Funky Tap – Brett Trois IPA

The last batch of Single Tap IPA I brewed ended up producing an extra gallon of wort that wouldn’t fit into my fermenter. Rather than toss the excess, I racked it to a 1-gallon glass jug and fermented it out with standard WYeast 1056 American Ale yeast before inoculating it with a secondary Brettanomyces Trois strain (White Labs WLP644). There has been quite a few commercial brewers producing Brett IPAs, especially using Brett Trois, and there seems to be some pretty nice flavor synergies between hops and this particular Brett strain.

Funky Tap

Tasting Notes:

Judged as a BJCP Category 23 Specialty Beer

Aroma (5/12):
The are some obvious Brett aromas coming from this beer. Esters smell almost like over-ripe pineapple and blend nicely with the potent citrusy / mango-like American hops jumping from the glass. The synergies between yeast and hop derived aromas is quite evident. The Brett has a low phenolic component that is both peppery and features a low amount of plastic-like aroma which feels a bit out of place. There is a slightly skunky / light-struck component to the aroma which is off. A low, honey-like component to the malt makes me think the beer may be slightly oxidized.

Appearance (3/3):
Medium copper and clear. This beer has dropped quite bright with a bit of age and cold conditioning. Persistent white fluffy head.

Flavor (11/20):
Lots of round citrusy/fruity hops. I’m a bit surprised how hoppy this is given the age and lack of dry hopping. It is tough to tell where the Brett derived flavors and hops begin and end, but the sum of the parts is quite nice and juicy. Malt is soft, bready, and round, but a bit oxidized. Bitterness is gentle, but balancing.

Mouthfeel (5/5):
Dry yet round. Somewhat of a paradox, but the mouthfeel sensation is quite pleasant.

Overall Impression (5/10):
This is a pretty nice beer and dramatically different than the non-Brett version. The melding of Brett flavors and hops works quite well. The only exception being the hint of pepper/plastic phenol which is a bit clashing. Additionally, the skunky aroma and oxidation stick out like a sore thumb to my pallet. This beer was a bit of a bastardized experiment generated by leftover wort. My normal process and care in transferring and storing the beer were not followed, and appear to have resulted in some off-flavors. Regardless, this beer really does illustrate the synergies that can take place between Brett derived esters and hop character.

Good (29/50)

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