Brute | Ithaca Beer Company

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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with vintage (aged) local hops, barley, wheat, corn, aged in oak with Brett and finished with three types of champagne yeast.

Added by albern on 06-22-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 391 | Ratings: 843
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Curran at his tasting.

Pours a hazy golden yellow, with a small half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells fairly tart and funky, with lots of lemon, peach, and white grapes.

The taste is similar. This is slightly less sour than I was expecting, but still fairly puckering. There's a strong champagne taste, with lots of tart and sour fruits- oranges, green apples, lemons, grapes, peaches. There's a good amount of lactic acid that lingers on the lips throughout drinking this.

Light to medium bodied, crisp, tart, and dry mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Medium carbonation is lovely and keeps this refreshing.

A wonderfully dry sour, I wish Ithaca could still make beer like this.

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Photo of DaveHack
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch E!037 poured into an Ithaca tulip.

Pours a very bright yet hazy orange. Huge white, billowy head settles quickly.

Smells is very musty citrus.

First taste is almost a bready funk, followed by a beatiful rush of tart citrus.

Mouthfeel is so light and refreshing. There is just the right amount of sour to make your mouth water and want more!

This beer is just awesome. One of the best sours...or just one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of timtim
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

batch E!027 pours a hazy, glowing, (pink?)peach color with an off-white head that holds for a while before shrinking to a substantial film with a big collar. wow! nose!!! this beer is gorges. first thing i am reminded of is those sticks of candy that looked like a piece of chalk that you would dip in different flavors of flavored stuff. grapefruit comes through next, accompanied by apricot, peach, earth, hop?(thought they would have lost all their flavor before aging), the slightest tiniest bit of oak and a touch of wet-rock-cobweb-barn-funk. complex, but bright and playful. taste is a blast of citrus (and tropical fruit), tart and sweet with a lively level of prickliness that lifts everything off the palate to expose a really kind of like wet rock mountain spring thing that really gets the point across about why they call this Brute (brut). dry as a bone and citrusy sweet? nicely done. medium body that is relatively creamy underneath the zippy carbonation and zing of the wheat. something in the finish of this beer definitely says ithaca too, and i like that. accidentally started chugging my glass halfway through my first pour. 5 for drinkability. creative. unique.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque/cloudy yellow and hazy. Big white head when poured with a gratuitous amount of carbonation on display.

S - Very impressed. Dry and tart aromas with hints of lemon, yeast funk, hay, and barnyard. Complex to say the least

T - Again, very dry and tart with a lot of brett funk right off the bat. Transitions to dry hay in the middle. The corn adds a lot of carbonation and a nice earthy/dusty flavor. Light citric notes from the champagne yeast and finishes dry and woody.

M - Lots of carbonation on this one that fills the palate. Light/medium body that leaves the palate bone dry almost. A sipper due to the dryness and amount of carbonation present.

O - A superb example of style IMO and a very interesting line-up of ingredients. The brett blends excellently with the champagne yeast and the flavors produced are spot on.

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Photo of mcallister
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pissy golden elixir with an exploding hand head of white light and fluffy with moderate retetntion leaving slight lacing in its wake.

Sensational nose. Tart fruits, peach, apricot, berry, funky woodsy tones, very yeasty and effervescent. Apple, pear, and other goodness. Complex nice and exciting.

Richly complex with great balance of brett. Leaving a stringy tart fruit filled endeavor traveling over the length of the pallate. Nice acidity and carbonation. Oak shows nicely on the lengthy finish. Very refreshing with layer upons layer of succulent fruit slightly sweet. So tasty and delicious. Peach, pear, apple, berry, apricot and more.

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Photo of gyllstromk
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My friend Ted gave me this awesome beer as a wedding gift.

Pours a hazy golden with a big, foamy head. Nose is tart green apples, sweet tarts, pineapple, a well balanced Brett undertone. Flavor is tart, Bretty champagne. Tartness is slightly tamer than I expected but quite tasty. Very bubbly and drinkable, although the tartness may be overpowering after a while for some.

Awesome stuff!

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to score some of this wonderful beer on tap at Deep Ellum during craft brewers week.

Straw yellow colored with a fluffy long lasting head. Very sexy looking beer.

The smell was not as funky as I would have expected but it may have more to do with the crowded bar than the beer.

Wonderful sour flavor. A near prefect balance of lactic sourness and barnyard funk. Quite a pleasant finish and extremly drinkable.

This is an AWESOME sour. It would stand up to any American Wild Ales I have ever had. I have a few bottles tucked away and can't wait to try the bottled verison with a few months on it.

Highly reccomended if you are down with the funk

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Photo of sukwonee
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very good looking beer. Huge head (at least 3 fingers) with lots of bubbles and lacing. Cloudy orange body.

S: Lemon, yeast, oak, funk

Taste: Lemon, tart and sour, I also taste some breadiness, earthy-ness, barnyard, very good. Sour and puckering.

M: It's perfect. Good amoung of carbonation, mouth puckering, dry.

O: Very glad I got to try this bottle. It's been one of my top wants for a long time.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this as an awesome extra from petesuphi. Thanks a lot man!

Split with my wife to ring in the new year.
Served in white wine glasses.

Looks great. A hazy, honey-touched blonde with a thick froth of white head. The 2 finger head settles into a nice thick cap of bubbles, leaving behind some clingy chunks and blobs of lacing.

Smells of sour apple, acidic white grapes, oaky notes, and fruit-- apricots and pears. The yeast smells quite like champagne-- dry, slight funk, and very VERY well-balanced. I'm ultimately highly impressed with this beer.

Taste is just like I'd expect: a slight fruit sweetness up front (apples, pears, white grapes, etc), a funky Brett note in the middle, and a crisp clean champagne yeast finish. The sourness is perfectly balanced and integrated. The beer is exceptionally drinkable-- if I had it to do over again, this would be my wedding toast beer! I can't get over how tasty and complex this thing is. Just fantastic. It is nice and dry with a great tartness and a bubbly acidity. It almost scrubs my tongue as I sip it. Very big carbonation-- but it works perfectly.

Wow. My wife and I were almost fighting over this beer. She would have drank this all night-- I had to put an end to that!!
Unbelievably tasty and drinkable. I hope to get more bottles of this for future special occasions!

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Photo of xenjoiii
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml - Batch E!037

A: Poured a cloudy, and bright golden color with a two finger snow-white head.

S: Funk, acidity, citrus and a bit of oak.

T: The taste is by far the standout point of this beer. Mild to medium tartness upfront that evolves into a citrusy/oaky finish. Every sip is bright and refreshing.

M: Medium carbonation with a solid body.

O: Le Bleu minus the bleu. Brilliantly balanced, incredibly refreshing, and a taste that perpetually pulls you in for more. One of the best sours that I have had to date.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pale golden with a big white head and lots of bubbles. Looks a little like Champagne.

Funky nose, as expected, white peach, sweat, and leather to boot. The aroma of a great American Wild.

Flavors of under-ripe peach and white grapes, great fruit to sour balance. CO2 effervescence and a super dry finish make it a very Champange-like experience. More? Yes, please.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes 2/25/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing this bottle! Very excited to try it.

A: Poured a pale amber with a slight cloudiness. Nice white head that grew up to two fingers in height but dissipated to a 1/2 finger layer of foam bubbles that lasted throughout.

S: Lots of tart fruit, extremely strong. There is some sour apple and a little bit of grapefruit, apricot, and peaches. Very inviting.

T: A very nice sour/tart flavor. Lots of fruit flavors - apples, grapefruit, apricots, and some peaches. There is a very nice grassy/earthy hop component that has a bit of lemony flavor as well.

M/D: Has a nice mouth puckering quality. Light to medium bodied with spot on carbonation. Extremely drinkable with an amazing flavor profile.

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Photo of aasher
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. This bottle was courtesy of thagr81us in a massive trade a few months back. Thanks for hitting this HUGE want of mine Calton!

This beer pours a very cloudy and medium bodied tangerine orange in color with a two finger and beady head. This beer appears to have a lot of activity. It has a really nice nose. You get citrusy tartness, funk, brett, chapagne yeast, chardonnay barrel, and a white grape like fruitness. The flavors feature a nice tart white grape aspect, funk, brett, citrus peels, brett, and it finishes really smooth. This beer has insane drinkability for the style. It has the perfect level of tartness and is mouthwatering. I expected a lot from this beer and it delivered and then some. This beer is somewhat comparable to Temptation for me and I loved it. I'll have to track down a few more bottles.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Lum for this bottle!

750mL capped and corked, 7% alcohol

A - Pours a full, frothy, tiny-bubbled, white, three finger cap over a hazy hay-yellow body.

N- Smells tart and sour, with tons of bretty hay and barnyard, crisp and clean. Dry oaky wood over tart crisp green grape skins, underripe pear and melon. A little grainy background, all very nicely blended.

T - Whoa, sour punch up front that quickly fades into a very interestingly balanced body that smoothes out nicely. Hay and tart horse stall funkiness start somewhat sharp and then ease into citric acid, blending further into a nice full stale grain flavor at the finish, still highlighting plenty of brett. Throughout the sip are notes of lemon zest, melon rind, honey, and crisp yellow apple, all wrapped up nicely by a bright tannic oak flavor. Combination of brett and champaign yeasts serve to create a very crisp clean flavor with nice depth and complexity.

F - Lighter medium body comes across as being very light from the tight crisp champaign bubbles and a dry clean mouthfeel.

D - Simply put, I could drink a lot of this. It's refreshing, satisfying, smooth, crisp, light, full, and extremely tasty all at the same time. I'm sure I've had better beers than this (maybe), but few that were this easy to drink.

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Photo of antilogic
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off -- this is a great beer. I pop'ed a 750ml bottle (!E010) of Brute to celebrate finishing the GMATs. Nice to see the brew co from my old college town really turning up the quality on beers. It's great to see a $15 beer that gives the $20-30 JP,RR, LA sours a run for their money.

Color was cloudy gold with a white thin head. Aroma was slightly funky/sour with a nice mix of fruit and floral. Taste is definite sour, with some sweet with a hint of wine or mead (honey). Non-overpowering sourness, maybe apple. This beer is dangerously drinkable. I'm going to do my best to get a few bottles of this when I'm on the east coast this winter.


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Photo of dar482
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The aroma offers apple vinegar, crab apple and lemon tart, funk, stone fruit.

The beer hits of tart apples, vinegar, some hay funk, a hint of apple cider vinegar, more tart qualities, but complimented by a dry and bubbly finish like champagne. A really well done sour by Ithaca.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, batch number E!037, poured into a snifter. Huge thanks to Eli for opening this.

A- Pours a hazy gold amber color, topped with a finger of white head, leaves nice lacing.

S- Really delicious aroma of fruit, mostly white grapes and some lemon, musty funk, straw, brett, also some nice perfumey notes. Incredible.

T- Restrained sourness, nice, soft fruitiness of white grape and lemon, as well as hay and bretty and earthy funk.

M- Medium-bodied, moderate to low-ish carbonation, smooth, soft feel, dry finish.

O- A really delicious sour, the flavors are subtle but highly complex, it's really too bad that this won't be made again.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch # E!037

750ml bottle poured into a Deschutes Tulip glass.

A - Pours a golden, straw color with a huge off-white head. Great retention.

S - Belgian yeast, spice, green apples.

T - Champagne like, apples, slight funk.

D - Belgian tartness, tons of carbonation with a light body.

O - Delicious, light and airy.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Matt (Huhzubendah) for bringing this to a recent tasting at my place, been wanting to try this in a 'controlled' tasting setting for a long time having only tried this at festivals.

A: Very pretty orange color with a ring of white head with minimal lacing. Pretty.

S: A very refined smell of clean citrus tartness, farmhouse malt and robust yeast (nice!), and great light fruit overall. I get a nice helping of brett in the nose as well as the oak. Overall seems like a tart version of a great white wine.

T: Excellent full layer of flavor here. Has a defined taste up front of tart citrus, a bigger fruit rind and sweeter middle, and a little bittering finish with ripe fruit. Overall, oak and vanilla preside over all of this. Very excellent clean and refined tartness and flavor.

M: Clean and juicy without any annoying 'overtart' or overdrying qualities.

Overall a great beer I'll be looking to have again sometime.

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Photo of RodneyX
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden colored beer that had some white head on it and some lacing as well. It smells great with good tartness and reminds me of RR Temptation. Taste is really good as well with some tartness and sweetness that goes down real easily and finishes a little bit dry. The carbonation makes it light and refreshing. I loved this beer and am trying to get more.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice darker chardonnayish champagney looking beer. Really pretty. Aroma revealed more of the same aroma aspects from a white wine, but also some virgin oak I would guess with the clean brett existence (not so much funkitude up in this one).

Taste, beautiful, clean, sour. Very similar to The Vine from Cascade, this one is a little more sessionable and less sour, relying on brett more than the aforementioned, which I believe divies up its sourness between a variety of bugs. Acidity kept in check, I don't really care about that one, acidic or not, a beer is not good based upon that factor in my book. Fruit existence is low, might be something like green apple, maybe some light citrus like lemon, but that's about it, definitely no dark fruit. Carbonation was perfect.

I brought this one to the sour share in Reno last month.

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Photo of korguy123
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!037 into tulip

A- Dark orange pour with two finger bubbly white head. Drops to thin cap. Champagne is working overtime in the glass. Gobs of sticky lacing.

S- Lemon, grass and a touch of sweetness. There is a vanilla with a light floral hop.

T- Bright lemon tartness, slight vinegar acidity. Sour apples and grape skins.

M- Medium bodied, huge carbonation from the champagne yeast.

O- Wild ale and champagne hybrid. Very good.

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Photo of jampics2
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy gold into my Cantillon tasting glass. Just a great looking beer!

Smell is amazing. Apple skin, sour funk (this is a batch 2, so going on a year old I believe so the Brett is very present), strawberries.

Taste follows the nose. Sour peaches and a touch of zing from the yeast are present. The sour apple is dominating. Amazing on the pallate.

The mouthfeel on this beer is second to none IMO. The fizziness is in your face, but the body holds up and makes this just a delight. I think this is the best mouthfeel I've experienced on an American Wild. Nicely done!

Drinkability is exceptional. Not too acidic, just a pure joy as it makes its way down my throat. Wow. This is what great beer is all about, one of my faves!

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing!

Batch E!027

Poured into a tulip. Color is hazy golden and the head is huge when poured. The white head shrinks into lacing.

This smells of tart apples and the funkiness is well tamed for a brett beer. A hint of lemon citrus also noted.

This is really a wonderful tasting beer. A slight bit of sweetness first hits the tip of the tongue but is followed by a crisp, tart finish. I am pleasantly surprised by the flavor, as there is not much dirty, horseblanketyness to it. This is really a brett beer for the people.

This is a fantastic beer that I'm glad to have tried. I will definately be on the lookout for more

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.51/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to eclectic for this one!

This one pours a foggy peach and straw color that's very clear around the edges. The head is a soft fluffy white.

Smells of dry cranberry and tart green apple with a touch of dry oak. There's also a touch of cork to this. Beneath is a subtle cocktail of soft pie crust and almost nutmeg along with a hint of barn yard funk.

Tastes of a similar cranberry, apple, oak and cork. The balance here is lovely. The way these tart and funky flavors just seem to float around on their own is really impressive.

Feels soft, smooth and tingly leaving my mouth with a sour snap.

This one's pretty outstanding. The drinkability for an assertive sour beer here is off the charts.

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Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
4.39 out of 5 based on 843 ratings.
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