Brabant | Avery Brewing Company

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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.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-09-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 391 |  Reviews: 298
Photo of AleWatcher
1.8/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I brought a bottle to a recent tasting... Can't remember who sent me this thing, but thanks!
Reviewed from notes dictated into voice notes on my iphone.

"There's almost no sourness to this thing... Man, it's almost like a porter..." These are the first words on my voice note... Figured I'd include them simply because I spoke them.

Dark brown, minimal head, no lacing. Looks flat... Actually, looks kind of like old coffee.
Smell has some sweet and dark malts... and that's pretty much it. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on here. This is really disappointing to me.
The flavor starts sweet with caramel malts and a maple syrup note and a vinegary-soy sauce on the finish. Just the slightest hints of tartness and sourness-- but remaining short of being actually tart or actually sour. Just flat.

Nothing about this impresses me.
Overall, not good. This may have been good when fresh, but it certainly isn't good now.

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Photo of alamode
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of jtrockchalk
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of PhillyStyle
2.04/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: The beer served up a nice dark brown, call it cola, with a nice brownish head that was not all that well retained, except for a small thin cap. This is the best part of the beer.

S: The aroma is overwhelmingly sour and the zinfandel is upfront and very overpowering. The Zin aroma really is off-putting to me.

T: The taste really follows the aroma; the Zinfandel is upfront along with the sourness.

M & D: The beer had a medium body with decent carbonation, dry aftertaste. The sourness of the beer along with the strong Zinfandel taste really made this beer very unenjoyable for me. It was a drain pour. Overall, I applaud the brewery for trying to be creative, but for the love of beer, stick to the basic 4 ingredients.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.06/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Received in a trade from Uwftke26. Thanks Ryan!

A: Pours a surprisingly dark purpleish-brown (puce?) color with just the faintest glow when held to the light. Nearly opaque. The foam is light beige in color, about an inch thick in my Chimay glass, and it retains pretty well before retreating into a light film on the brew. It leaves some trails of lacing at first, but the latter half leaves no evidence.

S: Very yeasty and full of white zinfandel, cherries, and tannins. I get a noticeable smell of barnyard funk and must, too. Nicely tart.

T: Lacking in tartness, sourness, and funkiness for what the smell implies. The vinous character is quite heavy, but the barrel-aging seems to have stripped its edges and produced a largely fruity but not dry character. Sour cherries make an appearance, and tannins are strong throughout. A strong presence of earth and yeast, too. It almost feels like the beer isn't ready yet; it needs more time for the brett to take over, more time for the sugars to get used up, and the yeast really needs to back off and stop being so strong in the taste. Lots of promise but disappointing execution. I stand by my score here; for the style I think this is poor.

M: Light-medium bodied, almost creamy with moderate carbonation. Most beers of this style (at least, the Russian River ones) are much more fizzy and carry a more aggressive profile. This is, again, almost unfinished-feeling in its restraint.

D: I think this one needs some work, but it has a lot of promise. Too much wine and yeast, too little dryness / tartness / sourness. In general a muddled brew. Could be a great beer with tweaks.

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Photo of aasher
2.16/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Zinfandel barrel aged I'm told. Pours a medium bodied Coca Cola brown in color with beige lacing. It smells of grape juice, what the hell? The flavor is the slightest of tarts with a lot of grape and grape skins without being tannic. It has low acidity as well. This is just weird. It has so much grape without showing any wine characteristics. Were they going for that? Hopefully not. Overall I can't like it. It's artificial and awkward. It's a no go all around. Welchs grape juice hybrid gone wrong.

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Photo of maximum12
2.23/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Blue Max not long ago. Avery is one of the breweries that helped ease me into this whole BA thing, so very interested to try something off-the-wall from them.

Poured into a nice, heavy tulip my wife bought me for my birthday last year. It's dark. Not black, but dark, which is odd. Head fizzles away in the same color-scheme & quickly retires. Smell is pure brett - chunk-a-funk & cherry bushes.

Brabant isn't ready for prime-time yet. The zin embraces a very earthy mustiness that must be part & parcel of the wild yeasts, but it's more dirty that tart, more yeasty than...well, it's yeasty. Whatever strain of brett happened here, it's not playing with the Zin nicely. The two need an intervention. Really, I'd like to find some more flavors in here, but the must is overpowering, & it's not good, & growing worse as it warms.

Disappointed. Was hoping for something excellent with some wine-like notes to it, but instead this tastes like it was stored in dirt barrels rather than wine barrels; & at the price, I wouldn't venture another try. Always go back for more Avery stuff, but this one's a bad miss for me; not sure I'm going to finish it.

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Photo of hensonkid
2.31/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Aroma: Funk-forward that promises lots of oak and stuff that oak probably grows out of. A little acidic twinge in there too, as well as some old Halloween candy.

Appearance: Gorgeous pour and nice creamy head. Super-dark all the way through, disguising the sediment that must be swimming around in this.

Flavor: Assault of oak. A lot of Zin on the back end, along with all the attendant dark fruit flavors you'd expect in that profile. Sourness and acidity are too timid and get lost in an almost Goodyear-strength rubber taste. Complexity is apparent, but really difficult to unravel. Suggests a need for further aging.

Mouthfeel: Tannins are actually nice and the dry-pucker is what I hoped for. A little creamier than I expected.

This a really interesting, though not entirely enjoyable (yet), ale. The enthusiasm comes through loud and clear, but more patience is required in the conditioning. My remaining bottles are going to nap for at least 6 months in the basement before I give it another go. I am excited, however, to taste what happens with all that brett and oak with a little more time.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.35/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Brown beer with some reddish highlights. Tan head that rose up about three fingers and had some moderate retention and lacing.

S - Smells horrible, like feet or rotting garbage. If you can get past that there is some vinegar and apple notes, along with some sweet malts. This is just horrifying though with the awful rotting smell.

T - Taste is mildly better with some more vinegar and sour/funk notes coming through. It still tastes kind of like garbage, so this isn't very good.

M - Littly slick, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - I found this beer to be repulsive and will not drink it again.

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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.

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Photo of kscaldef
2.4/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: A very dark brown. As dark as many stouts. Raises a moderate head on the pour but doesn't stick around for long.

S: Strong wine aromas. Musty cherry, a bit of prune. Light acetic notes.

T: Earthy. Mushy fruit, coffee grounds, overripe banana.

M: High carbonation. Medium-to-low body.

O: Seems like this is well over the hill (or wasn't good to start with). Disappointing as I'm usually quite fond of the Avery barrel-aged beers.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.41/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Brown beer, barely a head forms, extremely minimal. Didn't smell tart or sour, really reeked of alcohol.

Taste had acetic notes, vinegar, musty brown oud bruin kinda burton thing going on here, I immediately don't like it. A little wood and vinegar just won't go away. This was a bad beer, would not recommend.

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Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of Crosling
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown color. Smooth, light tan foam. Nose shows a lot of brett, along with light notes of raspberry, cherry and oak from the Red Zin barrels. Flavor tastes like brett, alcohol, along with a lightly vinous character. Overall, it's quite dull and simplistic in body. Doesn't seem to have a lot of concentration or depth. Don't like the nose to well or flavor, also would prefer natural carbonation. Tasted again: The combo of brett & the vinous character really clash for me.

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Photo of grub
2.59/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle topped with gold foil. sampled feb 4/2011.

pours deep brown with a small cap of light brown head. drops fairly fast but leaves a bunch of lace.

aroma is okay. really buttery. lactic sourness. lemon. cider and malt vinegar. horse blanket and leather. slightly prickly alcohol. bit of dark chocolate. whole wheat bread. cracker. bit of grain.

taste is meh. malt vinegar. bit of dark chocolate. buttery burnt whole wheat bread. leather. bit of tobacco. light horse blanket. dirt. feet. rotted wood. alcohol. slightly sloventy. low bitterness level. this one seems to get worse with each sip.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. medium-low carbonation level. fairly dry finish.

drinkability is okay. the alcohol is present. the sourness/acidity is restrained, but there's a whole lot of "what the fuck" and less desirable traits. not even sure i'll finish my half of the bottle...

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Photo of johnnieoz
2.63/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

As noted by others, the abv is 8.65% and this particular brew was bottled on 10 February 2009.

A: Lovely dark brown hues, which leave considerable lacing.

S: Tart, musty, farmhouse funk.

T: Initially quite sweet, but soon the sourness takes over. There is a hint of the Zin barrel at all stages. This tastes like funky wine, i.e. not something for me.

M: Solid enough.

D: I returned to this after a 30 minute dinner, wondering if I'd be more impressed. No. I prefer sipping on other sour, wild ales. Would this age well? Hmmm...

I'm not an Avery person it seems...I believe I preferred Avery 15 to this (a side by side would be warranted if someone else paid for it). I hear Maharaja will prove the exception to this rule...and I also need to try the Reverend and Salvation. I want to like this brewery...

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Photo of nick76
2.64/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is right for a wild fermentation, it's sour and funky with wood, wine, and malt. The appearance is deep red brown with a large head. The flavor is like the aroma and not to my liking. Overall the palate is right for the style. Overall it's a quality beer but it just doesn't taste good.

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Photo of abraxel
2.7/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF 5, sent to me by sholland119. Poured into a snifter.

A - Very dark brown, almost opaque, but pretty thin. The head is very fizzy and dissipates quickly. Looks like a thin stout or porter, perhaps.

S - Some fruity, cherry esters, a bit sour. A touch of sweet, dark malt. The bretty sourness is somewhat nice, but could be better. This seems to be toeing the thin line between delicious sour beer and mediocre sour beer.

T - Similar to the aroma, there's some tart and sour cherry on top of somewhat smooth, dark malt. The sourness and funkiness is more up-front than in the aroma. Freshly chilled (to something like 45 degrees) it has some wine-like acidity and isn't bad, but as it warms it steps over that thin line. The slightly vinegary acidity gets too strong and clashes with the dark malt and it's a little unpalatable, almost reminiscent of stomach acid. But... now as I reach the end of the glass the acidity settles down and the cherry and dark malt come back into play, and the sourness complements the rest. Now it tastes good... Crap, I just don't know what to say.

M - Moderately smooth. In the middle, the gross acidity lingered far too much, but at the beginning and end it was perfectly fine.

Overall... wha? I truly enjoyed the last few ounces, but there was a temperature range where it was kinda gross.

Non-blind comments: I'm generally a fan of wild/sour beers, but for some reason this just didn't tickle my fancy. If I had started at cellar temp, I might have had a better experience, but there are just too many other tasty wilds for me to want to seek this one out again.

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Photo of redfacedshooter
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of jrallen34
2.84/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

After hearing how bad this, and seeing 2 people gag in front of me, the ticker in me still stupidly gave this is a try. Served in a Bells tulip...Pours a super dark brown, can't beleive how dark this is. No carbanation at all...The aroma is ok, light wood, vinous, sweet, just not much funk, hard to think of this as a wild...The taste is terrible, no funk, woody, harsh, stale.

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Photo of jjanega08
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A= pours a dark brown black color with smber highlights when held up to the light. The head is about two fingers but doesn't look like it really wants to hold together well but it certainly does. I guess the head isn't thick enough but it gets the job done and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.
S= little cherries and lots of brett. There's a small amount of vinegar noticed as well but I suppose the predominent odor is bretty sort of cherries which equates to a sort of soft cheesy cherry smell that's close but not quite a candy cherry smell.
T= suprising tasting. At first I noticed the sour cherry taste. Not as bretty as I picked up in the smell. That's quickly taken over by a roasted malt flavor that is mixed with some of the sour vinegar sort of taste. Then there's another layer of complexity when the cherries come back with the brett... a little cheesy anfd cherry like. The finish is like a porter taste with dark malts like roasted barley and maybe some chocolate malt. But there's a little sharp acidity that comes from it as well sort of cleaning the back of my tongue. A little alcohol burn as well. After I take a couple more sips and I take a deep breathe and ehale out my nose I notice a fishy kind of taste. Which just ruined everything else I tasted in it.
M= dry as hell with the acidity cleaning my tongue off and the sweetness coming through.
D= this beer is just a porter aged in barrels with sour bacteria and brett. I give them credit for trying it but I just don't think a porter is made to be soured. Interesting and I'm glad I tried it because it answered some questions of mine but it just doesn't work like most sours do.

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Photo of ballewblake
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my Fulled stemmed glass.

Pours a dark black with a tan head that drops almost instant. Wow, maybe I'm just not feeling sours tonight or this is waaaay too young. Leathery smell, not sure what I'm getting, maybe pepper, and sours? Yeah, dude at the store acted like this was heaven, I'm not seeing it at all. Flavor is off putting. Its like a stout with brett in oak, not very well done. Slightly better as it warms, some vanilla comes out in the flavor. DO NOT smell this beer. I think the smell is the worst thing about it now that its warmed a little. I'll let one or two age, but I doubt I'd buy this again, or seek it out.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.93/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this in Chicago at my parents' house. The beer was much darker than I expected, dark brown color with a tan foam, a little lacing. The beer smelled funky and sour, kind of some dark fruits in the back. The taste was a hit of sweet fruits and sour tartness, Vinegar and Belgian dark ale mixed up. A little oak at the end if I didn't imagine it from the label. Overall it was OK, not up to par with RR American wild ales, and way too expensive. I'm gonna recommend against it.

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Photo of brdc
2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Small capped bottle poured into a tulip.

Quite dark, one shade below black, light tan, two finger head, good retention, average lacing.
Aroma is acid and tart, malty, spicy, minimal fruitiness. For some reason, it does not blend well, although all individual parts are nice.
Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, it is tart, acidic, fruity with mostly bitter/acrid cherries and currants.
There is a faint oakiness, some grapes, but the overall result is at times too acrid, and not all that pleasant. Individually, a lot of nice notes, but not blending very well. Disappointing.

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Photo of FickleBeast
2.97/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a Harpoon Winter Warmer Snifter

A - pours dark brown with one finger of foam that dissipates quickly.

S - Whoa! There is a lot going on here. Smells kind of like red wine, also smells like a lambic. I'm guessing the lambic aroma is really Brett. Smells like sour apple also. The more I smell it, the more I like the smells.

T - Unusual. Like nothing I've had before. It is not malty. It is not have hop flavor or bitterness. It almost tastes like a bad carbonated wine. Harshly bitter aftertaste.

M - very fizzy on the tongue. There is a strange bitterness (not hoppy) that makes me pucker. Alcoholic warmth.

D - Not great. I don't like the flavor, and the alcohol is coming off pretty hot. Maybe this needs to age a bit.

Ok, so this is the first Wild Ale I've ever had... I understand it is an aquired taste. I won't go out of my way to try another Wild Ale.

Note to self: Stick to Maharaja!

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Brabant from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 391 ratings