Beer Name: BRUX
Brewery: Collaboration between Russian River and Sierra Nevada
Beer style: They are calling it a “Domesticated Wild Ale”; I would call it a Saison.
Size: 1 pint 9.4 oz
Beer Advocate Score: 88
Rate Beer Score: 97
Batman had Robin, Montana had Rice, Ace had Gary, Bert had Ernie, and even Gibbard had Dntel. Rob Base and D.J. E-Z Rock taught us that “it takes two to make a thing go right; it takes two to make it out of sight.” And WHO are WE to question THEM? If you did not read the first post of the week by MattOhioBeer, it is our first annual “Collaboration Week” here at Ohio-Beer. When two or more breweries join Planeteer rings, more often than not the craft beer drinker wins.
For my first entry this week, I decided to go with Brux. Russian River beers are hard to find in Ohio, and I really liked the idea of a well-known brewery like Sierra Nevada joining forces with Russian River. Russian River consistently has at least two beers ranked in the top 10 in the United State. This should intimidate other breweries, but for some awesome reason it doesn’t.
I had serious trouble popping the cork on this beer. I finally got it off and a small amount of beer left the bottle with the cork. It pours fairly easily and comes with maybe a ¼-inch head, which is sort of surprising considering it is a Belgian-style ale. It smells primarily of its namesake, Brettanomyces bruxellensis or “Brett” yeast. When it first hits your mouth, a light but perfect carbonation delivers an earthy Belgian flavor. It has a nice sour grassy bite initially, but settles quickly into a pear or possibly a white grape juice flavor. As you roll your tongue around your mouth, this flavor and its sourness intensify, but finish smooth.
This is a beer you want to savor one sip at a time. A very well-crafted beer with excellent flavor progression. I would liken it to a Saison with a pretty big punch at 8.3%, but whatever you are calling it, Sierra Nevada and Russian River nailed it. The bottle recommends aging, so I will likely pick up another and add it to the “special event” cabinet.
Sessionability: 1-pack. The wine bottle size at 8.3% will give you plenty.
Overall: I am going with a high 5-pack. Great beer, but just a bit too “white grape” on the finish for me
Would be best consumed: I think something spicy could mellow the sour fruit notes without overwhelming them.