Drinking It All: #42 Berliner Style Weisse, Brettanomyces Lambicus Special Edition

Drinking It All is a document of my attempt to try every beer in circulation. It’s a Herculean and tragic attempt at best. But it’s the means, not the end that counts here.

champagne pretending to be beer

I’ve finally gotten around to trying the Brettanomyces Lambicus I picked up in Atlanta about three months ago. I’d read about these brettanomyces (which is the type of yeast used in the beer), or brett for short, beers somewhere, I don’t remember where, and how the wild yeast that ferments these beers is such a monster that most breweries won’t let it anywhere near their regular fermentation tanks for fear of contamination. Basically, this type of yeast produces a sour flavor and smell in beers and can easily contaminate and ruin other tamer strands of yeast and beers. I usually like sour stuff alright, so I’ve been wanting to try these sour beers for a while, especially since they are made with what amounts to wild yeast.

It’s a 3% ABV beer, which means I can’t keep it around too long before it goes bad, so I’ve opened it today, hoping that it’s not already past it’s prime.

The beer is a little sour, just like I understood these beers to be, but also fruity tasting. It tastes a little like champagne. And the super light color of the beer kind of reinforces this taste characteristic in a visual way (i.e., it looks like champagne). I’m trying to think of a situation this beer would fit well, and, not to harp on the champagne thing, all that comes to mind is pouring it into champagne flutes and making toasts–it’s a super light (in color and taste) beer that, I think, could fool lots of macrobrewery drinkers into drinking a somewhat fancy Belgian style lambic.

One more thing about this beer–it is heavily carbonated. So much so that when I opened it, it kind of popped. The head could be called foam just as easily as head. So even more champagne characteristics. The carbonation does seem to take away from my ability to taste it–so I’m swirling the beer to try to get rid of some of the bubbles.

That’s a little better, but it’s still pretty tart tasting. And, one more time, champagne-y.

Thumbs up or thumbs down? This particular brett beer–I’ll pass on next time. But I will definitely look for other brett beers.

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