If you've been following my twitter feed you know that I made my way to Houston's Flying Saucer for a very special beer this past Friday: Avery's Brabant No 1. This is the first in a series of beers that Avery brewing will be doing. Each beer will be unique and barrel aged. This one is definitely an anything goes kinda beer. A beer made with two strains of Brett then aged in Zinfindel barrels for 8 months. You can see why I was excited to try this beer. First though a note on what a Brabant is. A Brabant is a work horse and is also called the European Belgian horse. Looking at some of these pictures, one could just imagine a slew of these magnificent animals carrying a wagon full of Belgian ale through the streets.
The Beer: This came in a 12 oz bottle and weighs in at 8.7% abv. It pours a deep dark brown almost black color with a thin taupe colored head. My first impression was "wild and funky". There are yeasty bretty notes in the nose, barnyardy, sour cherries, then finally roasted malts, raisins and even figs. My friend who was with me said it reminded him of being back home in Iowa. The mouthfeel is thick, tart and sour cherries. Horsey. Its rich, there is a wave of malts and raisins, figs and a bit of oakiness underneath the funk. Its actually surprisingly smooth finish. As it warms notes of sour bitter dark chocolate come out. Then may be one of my favorite Brett beers. This is not a beer for the faint of heart, for someone just getting into craft beer, its an acquired taste to be sure, but once you acquire it, its amazing. This is a beer that if presented to one who knows only BMC it would blow their minds. It shows everything a beer can be, and how amazingly complex it is. Its solid and gets an A- from me. Here's what the folks at BA had to say.