Experimentation is one of our top goals here at Archetype Brewing. It helps us discover new ways of utilizing the ingredients we know so well...and it's fun. In the spirit of pushing boundaries, we've delved into using Brettanomyces and mixed fermentation for our beers.
What is Brettanomyces ("Brett")?
Most commonly, beers are made with a yeast strain called Saccharomyces, but in recent years, an old strain of yeast has been rediscovered by brewers and is starting to make a comeback. Brettanomyces was discovered and isolated in 1889, and used primarily in traditional European beers. While it takes longer to ferment (turn the sugars into alcohol), it lends a bright, funky flavor, with floral notes and a dry complexity that we really love.
What does "mixed fermentation" mean?
Mixed fermentation simply means that we use both Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces yeasts to ferment the beers. Most of our mixed fermentation beers undergo fermentation with the Saccharomyces first, and then are barrel-aged with Brettanomyces for a time before being kegged and served. The secondary fermentation with Brett adds even more complexity and flavor to the beer, and lowers the content of residual sugar.
SINGLE FERMENTATION BRETT BEERS
BRETT IPA ｜ 100% BRETT ｜ 6.1% ABV
Brewed with 100% Brett yeast, making it floral and funky. You’ll pick up notes of lilies, spices, earthy pine and woody evergreen with a tropical bouquet finish of guava, pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon zest.
BRETT FARMHOUSE ALE
100% BRETT ｜ 4.7% ABV
Herby notes of green tea and lemongrass mix with floral and fruity pear, peach blossom, honeysuckle, and guava. Finishes with the characteristic farmhouse effervescent lemon zest and black pepper.
HOPPY BELGIAN ALE
100% BRETT ｜ 5.3% ABV
Esters from our house yeast strain complement the citrus-forward flavor from the hop bill. Pleasant, well-balanced, and session-able.
MIXED-CULTURE AND BARREL-AGED BEERS
Mixed-Culture Barrel-Aged Saison with Local Peaches ｜8.2% ABV
14 months in the making, and worth the wait. Aged in French oak wine barrels for 12 months with Brett yeast, then back into tanks for 2 months with the best local peaches. Ripe peach flavor in the forefront, balanced by earthy vanilla, leather, and oak from the barrels. Secondary fruit notes of pineapple, red apple, and strawberry. Light, slightly tart finish, delicate and complex profile reminiscent of an aged white wine.
WALK THE EARTH
Mixed-Culture Barrel-Aged Saison Series ｜Blend no. 1 - 8.0% ABV
Barrel-Aged Brett Saison dry-hopped with Chinook and Saaz hops. This beautifully complex and funky fare has notes of plum, cranberry, honeysuckle and sourdough with a hint of spice, ending with a lovely vanilla oak finish.
Mixed-Culture Barrel-Aged Tripel ｜ 8.3% ABV
Primary fermentation is with our house Belgian yeast strain, and then the batch undergoes secondary Brettanomyces fermentation in oak for 6 months. This beer is a nod to the old days, beautifully complex, a little funky and full of flavor. You'll pick up on honey, white wine and molasses, as well as fruity notes of tart cherry and blackberries, finishing up with lovely oak vanillins from the barrel.