Brett IPA Release
If the 70s taught us anything, it’s that Americans love to get funky. From “We want the funk” to “Funkytown”, there was all the funk you could wish for, at least in Top 40 radio. But funk in beers, now, that wasn’t something that was popular back in the 70s. One could argue, in fact, that flavor wasn’t something that was popular in beers in the 70s, at least not in the United States. Eventually breweries discovered that a wild yeast known as brettanomyces, a.k.a. Bringer of the Funk, would create a whole new category of beer and popularity that surpassed The Hustle.
So how did brettanomyces, a strain of yeast that is abundant on the skins of fruit and gives off what is described as a horse blanket smell (thanks to the compound 4-ethylphenol, of course….still awake?) have garnered such a following? Good question. I ask myself how is Lady Antebellum popular? Some questions are hard to answer. The Carlsberg brewery identified the brett yeast strain as what was giving British Porters and Stock Ales a unique flavor in the early 1900s. And wineries are quite familiar with brett, though not in a pleasant way: the yeast has been accused of being responsible for up to 90% of the industry’s wine spoilage.
And brettanomyces left untamed can spell disaster to a brewery as well. A few years back, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing had a brettanomyces outbreak where nearly all batches were infected with brett. New Mexico’s own Dr. Peter Farnsworth traveled to Florida to help quell the attack. Brettbusters!
So you can understand why Marble brewers keep the brett yeast in a separate building from the actual brewery. And why the brett yeast is poured ever… so… carefully… into IPA filled French oak chardonnay barrels. Those barrels are left to sit for six months, letting the brett take hold. Once the beer is transferred from the barrels, it is dry hopped, though not as aggressively as the traditional Marble IPA- the hops are to add to the experience, not overwhelm it. The resulting product when the telltale dry funk of the brett meets the citrus of the hops that your tongue will be in a tizzy with so many hugely contrasting yet somehow refreshingly complementing flavors poured on it.
What, that’s not enough for you? Ok, well how about this: The Brett IPA release party happens today at 5, with a special pairing from The Shop. Buy a Brett IPA, get a free food pairing of an empanada filled with spiced Colorado lamb, carrots, onion, garlic, and Gruyere. A vegetarian option will be offered as well!
As popular as the Brett IPA has become, the finished product yielded 86 cases of bottles and a limited number of kegs. It’s like the McRib of beer: here today, gone tomorrow. Make sure you get yours NOW!