The Saccharomyces brothers, Pastorianus and Cerevisiae, are recognized as being the lager and ale yeasts of beer production. While they have been doing a good job of creating dozens of different, recognized styles of beer, it seems brewers are looking to a new yeast to do their bidding.
Now it’s the Brettanomyces family of yeasts that are getting all the attention. It seems these days that if you want to stand out amongst the nearly 2,000 breweries in America, you need to either barrel age your beer, add wild yeasts to the fermentation, or both. “Brett” is the new buzzword amongst craft beer followers. There’s no limit as to what beers you can spike with Brettanomyces. Lambics, farmhouse ales, saisons, etc are the standard. But breweries like Anchorage, Jolly Pumpkin, and The Bruery are putting Brettanomyces in white ales, IPAs, and even stouts!
Flavors of Brett fermented beers range and vary depending on the strain of Brett used and whether it is used in primary fermentation or in a secondary fermentation. You may either not notice a difference in a beer with Brett, or it may be a little tart and fruity, or very funky with complex aromas and flavors of a wet horse blanket (appetizing, right?).
I am not very well versed when it comes to Brettanomyces in beers. If you want more information, I highly recommend you check out Embrace The Funk’s website.
If you want to buy a few Brett beers in Las Vegas, check out Whole Foods or Khoury’s Fine Wine. Both tend to have a very good selection of Brett fermented beers.