Sierra Nevada Brux Domesticated Wild Ale - 8.3% ABV
So when do you think that the craft beer movement began in the U.S.? 2005? 2000? 1990? Most believe that the craft beer movement began with the founding of this brewery in 1979 by Ken Grossman. That's right, 1979. Hell, even I was too young to drink and even if I could have, surely I would not have appreciated what they were producing. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, their flagship Ale... iconic. Ever tried Celebration Ale? Of couse you have ... magnificent, right? But did you know that they make the Ovila Abbey Ale? What, you haven't tried it yet? You haven't even heard of it? Review to come soon, but let's finish with the Brux first, shall we? I must be honest now and tell you that Brux is not a strictly a Sierra Nevada product, it is a collaboration with the Russian River Brewing Company. Yes, another fantastic brewery from California.
This beer. Oh my goodness, this beer ... is ... is ... greatness in a bottle! Too cliché? Ok, first you take a really, really good ale brewed with Belgian yeasts, then you give it a second firmentation in the bottle using Brettanomyces bruxellensis. There were no additional bacteria strains added to sour things up, just the Brett. What that means is that instead of a sour ale, this one is only a bit tart, reminiscent of a slightly green pear. Lemon, banana, grass and spice round out the flavor notes. It has a good deal of carbonation and a medium body. The finish is the kicker; you get the flavor of the yeast, which you kind of expect but what you wouldn't expect is that if finishes quite dry.
This is a really good ale that you can still find at Whole Foods, Specs and a few other locations. Rumor has it that the Bottle Shop is hoarding a few cases for later use. The brewers say that this one should age nicely so buy a bottle (or many) and set it aside, but get it now because this is a one off batch and when it is gone, it is gone for good.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
1075 East 20th Street
Russian River Brewing Company
725 4th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404