Brabant | Avery Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good
391 Ratings

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Brett

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.65%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brabant is a 8.65% abv dark unfiltered beer, fermented entirely with Brettanomyces and aged in Zinfandel barrels for nine months.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 391 |  Reviews: 298
Reviews by coldmeat23:
Photo of coldmeat23
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Lindemans Flute
TEMP: Cellared at approx 55 degrees
BOTTLED: FEB 10 2009
Here's another one that I've had a few bottles of but, for some reason or another, haven't reviewed yet.
This is just one week shy of being a year old.

This is probably the darkest 'wild ale' that I've ever had. It pours a dark mahogony color, with a heavy emphasis on dark brown, but with some nice ruby highlighting. The head is a light-to-medium shade of brown in color and is about a finger and a half thick. The retention is excellent and so is the thick, sticky, lacing.

A very nice balance of sour and funk is the first thing that I smell. Beneath that there is a light touch of dark fruit sweetness. Cherries and plums are what I'm getting most of. A definite hint of oak is here, also.

Great balance between the sour and the funk has been achieved, after a year in the cellar. The sourness has subdued a touch and the funk has come up slightly, so that they are just about equal now. The dark fruit notes are coming more forward and are more easily distinguished. You get totally easy-to-pickup hints of zinfandel from the barrels that this was aged in, along with a decent showing of oak notes. There is a definite backbone of strong maltiness here, which while easy to spot, is kept in check by the 'wildness'. Nice hints of caramel and a touch of molasses are spotted. A nice touch of spiciness, like ginger and nutmeg, shows up in the finish.
The taste on this one is actually very impressive right now. It makes me wonder if I should drink my other bottle or keep it downstairs for awhile longer, as was my plan. I don't know what this will do to become better, but I guess that I'll probably find a few more months to a year.

This is now in the medium-to-full bodied range. It has a medium level of natural carbonation, which is filled with all of those tiny little bubbles that are so wonderful. It has a nice smoothness and a very nice amount of creaminess going on.

Fresh, this one was quite abit more to the 'sour' side of things. Now, it's hitting on a very nice balance, which is making it very tasty and drinkable. There is also no way that it tastes like it has almost 9%abv.
Very, very well done, Avery!

 2,222 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of ricke
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a small beige head. Some lacings.

S: The smell is of tart berries, caramel, toasty malts, spices, earth, horse blanket and other bretty aromas. A very well composed smell with an interesting and pleasant combination of caramel and funk.

T: The taste follows suit and has a beautiful red wine character to it. Comparably lots of caramel with notes of dark and toasted malts blend with brett-induced flavors of horse blanket, barnyard and mud. This combination works really well. Lots of notes of berries and grapes. A hint of oak barrel. The flavor is mostly tart (gently vinegary), but also somewhat sweet. The finish has a mild bitterness to it, more tartness and lingering notes of oak, spices and brett.

M: Medium body, rather smooth despite the semi-harsh and dry finish.

D: I liked this one, especially the interesting combination of caramel malts, brett and tart fruit aromas. It's very complex and well balanced.

 942 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep black pour with an inch of tan foamy bubbles that slowly recedes. Aromas are a bright mix of roast, vinous notes, wood and funk. The zinfandel notes really spring forward here. Robust. Mild caramel and char in the background.

First sip is dense, surprisingly sweet dark malts upfront. Some roast and a bit of creaminess with caramel and charred molasses that moves into vinous zinfandel notes. Wood creates some dryness along with a more mellow tart funk kick midway through. The nose made me think this would taste funkier that it does. Finishes overall a bit sweeter than I expected with lingering vinous flavors.

Mouthfeel is rather hefty and malty. A unique brew and I enjoyed the zinfandel barrel aging aspect. The heavier body and sweetness didn't really do it for me though. Hopefully I will get to try more in the Avery barrel aged series!

 854 characters

Photo of warnerry
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 2/10/2009 into a tulip

A - pours dark brown with some reddish hues as well. Two fingers of tan head (there was a definite rush of gas release when I opened the bottle). Head is quite persistant and leaves some lacing.

S - has a nice funk and some apple cider vinegar aroma. Also pick up some sweet malts.

T - Wow, not much sourness in the taste. A bit disappointing really. What is there are dark sweet malts, a significant grape presence and a slight amount of cider vinegar. Not bad, but definitely not what I was expecting.

M - mouthfeel is medium and pretty smooth.

O - interesting and I'm glad I got to try it. Certainly not a "typical" wild ale (if there is such a thing). Maintains much of the characters of a belgian strong dark ale. Worth a try but I wouldn't pick up another.

 804 characters

Photo of marvin213
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up as an ecclectic choice at my local spot. Unconvinced of Avery's worthiness, I'll begin with some disclosure about my skepticism.

After reading the label (barrel-aged in Zinfandel) and smelling the bottle, I was shocked to see this jet black, stout-looking beer fill the Magic Hat pint glass. It's surprisingly intriguing as it juxtaposes a wine-like, lambic-ish fizz against its black body. From a thin, spotty top to a thick, full covering, the head actually thickens as it sits (i.e. warms?). This beer reminds me of SI model Roshumba Williams.


The smell is unique for beer because it's more like a wine (read: white zinfandel). Again, though, my mind is continuously boggled by this smell versus look. It's a wild, experimental beer--just like the bottle says--and I'm hopeful that this concoction pleases more than my previous Avery encounters. I do also smell that wild brett yeast, along with the malted barley. This beer smells like it should be in a test tube.

I taste everything I've seen and smelled and, unfortunately, it's tough for me to handle. This is one wild wild ale. I don't know how close they might be in style, but the closest comparison I can offer is Ommegeddon. I hate to detract from a rating because I simply might not like the style but, objectively, I wonder how anyone could consistently sip on this and love it--particularly all 12oz of it. I guess it's like sours in that it takes more time to acquire the taste. Regardless, it's tough for me to see this one catching on.

Certainly this unique a beer has an interesting feel to it. The zinfendel is absolutely apparent. Perhaps I can't really like this beer because I really don't like white zinfendel. Can people who don't like bourbon enjoy a KBS? The carbonation is excellent and, to Avery's credit, this beer comes exactly as it's described on the bottle. Sticking with the ingredients used here, maybe I need more hops. Typical BA noob comment, right?

I don't really want to drink it again, and I sure as hell don't want to pay $10/bottle. I'm impressed by the trial and I applaud the search for something new and extreme and awesome. Though this one is new for me, and (I imagine) extreme for virtually everyone, it falls way short of awesome.

 2,315 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, bottled on 2/10/09. Pours a dark reddish brown with a large rocky light brown head that retains and laces the glass.

The aroma is some wheaty malts, funky yeast and acidic brett. As it warms some chocolate, fruits and leather come out.

The flavor is funky yeast and a little vinous fruitiness followed by a pretty big acidic bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, very different. I'm not sure I care for the acidic bitterness. There's a lot of brett here but it's a bit over the top and not well balanced. I'd prefer a bit more sourness. It would be interesting to see how this ages.

 638 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pours dark brown, like a porter. Tall khaki head retains well and throws down big patches of lace.

Aroma is interesting. Kiwi and green apples, dark chocolate, anise, wine soaked oak, and some horse blanket.

Medium body is creamy and well carbonated.

Taste opens sour and spicy, with tart cherries, berries, and spicy anise. Peppery alcohol joins with vinous zinfandel and musty oak to add some challenge. Dark roasty notes of chocolate and coffee emerge midway through. Some dark fruits at the finish. Plenty of funk all the way through. Seems to be too much going on here.

Unique take on a wild ale. So complex it's weird. I'd like to try this one a year down the road. An interesting experience.

 709 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, bottled on Feb 10th, 2009. Pours
black, with a dark tan head, fluffy and loose, and leaving nice bits of splotchy and standular lace. The nose is full of wood, barnyard, cheesy funk. Nice. Bold and flavorful offering. More barnyard, wood and slightly sour goodness. Dark malts also in evidence along with some hoppy dryness in the finish. Nice offering. Wish I had the patience and room in my house to put a few bottles away for a year or two and see what develops with the Brett. Hats off to any brewers who are taking risks and brewing wild ales such as this one. Seek out and enjoy

 602 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is tart dark cherries. The flavor is tart cherries as well as some chocolate, roasted malt, brett funk and leather. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very interesting beer.

 285 characters

Photo of magictrokini
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Okay, I was leery of this because of my bad experience with Avery 15. Thankfully, this was much, much better. Poured murky brown with a rocky off-white head and moderate lacing. A pleasantly dank aroma of brett and red wine, maybe some brown sugar and plums in there, too. Smooth mouthfeel, more carbonated than expected, but still nice. Funky and sweet taste. Lots of brett funk, some cheese, but an equal amount of grape juice and tannins. Saw that it was aged in a zinfandel barrels. The fruity wine flavors do come out in the end and give it a tart, dry finish. It was much easier to drink and more pleasant than 15, but it did feel as if it was missing something.

 668 characters

Photo of jamesm7485
4.97/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Havent reviewed a beer in quite awhile so figured this one merited a review.

The pour is almost like a thin porter in its appearance, very dark brown with some red hues when held up to the light.

I could smell the beer as soon as i opened it, felt like i was walking through the old fruit fields back on cape cod, raspberries, fig, grapes, lots of smoke and, some musty oak smell

The taste is amazing and is smell^10, rather sour but with an amazing malt and smoke back bone to back it up, edit( as its warmed up i get some some very dry zinfandel tones to it) GOD DAMN THIS IS GOOD

Very smooth and covers the tongue very nicely!

Very drinkable i could session these with ease but given the cost and the rarity, ill be happy with this one now and sticking one or hopefully more in the closet for future enjoyment, im REALLY looking forward to future installments in the series and am sad i didn't get to go to the release party.

 933 characters

Photo of sarahspat
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on February 10, 2009. Consumed June 17, 2009.

Pours pitch black with a mouse brown head, which is large but manageable. Good lacing. Little bit of retention.

The nose made up almost entirely of that nail polish remover quality that I picked up from Duchesse and Oro de Calabaza (the only two beers I've had that I can compare to this). It might sound bad, but it's actually quite appetizing. Also, some freshly cut grass. Some funk.

The aforementioned nail polish remover shows up on the palate as well. A barrage of sour, tart, funky, wood assaults the tongue immediately. The finish is strong, bitter burnt coffee grounds and not much else. The flavor, on the whole, is quite strong, but I can't pick out a whole lot of specific individual notes or qualities. It mostly comes across as anonymously sour. Funk is there, but it's not as forward or interesting as I would have hoped.

Creamy, soft mouthfeel. Medium-light body.

I have never had a beer quite like this; it's my first that's classified as a wild ale. However, I have a feeling that there are many better examples of the style out there. It's not particularly drinkable, complex or tasty, but it's alright.

 1,183 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.36/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Another sour fest beer. Brown beer, a little bit of beige head formed on it, about 1/16" in formation, hardly any retention. Aroma lacked a sour character to it. Smelled more like a typical belgian dark strong ale. Alcohol and dark fruit thing going on.

Taste, again, lacking a sour character, just was like a mix of the BDSA style and a brown or porter. Even the vinegar character isn't all that sour. Minor oak component discernable. Has a somewhat vinuous character, probably from the lack of carbonation, sour critters and oak.

Nothing like a wild ale, much like the domestication of the dog under human supervision, my disappointment in the avery barrel program continues unabated. Why people purchase, covet, trade for this beer, I have no idea.

 755 characters

Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a surprisingly dark brown - one shade away from black - with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes fairly quickly into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of a decent amount of funk with very slight hints of roasted malt. The funky aromas intensify a bunch as the beer warms. The aroma is nice but I'd like a bit more complexity.

Tastes more interesting than it smells. Funky flavors kick things off, then charred malts and a very small amount of chocolate join in near the end of the sip. It's tartness is very similar to their 15th anniversary - it's got a nice presence but in no way is it overpowering.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my bottle, although I'm not sure about another.

Overall this is certainly one of the more interesting, and darkest, wild ales I've tasted. Certainly worth a shot.

 973 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a dense black body that shows a red hue during the pour. There is a light tan lumpy head that has a few bubbles caught in it. The body of the beer is to dense for carbonation.

S- There is a dark dampness that has hints of dry dark malt and a cave aroma. The notes of bright dark fruit have a kind of cheesecake aroma to follow and both grow as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a bright tartness with a hint of dark malt and a fruity flavor to follow. There is a bright white wine finish to the beer with some grapefruit and Brett. flavors.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a flat texture on the tongue but still has some carbonation in the mouthfeel. There is no real alcohol heat noticed.

D- This beer starts of with some dark notes that finish with a white wine flavor. As the beer warms the white wine flavor takes on more funk in the finish and more malt in the front. It is interesting how this beer really has some unique flavors and also really changes as it warms.

 1,027 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mbunje
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased from Colorado liquor store (Superior Market) packed in bubble wrap with others and put on a plane to beautiful San Diego...then poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown with a light tan head of about 1/2" that recedes rather quickly. Looks like a porter

S - Roasted Malt with a bit of funk from the Brett...a hint of the wine from the barrel age. Not overpowering

T - Super complex, with layers. Tart cider-like fruit up front, followed by a sweet roasted malt, and ends with a dry red wine finish.

MF - Medium bodied. Coats mouth with a tanin-like residue. Mild carbonation.

D - Surprisingly drinkable taste (in other words not over the top sour) and medium body sets this up to be a very drinkable wild ale. But at $9 per 12oz....prohibitively expensive.

Overall, I am not a big sour/wild ale fan, but I think this is a pretty good effort. Not too sour/vinegary (which I thought with the wine barrel aging we could get a vinegar). Really complex taste which is the whole point of this type of beer. So, well done Avery. Let's see what comes out in batch #2
of the Barrel Aged Series

 1,114 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served cool, about 50 degrees, in a Belgian style goblet.

Pours a very dark brown color that looks almost black in the glass. Thin white head is slow to settle leaving a nice lace around the edges.

The aroma has both wine and wood in equal measures. There is also a little bit of sour funk from the wild yeast.

Taste is tart, slightly sour, and tannic. In fact, this beer has all of the basic flavors covered with sweetness up front and bitterness on the finish. The sour is kept under control by all of the other flavors and it actually seems really well balanced. The zin barrels impart a big red wine flavor to the beer and there seems to be a tannin dryness that will be recognized by wine drinkers. The final part of the puzzle, and the part that is most puzzling to me, is the roasted malts that grow more noticible as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and well carbonated. Nothing unusual or exceptional about it.

Drinkability is good but I wouldn't imagine having another any time soon.

This beer is difficult to analyze. After having La Folie and Consecration, this just falls short. I would love to know what this beer would be like if it hadn't got the zin barrel/wild yeast treatment. I feel that it would've been a strong porter and that just doesn't seem like the best starting point for this kind of beer.

 1,333 characters

Photo of alamode
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of asabreed
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. 694 cases produced. Bottled February 10th, 2009, so we're close enough that it's time to crack it, as far as the formerly planned year-long waiting period.

Appearance: A nice deep red and nearly opaque color to the body with head leaving more lacing and drops than sticking around the top of the body of the brew. Lacing's the color of mocha or dark cherry soda.

Smell: The Brett certainly makes itself known here. Lots of good and strong sourness from the yeast, and some darker wood aromas also. There's some sour cherry and sour apple in the mix, but, though subtle, there's also some fruit forward juiciness and pepper, seemingly, from the Zinfandel barrels. With the Belgian yeast, everything works pretty harmoniously here, though I feel like it could be better.

Taste: One of the things I noticed, unless it's the sourness mostly, is the good melding of the hop bitterness with the sourness. I imagine this could turn people off, but it just makes it, to me, a more original and weird brew overall. Mid-range sour cherries, and again, there's some pepper and spiciness from the Zinfandel barrels, along with hints of juicy dark berries that come through, though the Zinfandel characteristics remain a bit too brief due to the Brett and the hops, which definitely are there in the lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Seemingly lighter than I would've expected, with little front-end carbonation that moves quickly into a wave of spritzy, yet compact, carbonation that seems to fit this perfectly, letting the sourness coat its way around.

Drinkability: As a huge Zinfandel fan, I was excited to try this. Though it didn't disappoint, I wonder if the $9-$10 price range represents just how good it is. Everything's a solid "good" for me, but nothing goes past that point I suppose. Then again, I have a hard time picking out things I don't like about it. At first I wondered if a bomber would've been the apt size, but this is so complex and nuanced that more than 12 oz. might also numb your entire mouth with the sourness. If you can still pick it up, give it a shot, because it's pretty different than most sour ales, unless Russian River's going to do one like this soon -- in Zin barrels -- if they haven't already.

 2,265 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Label reads: 8.65 % ABV, bottled Feb. 10, 2009.

Color is unusual, considering funky Brett-infused ales tend to run quite a bit lighter. Now that typically wild leathery Brett smell actually comes with looks to match, being an extra-dark brown that might as well be black. Head doesn't last long and lace isn't abundant, just spotty here and there.

Oh, that wicked armpit smell, or perhaps, barely more poetically, that sweat-soaked saddle leather smell. However, it's not a total stink-fest, as fig and other dark fruits arrive as does a very distant soured chocolate-milk smell. So very interesting.

No surprise that the flavor is rather vinous, considering this was aged for eight months in Zinfandel barrels. Still lots of dark fruit (fig, date) soaked in saddle-sweat and wrapped up in a dirty sock. And we like it like that. A bit of wood creeps in. Unforgiving tartness middle to end, although Brabant is quite dry and leaves only a trace of funk-and-tart in the finish. Something sweet tried to elbow in, like watered-down chocolate milk, but ultimately it's dominated by the wilder, wickeder wood, wine and yeast flavors.

A bit tingly and even sharp at first, this wasn't the texture I expected, or even wanted, but eventually it seemed to lend the beer an even more individualistic character. Light in presence but hardly unassuming, it gives another layer of depth to this intriguing beer.

A tough beer to define, a little rough to enjoy if you're not into crazy-ass, bizarre, way left-of-center beers, and one that I can't possibly know inside and out with only one 12 oz. bottle. Even if I had another, I'm not sure I'd pour it right away once this was gone. This is a beer that makes plenty of demands on the tastebuds. Glad to have tried it and would love to revisit. One of Avery's best? Not really, but hardly a slouch.

 1,842 characters

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at The Ginger Man. A very nice wild ale. Dark chocolate colour, with small Caesar off-white head. Good lace. Some chocolate, a wild ale taste all he way, good bitterness, with a tart finish. While nicely drinkable, had to share out a 330 ml with other patrons as I got it in the first half of the bottle. Would work with food.

 333 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Avery surprised me with this one! I was expecting something golden, but this is dark, and - chocolatey! It's not very chocolatey, but there's a definite component to it. It's subtly roasty as well; and of course there's a solid woodiness. Beyond that, or I guess even before you even get to that, there's the funky barnyard. It's bright and intriguing with lots of leather and some manure along with a sharp note of tartness. The aroma reminds me very much of the chestnuts being roasted by street vendors in Manhattan during the holiday season. And then wood and funk and a fruity vinous note. And mixed with the caramelish and chocolatey notes it gives an almost spicy character as well (think ginger cookies or something like that). The bitterness is of course limited, but there's a bit there. The balance is impeccable though. You couldn't go any more "sharp" without throwing the darker malt notes out of balance and leaving the whole thing askew. And I guess that's what's most interesting about it - it delivers a lot of funkiness up front, but then it also offers a good chunk of maltiness behind it. Finally, in the finish, they merge into one rounded, polished note. It's like chocolate and wine and horse shit! :) - quite nice, and fairly complex. The alcohol, at 8.65% abv, is not really noticeable, yet I think it does make an impression in the overall character, and along with the woodiness lends to that spiciness I mentioned earlier. Well worth seeking out. A really unique "Belgian" style beer brewed in America.

 1,531 characters

Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev +4.2%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brabant from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 391 ratings