Russian River Brewing Company

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Brett Beer
Ranked #2
Ranked #607
4.34 | pDev: 8.76%
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Notes: Who’s afraid of the "big bad BRETT?" We’ll tell you who: winemakers! Because of our close proximity to several hundred wineries, we often get winemakers visiting our brewery. (After all, it takes a lot of great beer to make great wine!) Because we use 100% Brettanomyces yeast to ferment Sanctification, most winemakers will only smell the glass, and only a very few will venture to taste the beer. They think the Brettanomyces will attach to their clothing and end up in their winery. A simple solution was offered: keep a smudge pot burning at the door of our brewery so they can burn their clothes when exiting, but even that was not enough. After giving it more thought, we concluded that winemakers think Brettanomyces might scar their taste buds and possible even permeate their skin? Either way, Sanctification is one of the most unique beers you will ever taste! It was fermented with 100% Brettanomyces, rather than the traditional Saccharomyces.
Reviews: 659 | Ratings: 2,843 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of sjrider
sjrider from California

4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle- almost clear pale gold straw color with long lasting white foamy head. Nose is funky with whiffs of fruit and wet hay. Taste follows with a funky briney tartness. Finishes almost dry.

Apr 11, 2021
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Awolter from Minnesota

4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer was very enjoyable. Soft carbonation, nice amount of tartness with sweet to make it very well balanced. Very refreshing. If you ever see this on the shelves, grab one.

Feb 16, 2021
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Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Slightly hazy golden with a thin, wispy head and no lacing.

S: Classic barnyard funk (and I know now that I worked on a farm) with some pineapple, lemon and bready malt.

T: Very tart upfront, moves into funky pineapple, lemon flavors and a very nice round malt character. Excellent.

F: Very crisp and dry.

Overall: A superb ale, so drinkable and flavorful. This is definitely one of my favorite Russian River beers and I highly recommend you try it.

Aug 30, 2020
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Gatch from Rhode Island

4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 02/21/19, held up well without any spillage and full carbonation upon uncorking. This is a Brett bomb! Stellar aromas and flavors of funk, barn, hay, earth, bright fruit, meadow, all that good stuff you want in a wild yeast. Dry, almost tart finish, super drinkable, and a low ABV%, what’s not to love? It’s a masterpiece!

May 10, 2020
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stevoj from Idaho

4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from brewery. Finally getting around to this. Pale golden pour, small airy head fades quickly. Yeast, Brett aroma, mildly sweet. Taste is tart and sweet, and velvety smooth. Perfect example of the style.

Nov 05, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 006; bottled 2012, drank 3/7/14 @ the Palace.

Yellow orange opaqueness.

Minimal off-white head; almost no lace.

Bright lemon & orange nose.

Medium, carbonated mouthfeel.

A bright lime flavor up front; a mildly tart finish.

A champion for a hot summer day; simple but effective.

Sep 08, 2019
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psoriasaurus from England

5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, this one floats my bananas. Brett Ale of Brett Ales. Super crisp, subtle but complex and delicious brett character, luxurious body. If this beer was a woman she would be super thicc. Kind of ridiculous that this one is a 96 and not a 100.

Aug 29, 2019
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npolachek from New York

4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very crisp beer. A terrific combination of sour and crisp / almost like an apple cider. Smells of Brett with terrific balance. Shame the bottles are so small - could have used a bomber of this!

Aug 14, 2019
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TrojanRB from California

3.87/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear pale gold with a big time white reduces but stays a half finger thick

Smells of green apple, fresh cut grass, a little lemon rind and cracker

The taste is earthy, funky, and ends with dry cracker

Very dry and highly carbonated....almost like a champagne, but a bit of pepper in the finish

Overall a nice beer but somewhat of a letdown compared to RR’s other “-ion” beers

Jul 09, 2019
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Eyedoc27 from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Tame as far as sours are concerned. I would call this crisp and sort of dry with very little tarteness or aftertaste. Get this if you can. I found in a bottle from Fort Collins, CO.

Jul 04, 2019
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farrago from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thin dusting of bright white foam across the surface, quickly enough gone, meager lacing. Lightly bronzed gold base, the liquid is clean close to luminescent. While the nose is sour it’s not bracingly so, pulped lemons, wheat germ, grassy without seeming green, you get banana before green apple, passion fruit scents, a few notes which evoke the dill in American oak. Medium-bodied, smooth and not that dry. The carbonation is low, adds creaminess as anything. Plenty of unprocessed grains and hay, the lemony accents verge on white grapefruit. Spiced like Indian mukhwas. The peach, apricot, passion fruit nowhere near the focus of the beer, yet at the same time a steady support. Floral with a nod towards lavender. Echo of banana and bubblegum through the finish. Ends on a savory note, clean with the various elements tightly woven together. Total greater than the sum of its parts, about as quaffable as a wild ale can get.

Jun 30, 2019
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sjdevel from Utah

4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - huge head and a nice thick bright white foam - almost meringue like - stays active and great retention
Smell - tart fruit - lemon - grass - funk - some bread and yeast - like a fruity Saison
Taste - a nice sweet malt and cracker and biscuit flavor at first - dries out very quickly and moves into some Brett funk and pine (slight cattiness possibly)
Feel - medium bodied - I expected a thinner beer - fuller is enjoyable with this one
Overall - a very good beer - not too funky - not a sour - biscuity and bready - great yeast and wild yeast flavors - very happy with this beer - grabbed this one from the RR taproom, but just noticed they are distributing this one to our area - give this one a try!

Jun 01, 2019
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VoodooBear from Puerto Rico

4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Presentation: 375 mL brown bottle with the bottling date printed on the label. Served in a goblet.

Appearance: The bright white, three finger head goes down very slowly but stays around until the end and it leaves a lot of thick lacing in big patches all over the glass. It's a clear, pale yellow color.

Smell: There's some fruity aromas of banana and lemon peel followed by some mustier notes of damp hay and grass.

Taste: It's tart and fruity, with some lemon zest up front and then it gets dryer with some green and red apples. Finally, it gets bready with a distinct plain cracker flavor as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: It's light, crisp, refreshing and it finishes dry with high carbonation.

Overall: A very good light, fruity and refreshing beer. It's pretty simple but that doesn't mean it gets boring.

May 16, 2019
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks exactly as a blond sour should. Polished brass, crystal clarity, constantly racing bubbles to support a pillow of bone white foam above, excellent retention and lacing.

Sweet honey and tart apples blanketed by a thin layer of settled dust after some work out in the grain fields. Simple, balanced, and a promise to the nose for a refreshing experience.

The flavor takes on a much more earthy approach, nearly omitting the sweet fruit from flavor. If any, it is unripened. Tartness is nearly completely diminished as well ultimately leaving dirty, peppery, grainy notes to carry the load.

Shockingly crisp and dry while being spicy, balanced and approachable. So light and bubbly making for a very quick experience.

Sanctification is a good beer, but rather pedestrian. Fuck, that sounds so pretentious. It's a good beginers Brett beer or even "sour" for that matter, as the elements are there yet at a very modest and approachable level.


May 09, 2019
Photo of 5toutman75
5toutman75 from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brett lovers need to try this. With Brett beers I feel that low ratings always come from people who don’t understand it. It has a great look and even better mouthfeel with carbonation levels higher than other beers. A classic Brett I will always pick up when I can get it.

Feb 27, 2019
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GarrettB from Colorado

3.94/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

July 27th, 2015 - The Russian River odyssey continues apace but I'm starting to slow down. A lot. And we're just getting to the heartier stuff. The Santtification is next, with it's salty and acidic scent, smelling of lemon rind and lemon juice. I'm a huge fan of this kind of acidity, so I dip into the flavor with eagerness, but the flavor is comparatively mellow, like a lemon based dessert. Lemon merengue, I think, where the merengue cools down the raw acidity of the lemon juice. With each sip the aftertaste is just a last, short pop of acidity and then onwards to the next taste.

Feb 12, 2019
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rickrem from California

4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Please note that this review is being done on 9-23-18 and the bottle date is 6-19-15.
Not sure if this is intended to sit around this long or not. A bit hesitant about the first few sips. Nothing smelled 'off'.
Also note that I have not had a 'fresh' bottle to know haw to compare.

Poured a hazy dark yellow like many of the 'hazy IPA's' I'm drinking lately. Nice tight slight off white head.

Aroma is a nice almost 'Champagne' and slight floral. Not as heavy on the sour/funk side.

Taste is more clean than sour, I'm sure due to the age. Almost a Biere de Garde in taste. Some white wine notes, bright citrus and a tinge of soap. The malt hits big on the finish though.
Carbonation is bright but not heavy.

Really nice and drinkable so know that it will sit for awhile if you want to soften the 'sour' side.

Sep 24, 2018
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden straw color, minimal head. Big funky aroma. Flavor is also very funky; sour yet sweet, some citrus, bright and refreshing. Carbonation is efervescent. Overall a really nice beer.

Bottle dated 9/5/17 - thanks Adam!
4.25 rating

Sep 13, 2018
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zachary80 from Indiana

4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One year old bottle picked up from the cooler at the brewery.

Pale straw with slight orange tint. Minimal head as expected.
Strong on brett funk, straw, not much else.
Flavor has a lot going on - mellow malts, citrus.
Light carbonation. Astringent. Thin.

Overall a good beer, one of my favorites from the RR belgian flight.

Sep 03, 2018
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle dated 9/17 poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: Soapy 2F head with OK retention, but eventually it all disappears leaving just a very thin ring. Partly hazy pale gold.

S: All Brett, very yeasty, with some white wine and oaky notes.

T: As you would expect, Sour yeasty Chardonnay, oaky, a splash of citrus, but as always RR makes sure the sourness doesn't run wild. It's well-controlled.

F: Lightish bodied, moderate carbonation for good drying. Very solid construction and excellent balance.

O: A superior sour, as RR always delivers.

Jul 04, 2018
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MFMB from Idaho

4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 7-26-16. Pours a deep golden yellow almost copper. Slightly hazy with a fuzzy white head that sticks around longer than most beers of this genre. Nose is bright. Grape skin, grapefruit, lemon and sour apple. First taste surprised me. I thought this one would be a tad bit in your face sour for whatever reason but this was a really mellow brett beer IMO. Aging quite nicely at 2 years I suppose. Nice subdued tartness of sour grapes and sour apple. A lingering citrus notes throughout the beer, grapefruit and predominantly lemon zest. There is a dry grassy quality to it with the ever so slight funk. Medium to light with a dry grassy finish that is accompanied by that shot of citrus. This beer was light and delicate. Very easy to drink given how smooth it was. Definitely impressed by this one. Have a 4 on look simply because I was expecting a bright blonde beer but I had a hard time finding much to complain about Sanctification. Cheers!

Jun 11, 2018
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.49/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25


Clear yellow....until the sediment got in and clouded it up. Minimal head.

Lemon, grapefruit,

Paste, grape, sour apple.

Medium body.

Not my thing, but this is tasty and smooth and another well crafted beverage from Russian River.


Jun 05, 2018
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beergoot from Colorado

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale, cloudy, light yellow body; thin head. Well-balanced scents of brett and citrus; lemony and spicy; cardamom. Lemon and lime flavors dominate; tart and mildly sour. Medium bodied; bright and bubbly on the palate; tart notes all around; finishes with a combination of juiciness and dryness.

My palate and tastes may not be so nuanced that I can wax poetic about 100% Brettanomyces vs. Saccharomyces, but I do know what tastes and drinks well for me. Like many a wild ale, this one has the tartness but also little (if any) of the barnyard funk one might attribute to such beers. In any case, a fine, enjoyable offering from Russian River Brewing Company...

May 17, 2018
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detgfrsh from Texas

4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle dated 9/5/17. Golden color with a ring of bubbles. Smells of lemon and yeast, distinctly sour. Medium weight with small bubbles. Taste is lemon sourness followed by funk and a slightly dry floral finish. Interesting & definitely worth a try.

May 06, 2018
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DavidR_9 from California

4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery.

Beautiful yellow slightly cloudy glow. Thin soft white bubbly heady floating on top. Tons of lemon zest, hint of banana, some spice. Taste follows the nose with a really pronounced lemon and belgian yeast character with a nice bready/crackery support. Soight banana on the finish with some spice and then a soft a mellow brett character that dries and lingers for only a brief moment.

Remarkably similar to their damnation belgian golden ale with the lemon, banana, spice, and breadiness but an amazing kick of brett character. Imparts a balanced sourness that most craft beer drinker can enjoy.

Mar 06, 2018
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 2843 ratings