Brute | Ithaca Beer Company

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843 Ratings

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 843 |  Reviews: 391
Photo of treyrab
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BeerTruth for this one. This has been sitting in the cellar for a few months and decided to bring it out after taking the first part of the CPA exam yesterday.

A: Pours a hazy vibrant yellow with a large white head on the first pour. The champagne yeast has really yielded a large head that lasts a while, but recedes to a skim of head atop the beer.

S: Nice, very vibrant and tart lemon coupled with other tart fruits of peaches and apple blended magnificently with some dry oak, white grapes and hints of vanilla.

T: Very sharp, and very acidic. Mouth puckering indeed. Tart lemon, dry oak, tart, sour apples, and hints of vanilla. This is great, but not much depth here. A nice easy, sour but not too complex.

M/D: The mouthfeel is very high thanks to the champagne yeast. It is nice, light and refreshing.

Overall, this was a great beer. Very easily drinkable sour that I would like to have to lay down for a few years.

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle generously shared by Treyrab with Ashherb17 and myself. Poured into a tulip, pours a spritz golden orange with some pink tones that run through the body. Really nice soft white head that rests to a half-finger layer.

Incredibly tart lemon. The yeast shows through perfectly, and brings such an incredible sour component. Some lighter tart cherry lingers in with some nice soft vanilla creme. The fruits flourish out of the glass and smell unbelievably fresh. Some tart grapefruit adds a nice touch as well.

The taste is really good. Nice and easy drink. Very acetic, with some great tart lemons and orange. A light bit of grapefruit sourness. Really light, kind of falls off at the end and lacks complexity, but still a very nice sour by all means. It tastes like a sour patch kid.

Reminiscent of The Bruery's Cuvee Jeune with a little bit more carbonation.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's not much more to be said about this beer that hasn't already been said.

It's clearly pretty effervescent, but still delicate on the tongue.

And it looks great in the glass - nice golden color and big, bright white head (although the retention and lacing could be a bit better).

It smells like peaches and apples and lemon; and soft grass with just a soft bit of leather, wet straw, and earth.

The flavor is tart and fruity, and lightly funky but it's not puckeringly sour. It's dry and a hint mineralish, or maybe I should say slightly chalky - as with Champagne, it makes me think of citrus rind, but that's not really there; and it suggests some astringency, but that's not really there either. Interesting.

What makes it stand out, however, is how far they were actually willing to take this - it really is sharp! It's not just a lightly done Brett beer - no, there's more to it than just wild yeast. Perhaps it's the aging on oak, and perhaps it's the Champagne yeast. And with that said, it's pretty damned clean for being "funky". On the other hand, a little more mustiness and barnyard would give it more depth; but I don't think that's what they were going for. In my mind it's more like a "Biere du Champagne", or at least a kind of cross-over hybrid. But whatever it is, it's really drinkable, and I can live with that. Interesting, charming, and drinkable!

P.S. - I paid a high price for this at $22 a bottle, but that's still less than Deus; and although it hasn't been shipped to France and treated as "Champagne", I still enjoyed it just as much, and possibly more.

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Photo of mcallister
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
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 Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dirty beige color ale with a quite large bubbly head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma of sour notes with distinctive notes of oak with light green apple notes. Taste is also a very well balance notes between some oak with some sour notes and some light barnyard notes with a distinctive Brett dry finish. I must admit that this is one of the best American sour I have tasted to date and very close to some of the Belgian lambic. Body is quite full with limited filtration and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very well done and something I would buy again even considering the hefty price tag.

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Photo of schroederm
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a chalice:

Tons of fine-bubbled white head over cloudy yellow/brown body. Excellent lacing. A huge sour presence in the nose with green apple all over the place. Grape soda present as well. Wonderful malt start followed by green apple bitter. Notes of currant and raisin. Tons of sour. Mouthfeel is quite smooth and very thick. Carbonation is a little too high. Overall, delicious and the flavor is not overwhelming.

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Photo of mintjellie
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden and slightly hazy with a compact white head (and lots of it!). Some lace, and a steady stream of bubbles renewing the head. Great retention!

Smells of sour lemon and apple. Sparkling white wine. A touch of vinegar.

Tart lemon hits the palate right away. Apple is there too. Tart and bone dry. Dry sparkling wine. This beer is very wine-like.

Light and effervescent mouthfeel. I found this surprisingly refreshing, especially after approaching it with some trepidation.

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Photo of koopa
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle received in a trade with jjayjaye. Thanks for the opportunity!

Appearance: Slightly cloudy urine yellow body with a bright white 2 finger crown that exhibits some retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Very acidic notes of lemon zest, some muscat grapes, and a touch of horse blanket.

Taste: Very nice dry puckering sourness! Green apple, lemon zest, oak, muscat grapes, etc.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation, enjoyably thin and effervescent.

Drinkability: If it wasn't so sour it would of rated higher. Addictive for a sour lover though :)

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Photo of tjthresh
3.64/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of hazy dirty lemonade with some snowy white head. The nose is horsey, hay, different fruits (apple, pear, lemon), and some musty odors. Flavors are pretty balanced. Mild sour in the front with som citusy acid in the finish. Very acidic. And tart. Medium body and aggressive carbonation. Dry finish. Pretty damn good for a sour.

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Photo of klewis
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy golden with a huge foamy head. Great sustain and lacing.

A: Apricot with a spicy mint character and light Brett funk.

T: Moderately sour. Zesty citrus with a gentle funk. There's also a somewhat floral quality with soft oak notes.

M: Light-bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Clean finish with a quickly dissipating sourness.

D: Not quite as complex as a Russian River or Cantillon sour, but definitely outstanding nonetheless.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I received 2 bottles in trade thanks to NutBrown and joe1510. Thanks Alan and Joe!

Served near room temp, maybe I should have chilled it down a bit as I lost an ounce or 2 when I popped the cork.

A hazy straw colour with a huge head of foam, it does settle down fairly quickly leaving some nice lacing.

One whiff and the influence of the Brett is right there with plenty of notes of wheat and some lemon citrus sourness to back it up. A very nice and inviting nose.

The taste starts off wonderfully sour and that has my complete attention. Smack. Yum. On to the light wheat and light lemon zest bitterness to go with the sour and a light dash of an oaky flavour. If you really want to taste how sour this is, try swishing the beer in your mouth. Oh my!

Medium mouthfeel, this is one highly carbonated brew but it works perfectly for me. And....head retention is superb.

Drinkability? I'll have to say....I could drink this all day long! Incredible drinkability because it tastes so damn good and the alcohol is just a number(label says it is 7%abv) and doesn't come into play at all.

Bottom line: I loves me a good American Wild Ale or Sour Ale. Brute is *crazy* good and anyone who appreciates the style must seek this one out. 'nuff said.

Thanks again, Alan and Joe for the opportunity!

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml Bottle, capped with a black cork poured into my over-sized Duvel tulip - batch# E!010

Presenter: Newtonty - thanks a million, friend!

The cork came out with little struggling to a massive POP! 2 seconds after the pop, I got a couple tablespoons worth of white fizz gushing from the top.

Pours a highly viscous, cloudy golden orange with an aggressive 2-3 inch fizzy head due to the champagne yeasts. Bright white cap with compact and highly active bubbles. After the initial pour, the head settles leaving a fine amoeba-shaped halo swirl on the surface

Smells moderately of fresh and zesty oranges, some light lemon and a fair amount of funk. Relatively complex nose for a sour - if I had to chose a descriptive word for the funk - I'd have to say sweaty gym socks... (Why do I enjoy this style of beer again? ;) )

The taste is indicative of the nose... Moderate citrus flavors, like orange and lemons followed by a super light and lofty yeast presence and tailing with the expected FUNK... It amazes me how nicely crafted this one is... Overall, the flavor isn't over the top or overbearing - very smooth and enjoyable.

Light bodied, sour with high carbonation on the mouthfeel. Medium flavored.

Recommended... Get this one and try it if you are a fan of the funk.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at deep ellum, in allston, ma, on april 23, 2009, during the week of the craft brewers conference. served in orval chalice.

hazy straw blonde. nice creamy head, stays around as a wispy layer. lacing doesn't stick though.

aroma is more vinegary than the bottled version. citrus hint. funk later on as it warms.

sour tartness is still nice, but is a bit sharper than the bottle.

texture is more acidic as well.

compared to the bottled version, everything just seems less refined. still a nice sour, but the complexities seem muted. when asked, max (owner/manager of deep ellum) believes there is still champagne yeast involved. but somehow i have my doubts, or at least that's what my palate tells me. can someone at ithaca please illuminate?

frankly i am also not a fan of open, un-tuliped or untapered abbey-style chalices - at least not for tasting/reviewing purposes. also, it was served quite cold, so i had to wait a while for it to come to temperature.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like champagne; a hazy pale golden color with a big fizzy bleach white foam head that fades to surface, being kept alive from visible effervescence. Little lacing remains in its wake. The smell is great with an earthy tart lemon character. Full flavored the taste is reflected well...bright tangy fruity lemon tartness with earth oak notes that linger well past the crisp clean finish. Another world class beverage from Team Ithaca!! Congratulations!

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Photo of rye726
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with rhinos00 and ratman197.

Pours a hazy straw with a fizzy white head. Settles to a thin cover with subtle lacing.

Fantastic nose of horse blanket, damp soil, manure, oak, tart citrus, candy malts, subtle floral hops and white wine.

Taste is also quite complex and maintains perfect balance. Funky barnyard yeast presence over lemon, grapefruit, fruity malts, oak and quiet hops.

Crisp body is delicately carbonated. Could enjoy this beauty anytime.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours vibrant golden and slightly hazy into my snifter. The white head is mountainous and cavernous with excellent retention. Thick lacing is left behind after the head recedes.

The aroma is lemon and other light fruits, with oak and Brett. The Brett imparts mustiness and barnyard notes. Some acetic acid is evident in the nose. As the beer warms, citrus is coaxed out of hiding and soft notes of orange, grapefruit, and apricot to shine.

The taste is an immediate lemon zing, with noticeable oakiness. The Brett has some horse blanket and barnyard with some tartness, but it's not overwhelmingly funky. This beer has a nice balance of dry funk and fruit. Some earthiness is noticeable. The finish is very dry, exhibiting just a touch of sweetness, and fruity tartness lingers.

The beer is light bodied and effervescent with a dry mouthfeel.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tasting with rye726 and ratman197. Beer #7 of 8. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a New Belgium snifter.

A- Pours a hazy, straw colored yellow. Very vibrant. Produced a thin white head.

S- Wow! Potent and spot on. Getting a strong farmhouse funk aroma, with some lemon zest and horse blanket. Lots of high acidic citrus aromas. Absolutely divine.

T- Giant cornucopia of oak, lemon, grapefruit, brett and acidic notes. Flavors were assertive and the sourness fell just short of mouthpuckering. Great stuff.

M- One of my favorite parts of the beer. Light mouthfeel. The carbonation gave an almost creamy texture to the beer. Quite unique.

D- Putting a 750 mL bottle of this would be so easy. And that's really hard to do with a lot of sours. I had my glass and I was begging for more.

Overall, what an amazing sour. Reminded a lot of Beatification and Isabelle, but better. Do yourself a favor and pick up a few bottles, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06/07/09- Received in a trade with Younger35 and shared at a tasting.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. Not sure of a release date. Poured into my Orval chalice.

Appearance- Champagne-like looking pour with a smaller head and effervescent bubbles. Light yellow in color and ultra light lace spotting left behind.

Smell- A very nice brett aroma with sourness, some light urine and horse blanket notes. Tart fresh lemon rind as well.

Taste- All the flavors you would like in a wild ale (buckets of brett, tart lemon juice) but needs something to hold it totally together. Something was missing, but I'm not quite sure what it was.

Mouthfeel- Seems a touch watery with a sparkling wine carbonation mouthfeel. Good tart aftertaste.

Drinkability- A nice wild ale, but as stated above, missing something to make it to the top tier of wild ales.

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Photo of emerge077
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beertooth for sharing this, review is from notes. Batch E!010

Pale and hazy unfiltered visibility, lemony apricot color, solid head of lasting foam. Initial aroma of wet stone and minerals, soft wheat and mild "clean" horseblanket. The funk is restrained and well incorporated. Fruity sweet & sour interplay, nice contrast, elements of white grape and peach pit. Champagne effervescence that scrubs the palate. Body is light, very quenching and clean.

The clean lactic sourness and funk character was similar to a Berliner Weisse and Calabaza Blanca. The slight grape sweetness really added a nice contrast to balance the sourness. Good stuff.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, batch E!010. Pours a hazy light yellow with a thick, bubbly white head. Aroma of light tartness, wheat malt, sour grapes, grapefruit, bitter hops, and a hint of barnyard funk. Most reminiscent of JP Bam Biere to me. Flavor is initially quite tart and sweet with lots of sugar candy notes and wheaty malt. Not very acidic, but certainly sour and tart. Very champagne-like too. This one grew on me a bit--very nice.

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Photo of Overlord
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JCB!

Pours a golden yellow, with maybe the faintest hint of orange. Huge white foam head that fills the glass and basically looks like a champagne head. Ridiculous foam on every pour. Nice to see some brewers still carbonate their beer!

Smell is a clean, tight horseblanket aroma with hints of lemon, vinegar, and a surprising wheat/citrus/tropical fruit (cantaloupe?) overtone.

The beer is as dry as the Sahara. You'll feel like having some water between your sips. No sweetness whatsoever to be found. Somewhat disappointingly, the complex nose doesn't carry through. This is a razor sharp, one-note flavor on display. Sour apple, pungent lemon, and a vinous note merge into a very harmonious, but also very focused, taste. Typically with a beer of this quality, I'll discover a different nuance throughout the tasting. Not this time. The beer basically "is what it is."

Love the mouthfeel. At first I thought "too many bubbles," but this brew needs it. It really has the feel and taste of a dry white wine gone musty-sour, in a good way.

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Photo of craytonic
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: cloudy pale straw yellow-gold; huge champagne bubble head, nice lacing

Smell: Sour, with a bit of vinegar and lots of delicious brett and some chardonnay grape, peach, pear, apricot, pineapple, lemon, melon, tropical fruits, soft oak, fiji apple and honeydew aromas.

Taste: Deliciously sour with a touch of funk; not as much funk as others but I appreciate the soft nature of it in this one, goes well with the subtle wood and light carbonation. Perhaps not as complex as it could be is the only complaint.

Mouthfeel: Perfect creamy champagne carbonation and incredibly tart and bone dry. (5.0)

Drinkability: Light and delicious, I couldn't believe the bottle was empty (5.0)

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to twelvsies for this one!

Pours a great golden color with some really amazing carbonation and a nice foamy head.

Smell is of sour apples, brett, and barrel. Good.

Taste, this rivals a RR sour. Quite well balanced between the sour and sweet, definitely a bit more to the sour side, but nice no less. Apples makes another appearance as well as a vinous barrel taste. Very nice.

Mouth is thin and bubbly as it needs to be.

A world class sour.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a capped and corked 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the trade and hook-up!

Batch # E!010

A: Pours a hazy, bright, and glowing pale golden color that's capped with an incredibly creamy, bright-white, 1/2 finger head that leaves some thick ropes of lace behind. Carbonation is very active.

S: Tart and/or sour green apple and berry that's backed by a mildly funky aroma and snatches of vinegar. Tangy citrus also makes its' presence known. As it warmed I noticed aromas of pear and wildflowers.

T: Sour apple, lemon, berry, and vinegar in the forefront. Also in there are mildly funky Brett flavors as well faint flavors of grapes, and a slight woodyness.

M: Bracingly sour with an incredible dry tartness that plays on the tongue. Acidic and puckery without being at all obnoxious.

D: Excellent! I wasn't exactly sure what this beer was about, but I was sure it was going to be interesting, at the very least. A first class Wild Ale from the east coast...I'm really liking this!

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Photo of brdc
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks Israel for this one. Large capped and corked bottle, poured into a tulip.

Hazy, light golden color, with a voluminous, long lating, lace producing off white head. Very nice looking.
The aroma keeps up, and it leads the way with tartness, sourness, acidic notes, but also some sweet malts, fruity notes, and a little, just a little, funkiness.
A lot of carbonation makes this light bodied brew even more refreshing on a hot day. The funkiness is minimal, but there is a nice combination of acidity, tartness and sourness dominating the flavor. Oak is minimal, spicy notes are also just lightly in the background.
Funkiness is very subtle.
This is a very nice, refreshing beer, and I am glad I have more. It falls just short of outstanding.

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Brute from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.43 out of 5 with 843 ratings