tried to contact the brewer, but instead of being a normal company and putting an contact email on their website, all they offer is a hundred ways to use social media to follow their antics. If I was 10 years younger and much stupider I'd have a twitter account, but I don't today.

BEWARE! It sucks wasting $12 on a single bottle.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but likely from 2015. Pours hazy deep golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big lemon, orange peel, apricot, pineapple, pear, apple, peppercorn, herbal bay leaf, wheat, cracker, hay, straw, grass, light leather, musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/funky/spicy brett, spices, and light-moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, orange peel, apricot, pineapple, pear, apple, peppercorn, herbal bay leaf, wheat, cracker, hay, straw, grass, light leather, musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spiciness and slight tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange peel, apricot, pineapple, pear, apple, peppercorn, herbal bay leaf, hay, straw, grass, light leather, and musty funk on the finish for a short bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy brett, spices, and light-moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness after the finish from carbonation. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly acidic/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent spiced brett saison. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy brett, spices, and light-moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ShanePB
2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle. Hazy straw yellow body, thin white retention ring. Very minor splotchy lacing. Big herbal aroma, slight pepper, lemongrass, and spice. Flavor is a bit cleaner than the nose, but not great. Bay leaves, yeast, herbs, slight pepper. Dry finish. Strange beer...

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Photo of Zach136
4.29/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Hazy orangeish, small white cap with splotchy lacing.

Aroma/Flavor: Lemon, herbal and pineapple notes on the nose. Palate follows.

Mouthfeel: Medium light.

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Photo of stortore
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Bright orange/yellow pour with a medium head that dissapates rather quickly. Smell starts with the Belgian yeast, strong black pepper, lesser aroma of malts, Brett and bay leaves. Taste continues the yeast, some pepper, a little Brett funk. Also a citrusy tartness, a little bay leaf. Smooth, great feel, pretty dry.

Well worth a purchase. Flavors are well blended. Fairly refreshing beer

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Photo of mick303
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had from large bomber bottle into tulip glass, poured a bright pale gold with good initial head and nice lacing.

S - aromas of bay leaf, lemongrass, citrus, with a hefty load of pepper, ontop of a bretty horsey base. Quite fragrant and interesting, the brett and typical saison notes are a bit buried by the pungent spice, but the brett notes are still visible. Punch of bay leaf.

T - sweetish start, with some pale malt leading to a very confusing cacophony of flavours! Lemon notes, apricot, with a dose of bay then peppery spice, getting more asrigently herbal and spicy. Brett notes again provide some mild underpinning with some fruity tropical notes and hay. Thankfully the bay leaf is a bit more reigned in here, allowing some lemony and spice notes to come through. Sits with a bit of bretty tartness developing. Eventually this bombardment of flavours gets in order.

M - moderate body, light before the oily spice notes hit, fairly light carbonation, a bit more would probably help this beer. Sits well on the palate with a touch of tartness developing.

Initial perceptions have improved as the sipping went on, but not enough to firmly recommend this. This beer is out there and I think in trying to offer a culinary compliment, this would more likely try to steal the spotlight. Spices are strong and overall this is an enjoyable beer, unfortunately the typical saison notes are nowhere to be found, this is all spices with a hint of brett.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Blind Review

Appearance: Bright, clear gold-tinged orange. Head is bright-white and slightly creamy. Head retention is minimal. Small collar and the tiniest wisp of a cap remain. No lacing. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Funky. Sweet cherry skin and pit. Something like peach as well. Vague sweet almost cinnamon that I always get with cherry, which may or may not be misleading my head. Peppery yeast. Slightly spicy. Cherry skin. Very slight tart edge layered through the back. Slightly lactic. Some vague notions of oak running through as well. A touch of alcohol on the back. Vague notions of stone fruit. Lots of odd spices. Almost like the bundle of spices you throw in chicken soup.

Taste: The soft peppery spice from the nose lingers. Touches of cherry skin. Cherry pit. Some slight tropical fruit elements. A slight lactic tartness runs through the initial sip. Soemthing akin to sweet sweet cinnamon as well. Malts offer a slight caramelized sweetness. Pear and apricot. Herbal. Crazy herbal. Yeasty spice. Very minimal hop influence. Some earthy and grassy elements.

Mouthfeel: Medium pushing to light body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: Hit that yeast spice hard.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The bay leaf works for me, and I think it wouldn't with most other styles. There is a fair amount of candyish sweetness in the taste and aroma to go with the bay and a touch of spiciness to finish.

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Photo of metter98
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short bright white head that quickly settled down, leaving a collar consisting of large bubbles around the edge of the glass and eventually a smaller collar with some patchy streaks of bubbles running across the surface.
S: Light aromas of brett funk are present in the nose along with herbal notes of bay leaves.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that the flavors of bay leaves are a little stronger and there are also notes of peppery spices towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, rather crisp, and somewhat dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a very nice balance in the taste between the flavors of brett, herbs, and spices. The funkiness from the brett won't blow you away but in this respect the beer is very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

In a teku the beer was a gold color with a medium-sized white head.

A muted aroma of sweet fruit and spice. The bay is apparent, and there was a hint of funk.

The taste was also a little weak. Apple and pear, some pepper. Maybe a touch of candy.

Sweet and dry.

This beer just didn't do it for me. Too sweet, not enough spice. And where's the brett?

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

too weird! well, not too weird like too weird to drink, more like too weird to try and explain, its like nothing else out these. I've had a couple of beers with bay leaf, but this is easily the best use of this easy to over use herb. orange cloudy beer, no head collecting but a ton of fizzy bubbles. a nose of fresh bay sprigs and a hint of black pepper, but of the two, the bay is way out in front. bretty too, not sure if thats the only yeast in here, i would guess no, its pretty dynamic, super dry, and i like that its lighter in booze, no smell of it at all. the flavor is perhaps less complex than the nose, certainly less confrontational. herbal bay leaf character throughout, soft pepper in the finish, not as punchy as black pepper can sometimes be, not hot or earthy either, and just sort of a light accent to the brett funk that already has a mild inherent spiciness. bay doesnt linger, and brett fermentation is complete, this is quite dry, bubbly too despite the finish, and ultimately not as weird in taste as the packaging and aroma present it. too expensive at almost 20 bucks, but its clever culinary beer fusion, and we need more of that.

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Photo of Cresant
4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer is collaboration between Chef Josh Lehman of the Holy Grale and Against the Grain Brewery. The recipe may be collaboration between Mr. Gnagy & Mr. Lehman, but the name is all Against the Grain. The wordplay and punnery are classic AtG. In my head I keep hearing - Spay and Neuter Your Pets.

The name may be silliness but the beer is legitimate. I found this one to be very well constructed. All of the elements seem to work here in harmony; no one flavor profile overpowers the others.

The body of this beer had the appearance of a dull butterscotch disk. Hazy, muddied orangey-yellow in color. The white head was loose and left patterns of lace. That is until I swirled my glass to agitate all of the wonderful aromas.

The bay leaf is so herbal and fresh, followed by a funky, woolliness in the nose - attributable to the Brettynomyces and yeast. Clean, lemony notes accent the wet concrete earthiness. Cracked peppercorns and hints of biscuits followed. There is a lot to love in the aroma of this one. I couldn’t stop swirling and sniffing!

The body was not as effervescent as I expected from this saison style beer. It was medium bodied but modestly carbonated.

The taste was fresh, luminous, and spicy. The bay leaf is unmistakable, yet subtle enough to enable the other flavors to also shine. Black pepper accents the spicy bay leaf. The twang from the Brett peaks in the middle and the bittering finish tastes of Meyer lemons. The gentle bitterness ends semi-dry and citrusy. Very satisfying. All of the flavors worked well together and I would say this beer begs to be paired with a nice dinner. Not quite delicate, but not quite bold either, masterfully balanced and very enjoyable.

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Photo of macher0
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy medium copper with a fine bubble head that retreats to a slight film. The nose has noticeable sour funk, not to be mistaken for barn house funk. Additionally, some pepper, citrus peel, neutral oak, and malts. Now the taste takes a slightly different direction with a low tartness level balanced with a strong pepper bite. High carbonation, medium body, and pepper notes lend to a sharp feel with a decent bite.

Overall this is a well crafted ale with a unique flavor profile that does not go too crazy in any direction. I feel this is underrated and similar to other beers that have bretts but don't go for an over the top sour level. Good for the price and certainly recommended.

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Photo of rudzud
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Recently stumbled across my notes from The Festival 2012. Lets do this!

A - Poured a nice golden hue with a good two finger white head that fades to leave a thick blanket and light lacing. Solid saison.

S - Aroma is awfully herbal, light spicy rye, floral notes...where is the funk though? The typical saison aroma is not really here. Also don't get any bay leaves...

T - Taste is similar to the nose, more ester notes Light fruit (pear mostly), faint spice notes. The peppercorn is MUCH fainter than I had wanted, an I don't really get bay either. Bit of a let down.

M - Mouthfeel is fairly light with a nice dry finish.

O - Overall, a bit let down by this one. I figured the bay and peppercorn would only exemplify the natural aspects of the saison, I was wrong.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saison makers of Belgium are usually quick to proclaim that their spicy fruity balance comes exclusively from their proprietary yeast and the brewer's meticulous art. And that would be false for many of them. But the guys at Against the Grain wear their additions on their sleeve, er... in its name.

Like their Belgian counterparts, this wordy saison carries a beautiful gold coloration with zesty carbonation. A champagne-like froth skirts the glass and laces mildly. Aside from the beer's retention and lace, the beer's brightness underneath is stellar.

Herbal and grainy-sweet notes emit from the rim with notions of hearty whole-grain bread, rye, near-honey, light potpourri, and subdued fruit-forward acidities all provide pleasant and complex aromatic value while keeping the beer's first impressions light and inviting.

The interplay of fruit and spice resonates boldly on the middle of the palate, just beyond the supple candied sweetness of malt underneath. Where the fruit notes seem completely ester-derived, they take on the taste of musty apple, pear, oranges, and dried apricot. But then the mild yeasty spices are further accented by herbacious grasses, white and black peppercorn, celery seed, and thyme seem to surplant hop flavor and bitterness. The interaction of bay leaves and peppercorn doesn't strike the palate in obvious or overt manner. The other subtle tart, earthen complexities of the beer marry them into the taste and accent only key tones of the spice additions.

Farily light for most beers, but this saison keeps the malty overtone that keeps the beer from complete dryness. But with its dry-malt center, both acidic textures and abundant carbonation aids in lightening the body and giving a dry-fruit, spicy taste and texture in closure.

While the beer enjoys a simplified "American" palate, the more natural saison features are accented in the creative spice additions. The brettanomyces influence is minimal and is easily dismissed as "farmhouse" character. This unusualness gives the taste buds a lot to weave through but leaves the palate refreshed and satisfied.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass at Local Option.

Starting off the Fuckin' Catalina Wine Mixer with an interesting-sounding beer. I mean, you gotta love the Bob Barker reference, amiright? Anyway, this stuff pours a partly cloudy brass topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises earthy, spicy greens, light wheat, black pepper, and a light twinge of lemon zest. I honestly don't get too much in the way of bay leaves or brett, but it's pleasant nonetheless. The taste brings in more of the same, though the spice level seems jacked by a couple degrees. Not bad. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a very nice saison, but one that shorts on the brett a bit (wouldn't be too much of an issue, but it's in the name and all...).

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Bay And Pepper Your Bretts from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 86 ratings