The Bruery
from United States (California)
289th highest rated brewery (of 635)
Highest RatedBlack Tuesday (85 / 100) Average score65 / 100 (Solid)
Lowest RatedSaison Rue (46 / 100) Number Tried34
Black Tuesday
Reviewed by Jez on 18.06.19 in bottle
Overall:
85 / 100
(Exceptional)
2016 Vintage, 20.3% ABV. Bottle given to me by Aaron in Denver. Brought it back to Sydney where I shared it with sam on the occasion of the birth of his second child.

Pours a deep brown colour, not quite black. Lacks the glossiness of a rich, full-bodied beer, and there's some haze visible at the corners. Head is a loose cap of beige that settles out to a ring. It does obviously have a heavy body, but it's surprisingly light given the overall weight of the beer—fluid and seeming to lack density. I've definitely had lower ABV beers which look more ominous than this.

Nose is very oaky and woody. It has deep vinous tannins to it, which give characters of coconut, marzipan and cherry pip. Definitely loads of booze to it, but it's certatinly not as hot and harsh as the ABV suggests. As it warms it gets dark sweet tones of molasses and liquorice. It's very nice.

Taste is also pretty good. It is soft and warm, with smooth sweet characters of carob, dark caramel and black chocolate. But these are shot through with lighter notes: celery and apricot come through. There's a darkness on the black, like soft, black liquor—I get aniseed, wormwood, wintergreen and almost a numbing fernet branca note. It's smooth and hot all at once, which is a fun mix.

Feel is hot, numbing, but weirdly comforting.

This is a really good beer. In fact, it's genuinely better than the variations on it I've had in the past. It's also one of the best beers I've had overall from the Bruery.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.25
8 Maids-A-Milking
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.03.18 in bottle
Overall:
74 / 100
(Very Good)
Bottle shared by Jez during his son's second birthday party.

Pours a dark brown, mostly black. Head is beige, small bubbles, just a crown of bubbles really. Lacing is pretty nice; bit thin. Looks alright.

Smells yeasty, like vegemite, big spicy roasty note with slight petroleum/ethanoic character. Spicy, roasty with a touch of chocolate to it that saves it from just being boozey. Definite character but a bit sharp and just darkness.

Tastes sweet and pleasant actually. Big chocolate character with a touch of peanut. Caramel notes with some yeasty Vegemite character, touch of roast and alcohol sharpness late, with good roundness from the choccy malts. Yeah, sweet, roasty, nicely rounded. Tastes good.

Feels good too. Smooth, mildly hot, with a slight boozey kick on the front. Good body though and good texture.

Drinks well; big boozey stouty character but a pretty good rounded stout, has a good character that's well balanced for how hot it is. It feels very standard despite the hotness.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.25 | drinkability: 4.25
9 Ladies Dancing
Reviewed by Jez on 04.03.18 in bottle
Overall:
57 / 100
(Decent)
750ml brown bottle purchased from BevMo in Menlo Park.

Pours a deep mahogany colour, with some clarity, and a gauzy head that dissipates quickly. Body is fairly light, surprising for the ABV. Looks a bit still too. I'm a bit underwhelmed.

Nose is decent, but very boozy, with a kind of fusel character that comes through like kerosene and gasoline. Some dark carob and grape notes, but it's also a bit thin. Nice enough, I guess.

Taste is dry, with a kind of empty, biscuit malt character. But there's not a lot of sweetness. It has a vinous biting tannic dryness. Back is surprisingly bitter, but it's the bitterness that comes from booze and tannin rather than hops. Some oak dryness finishes it up.

Honestly, I'm not a huge fan. It has a darkness and a tannic quality that grounds it, but otherwise it has a fair bit of hot booze messing it up. Basically, it's another Bruery beer.
appearance: 2.75 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.25
9 Ladies Dancing
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.03.18 in bottle
Overall:
56 / 100
(Decent)
Bottle shared by Jez during my nephew's second birthday party.

Pours dark brown colour, the colour of dates, umber at the edges. Head is beige, thin with small bubbles around edge. Lacing is decent, slim and sinking with a nice reverse cascade. Looks big; a bit flat.

Smells nice. Big coffee characters with strong, rich toffee notes. Somme fruity character with raspberry and even lychee notes. Chocolate, maybe some oaky notes too but cherry and chocolate too is quite strong. Decent; bit odd but pleasant.

Taste is a bit unnuanced really. Big malty character with banana kinda character, develops some stale dark fruit, rye bread, date and currant notes with a big oxidation character too. Just feels a bit flat and doesn't develop much complexity beyond just thick syrupy sweetness and a touch of roast. Just heavy and slightly sweet.

Thick, slight booziness to it, but a good malt base so it's not hot, just feels very thick.

Drinks heavy and thick and sticky. Makes me feel pretty drunk in all honesty, like it's quite sweet but reasonably drinkable so the result is more drunkening than I expect.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.5
8 Maids-A-Milking
Reviewed by Jez on 04.03.18 in bottle
Overall:
74 / 100
(Very Good)
750ml brown bottle given to me by my mate Aaron.

Pours a pleasant deep brown colour, with a slightly foamy, minimal head of beige, that leaves some soapy lace. Body has some weight, with a kind of oiliness. Carbonation is fine but swift. Looks decent.

Nose is rather pleasant. It has an oaky, vinous quality to it, with more sharpness and acidity than you might immediately expect from an imperial stout. But there's plenty of smoothness, and a nice vanilla note from the oak. It has characters of blackcurrant and shiraz grapes.

Taste is also good. It's an interesting take on an imperial stout. There's lots of classic characters, a little bit more light and bright than usual, with some pepper and darkness on the back. Feel is lovely and smooth. It's a surprise given the intrinsic lightness.

Overall, this is an impressive beer from the Bruery, it has a complexity and coherence that is often missing. It's smooth, and light, but with a pleasant dark quality.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Humulus Terreux
Reviewed by Jez on 22.02.18 in bottle
Overall:
62 / 100
(Decent)
750ml brown bottle purchased from BevMo in Menlo Park, CA.

Popurs a pleasant, lightly hazed golden colour, with a very frothy head of white that collapses quickly, leaving a sudsy cap. Lots of chunky lace, and stacks of carbonation—it streams through the body very strongly. Looks pretty good.

Nose is mostly Brett, with a slight punch of organic green hops. I mostly get wet hay, sharp plastic notes. But there are other characters in there. Dried orange peel, a hint of white pepper, packing tape. It's definitely interesting, and the wildness is fairly decently restrained.

Taste is much, much lighter, and in fact I'm quite surprised at how empty it feels given the aroma. There's a pepper and plasticky Brett note on the front, but the body drops away like the floor of an funpark ride, leaving me kind of shocked at how abruptly it disappears. It leaves that spidery structure of organic funk and a touch of bitterness. Otherwise it's quite empty.

Feel is also very light. It has the slight effervescence of aspirin, only without the flavour.

Yeah, I'm actually a bit unimpressed. The aroma is well-created and suggests more complexity that we ultimately get. I feel like there's something better that this could be, and it's just lazy.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.5
Chocolate Rain
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 13.12.17 in bottle
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a murky brown colour, slightly red tinged maybe. Head is a bit lacklustre; large bubbles and nice for what's left, but it's just a thin ring of bubbles now. Looks a bit sad, to be honest. Fine, but just not really vibrant.

Smells boozey, and oaky, and maybe a bit roasty as well but then I'd expect the latter from the look. Vanilla, a touch of toasted coconut, fairly big chocolate character as well. Caramel sweetness, slight roast. Definitely a big boozey character upfront but plenty of sweet nuance once you get past that. Predictable though but good.

Taste is curious; definitely more of the same with boozey coconutty vanilla oak notes, then the roastiness is quite strong towards the back and develops some raw cacao and berry notes giving just a mild sort of tartness. But it's not sour, more a light piquancy cutting slightly through the dark sticky boozey character. Definitely a hot booze on the back, and overall a fairly dark bitter roasty character, which is also weirdly contrasted with this sweet, sticky note that sticks around from the front of the palate, almost a marmaladey stickiness. Dark, boozey, sweet, huge. There's definitely some nice complexities and some great cutting idiosyncracies but it's ultimately a bit too hot and otherwise fairly standard.

Nice body; feels thick and mildly hot on the back but really well padded so there's a great fluid texture, thick without feeling too heavy.

Not an everyday drinker for sure, and a bit on the boozey side even among its own mob. But definitely some enjoyable late-night after dinner notes to it. Note: reviewed this blind and had no idea of the extent of the size of it. Suffice to say I was quite impressed with it given the ABV.
appearance: 3.25 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | drinkability: 3.75
Chocolate Rain
Reviewed by Jez on 04.11.17 in bottle
Overall:
62 / 100
(Decent)
2017 edition. Obtained in a trade with my mate Aaron, which I will freely admit I got much the better deal on. Shared with Sam back in Sydney.

Pours a surprisingly light ebony brown colour, certainly not opaque and dark enough to be called black. Head forms a loose mesh of beige bubbles, but eventually gives up, leaving just a thin suggestion of bubbles around the rim. Looks lighter than you'd expect as well. I'm somewhat underwhelmed.

Nose is definitely boozy, with lots of oaky, almost vinous characters, and sweeter notes of chocolate that trend towards liquorice. It's sharp and hot though, with a suggestion of aldehyde and kerosene. Hmm.

Taste is a little bit better, because it's at least very coating. This give a suggestion of sweetness, even though the flavours are more of that ripping alcohol heat and the sharp vinous bite of oak. Chocolate only really appears around the edges, and even then it's overwhelmed by an inky chemical booze rampage.

Feel is hot. Like, it's ripping booze that destroys my palate. Carbonation is almost non-existent.

It's entirely possible that this is just miles too young. I can believe it—but at the same time, this is actually verging on undrinkable right now, which makes me think it needs something very special and magical to happen to it in the bottle over the next few years to make it make sense. Right now, this is kind of a mess. Sorry, Aaron.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.0
Melange No. 14
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 29.05.17 in bottle
Overall:
49 / 100
(Not Great)
Bottle muled back by Jez, shared on my birthday or thereabouts.

Pours a dark brown cola colour with lots of fizz, totally cola-esque. Touch of pale beige head when poured, but just a whisper of spittle left on the top. Really doesn't look very beery, but it may be just my plasticware's fault.

Smells very bourbony. Vanilla oaky, with caramel and coconut and booze. Touch of choc roast lingering at the back but that aroma is otherwise just big bourbony sweetness. Maybe a touch of cola too, but it may be psychosomatic and a side result of the sweetness. Not ideal as it's a bit unbalanced.

Taste is similar. Big chocolate, caramel sweetness that develops quickly to oaky characteristics, with boozey vanilla pods and sweet wood that gets more woody and bourbony towards the back. Touch of dark roast on the finish just adds some texture without really balancing the oaky sweetness and there's a linger of sharp ethanol on the back, again with maybe a bourbony character but its mostly just sharp vapours that makes me want to breathe out on an open flame and see what happens.

Decent viscosity, gets a bit hot later and maybe a touch untextured, could use something other than booze to cut through.

A bit overblown and I feel the base beer could and should be a lot bigger and ballsier to counteract the boozey oak. It could handle something bigger with a lot more malt character and some additional hopping too.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.25
Melange No. 14
Reviewed by Jez on 24.04.17 in bottle
Overall:
58 / 100
(Decent)
750ml tall dark bottle purchased from BevMo in Menlo Park, CA. Shared with Sam back in Sydney.

Pours a deep cola brown, with a fizzy coarse head of beige that leaves minimal lace. Body is slick and fine, with some definite weight behind it. Carbonation is fine bit swift. Looks decent, but less depth and richness than you'd expect.

Nose is very boozy. Notes of sherry and brandy mark it as very strong. Sharper notes come through with pepper and kerosene. Lots of oaky wood, but it's very full on and straight—it dumps its one note then sits doing very little else.

Taste is also very hot. Lots of oak, more port and brandy characters. Something fortified, with lots of vanillin. Front has some nuttiness as it warms, but it swoops into strong wine characters again. It's very potent, and a little too much to be honest.

Feel is quite light, thinned by the hot potency of the booze.

Overall, it's a little bit of a mess. It's very hot, but like it's been fed too much sugar, or it's been fortified against its will. It's too big for what it is.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.25
Sour in the Rye
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 18.07.16 in bottle
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a dark burnished amber colour, Jez's (pictured) has a thin crown of head, mine (not pictured) has none at all. Some occasional bubbles up the body. No lace. Looks kinda listless and flat.

Smells sharp and fruity. Notes of strawberry, lime, and sour cherry. Touch of cakey sweetness with a slight caramel note, and a lactic funkiness at the back. Bit sharp but very appealing.

Taste is also quite tasty. Sour throughout, with lime and berry notes - strawberry, raspberry and cherry. Gets a funky earthy note midway with some rye spice, and then some sharp notes on the back. Quite spiky actually, with a hint of vegetative flavour that gives a sensation almost like chilli heat, it's from those bugs that really pull back the body in a big way. Slight creaminess midway too which is a good counterbalance, but yeah it's overall a bit sharp. Otherwise tasty.

Nice sharp sour drop, bit too much pull and wildness but some tasty fruity notes as well.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.5
Sour in the Rye
Reviewed by Jez on 16.07.16 in bottle
Overall:
85 / 100
(Exceptional)
Pours a very thickly hazed amber colour, like light-coloured wood, with a frothy head of taupe that persists as a minimal ring. No lacing. Body looks fairly light. Carbonation is very fine, and drifts very slowly towards the top. Looks pretty good.

Nose is very tart, with a pronounced vinous character and plenty of fruit. I get dried apricots, chardonnay and slight pungent notes of verjuice and basil. It's really complex, and there's plenty of things to explore in it. Very nicely done.

Taste is also very good. There's a tart dried apricot note that actually makes the body quite rich and juicy. Slight peppery notes on the back, but the tartness persists, with a bright, sharp bite. Lots of fruit in the finish as well, more dried apricots, peach skin and white wine grapes. It's really very nice indeed.

Finish is driven by the pleasant tartness, with a very fine carbonation giving it some lift.

Overall, this is a really cracking, very coherent and complex beer. The Bruery can be a bit hit and miss for me, but they've nailed it with this one. This is a beautiful beer, and beautiful crafted.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | drinkability: 4.25
White Oak
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 24.09.14 in bottle
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a bright yellowy orange. Head is white, quite dense, with lovely thick lacing. Looks nice.

Smells oaky, mostly. Sweet, malty, with a touch of some resinous hops, but mostly just buttery, chardonnay-style oak - notes of vanilla and coconut and currants, as well. Sweet, nutty, slightly tannic, in a good way. Certainly interesting, and appealing.

Taste is also massively oaky, lots of character to it. Caramel malt upfront that gets quite woody, piney with some resinous, even grassy, notes, touch of medicinal character, before strong oaky notes with vanilla, plummy character, coconut and fig jam. Rich, robust flavour, quite sweet and somewhat medicinal, which is a shame, as the robustness could be hugely pleasing otherwise. Still very interesting and pleasant, though.

Bit of harsh booze on the back, dries it up completely. Slight harshness, really, although body overall is nice.

Very nice oak-heavy beer, but I feel like the base beer is swamped by the oak.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.75
White Oak
Reviewed by Jez on 20.09.14 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
750ml brown bottle purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA. Brought back to Sydney where I cracked it open with the Jabberwock brewing crew during a brewday.

Pours a very hazy, very pale white-golden colour, with a fine but fairly persistent head of pure white that sticks as a slick film to the top of the glass. Decent fine streaks of lace. Carbonation is very fine, but a little more rapid than I expected. Overall, it looks quite good.

Nose is a little odd. There's some noticeable oaky wood characters giving it a smoothness all over, but this is countermanded somewhat by a slightly acidic quality perhaps from the high proportion of wheat. It gives it almost the quality of a wood-aged cider. Oaky, but a little tart and with a few medicinal overtones. It's not bad, it's just a bit odd.

Taste is actually rather similar. There's all of the big sweet, oaky characters, almost lending a slightly tannic organic quality to the front. But then the back is really quite light, leaving a vaguely vinous quality, but without the tightness, the feel, or even really much in the way of real acidity. Instead, we get that vaguely medicinal quality towards the back, a little like a very dry oaky chardonnay. Feel is very light apart from the tannic astringency, which I'll admit is an interesting character.

Overall, it's decent, but not much beyond that. It's a beer that I really feel doesn't appreciate the wood, and yet the oak character is the defining character to the brew, and the only thing that really gives it much flavour.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.5
Tart Of Darkness
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 07.02.14 in bottle
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a reddish dark brown. Head is pale beige, thin rim of lace really. Doesn't really cling. Looks a bit lacklustre.

Smells a bit on the funky tart side. Some mild chocolate malt notes, but large amounts of balsamic, some vinous character and a touch of port. Bit subdued, but what's there is nice.

Taste is interesting. I accidentally gulped down my first taste and it was a bit of a baptism of fire. More slowly savouring now, and it's got a sweet vanilla note upfront which is a bit odd. Develops lots of big tart notes - vinegar acidity mixing with brown sugar and fortified wine. Really tart though, crisp with an underlying berry fruit character that makes it very appealing. Finishes puckering, though, which is a shame. Otherwise the feel is fluid - a bit of body but mostly just a pull from that acidity.

Nice dark lambic style beer. Impressively sour, but enough good flavour around the edges to keep it interesting and appealing.
appearance: 2.75 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 4.0
Tart Of Darkness
Reviewed by Jez on 01.02.14 in bottle
Overall:
81 / 100
(Exceptional)
750ml classically Bruery-orange-capped bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. Shared with Sam and Rich in Sydney.

Pours a dark, but very fluid and light-bodied brown, with almost negligible carbonation. When tilted there are some fine streams, but otherwise it looks pretty dead in the glass. Head forms a pocked ring around the edge of large, sudsy bubbles. Looks okay, but no better.

Nose is surprisingly sweet, with dark fruits providing the bulk of the aroma. Mild plasticky funk comes through as well, leaving a little hint of the future, but otherwise, there's more in the way of berries and a slight chocolate hint. As it warms, surprisingly, the funk comes through a little more, with a definite gueuze-like vegetative character making its presence felt. It's actually pretty solid.

Taste is impressively sour. From the outset, when a metallic bite signals that there's something funky going on, this stays sharp, acidic and intense. Vinous, barrel, acetic, plenty of intense balsamic vinegar, Cantillon-level gueuze tartness, and a lingering finish that leaves crushed tomato plant and more plasticky aromatics. Impressive stuff.

Feel is tart and astringent, but with a fluidity that's quite pleasant.

Overall, yes, this is good stuff. Probably the best beer I've had from the Bruery. This is sharp, intense and unrepentant. The darkness doesn't come through all that much, but then the colour is just impressive. Yep. Well done.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | drinkability: 4.25
Bois
15.0% Old Ale from The Bruery
Reviewed by Jez on 09.06.13 on tap
Overall:
77 / 100
(Excellent)
Tried on-tap at Toronado in San Francisco.

Pours a deep claret red with some flecked hazing. Body is extremely solid: it wouldn't be any other way. Head is an off-white beige colour forming a bubbled ring around the glass. No lace and no visible carbonation, although it forms a sheeting cascade when tilted. Overall it looks complicated, but good.

Nose is excessively complex, and wanders into some strange directions: hoisin sauce, plenty of oak, port, roasted characters, treacle. It's very rich, very interesting. Some tannic red wine comes through as well, and a slight salt/savoury aroma. It's intense.

Hot entry on the palate, plenty of booze, brandy and cherry wine. By the mid palate the heat as settled down a little, leaving a richer sweeter flavour: caramel, treacle and a slightly eggy custard character. The back is dried out by the oak and some of those tannin notes. Sweaty finish.

Feel is intense: hot, but thick. Heavy, rich. Yes.

This is extreme stuff. It's hot, boozy and harsh, but compensated for with its raw intensity, complexity and boldness. I really liked it.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.25 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.25 | drinkability: 4.0
Cuir
14.5% Old Ale from The Bruery
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 06.06.12 in bottle
Overall:
67 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a very murky, Hellish red colour. Head is a thing of singular beauty, with the red beer giving it a vibrant orange-cream glow, small bubbles packed tight into a gorgeous foam, retaining a couple of fingers with sparse bubbling on top. Bit esoteric, but it's among the most instantly seductive beers I've seen.

Smells very American. Full of things the Yanks love. Caramel malt, with spices, rye and booze. Plenty of citric hop, pepper, chestnut and candied orange peel. Hint of sherbet and tobacco on the back. Bit intense, like a chocolate orange liqueur, but very intriguing. Beguiling is probably a bit too generous, but there's a certain mystifying charm no doubt.

Taste is not quite the taste I was looking for. Big orange citrus flavour upfront with a big astringent note that mixes with tobacco notes midway and steers away to an unpleasantly bitter finish. A bit tart and very spicy. Grains of paradise and capsicaian on there, but it's really just a big boozey Grand Marnier-esque flavour. Bit too rich and earthy, could use some cutting from some more hops - NZ hops, even.

Big foamy texture, and really rather boozey and hot. Quite a bold, sweet, almost sticky presence, then a very dry and boozey strength at the death.

Interesting drop, but at times just overwhelmingly boozey and liqueury. Very intriguing, but I'd just as happily pass.
appearance: 5.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Cuir
14.5% Old Ale from The Bruery
Reviewed by Jez on 05.05.12 in bottle
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)
Purchased from A&W Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Brought back to Sydney and shared with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a reddish, burnt ochre colour, quite cloudy and opaque. Head forms as an incredibly fine but incredibly voluminous majestic crown of yellowish off-white. Minimal lacing, but the body is exceptionally thick and silky. Really, it looks quite amazing, especially for a beer of this ABV.

Smell is deep, and boozy, and to be honest, not much else. There are hints of the oak, but it's hidden behind the almost vaporous boozy headiness coming off it. Some mild, slightly funky fruitiness, and a dusty or polleny character on the back. It's good, but it's unapologetically coarse and large.

Taste is also in that vein, with a big boozy astringency throughout almost the entire palate from start to finish, almost burning the throat as it goes down. There's fragrant sweetness all over it, but in some senses it's missing all the sweetness it needs, instead, you get the medicinal booziness with no substance. I can't help but feel that it's pointlessly large, and without real merit.

Feel is tight and silky, but pummelled with that pointless alcohol astringency on the back.

Overall...? I mean, it's an impressive beer. There's no getting away from its raw power. But it's also stupid. It's a beer that shouldn't really exist. You need something to warrant this high an alcohol content. And this just doesn't have it.

appearance: 5.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Orchard White
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 12.09.11 in bottle
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a pale gold colour, mild haze but not very cloudy. Head is white and too generous, but sinking progressively leaving some trails of fluffy lace. Not bad at all.

Smells very fruity with a good belt of spicy Belgian yeast. Granny Smith apple and apricot on there with some citric notes, coriander and white pepper. A bit tannic, though, and could use more grounding or sweetness. There's a bit acidic belt mostly.

Taste is quite decent. Tangy for the most part with plenty of fruit - apple, pear and marmaladey orange notes later. Manages to carry the whole palate through to a fairly fresh, tart finish where it is joined by complementary spice notes - white pepper, coriander, cinnamon and a touch of fresh clove late. Really quite a pleasant springtime fruit pie flavour to this beer: nice freshness but sweetness in equal measure.

Bit too sizzly on the feel, quite a carbolic burn as it does down. Could use more body.

Good witbier. It extracts the best out of its simple flavour premise.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Saison Rue
8.5% Saison from The Bruery
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 20.06.11 in bottle
Overall:
74 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a dirty brown-tinged yelowl with lots of cloud. Thin white head that sticks around pretty well, and some very nice sticky lace. Good.

Smells funky, organic and quite vegetative. Metallic bitterness on there as well as some vinous tartness. Yeah, the dirty bitterness of the rye matches the funky brett tartness well. What I expected from the brief, and nicely put together.

Tastes quite tart. Starts malty, with rich toffee caramel grain. Develops vinous tart notes early, with a bit of a pull on the mouth that then develops a dirty bitterness, slight rye spice but mostly just dank, organic notes, almost starchy at times. Not a lot of actual barnyard saison notes, but it's a funky palate overall. Touch of wet lucerne and horse at the very back. The blend of that rye spice might detract a bit from the overall saison effect but it's a good blend and an appealing palate.

A bit thin actually, with a touch of sharpness from acidity. Not bad

I didn't really have high hopes for this, but it's delivered for sure. Drinkable, pleasant, good blend. The best offering I've had from the Bruery so far.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Trade Winds Tripel
8.1% Tripel from The Bruery
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 18.01.11 in bottle
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a golden orange colour with mild haze. Steady, quite fast carbonation travelling to an off-white head that looks like whipped egg-white on the top, with large bubbles on the side. Nice chunks of lace weaved around the glass; looks nice.

Smells interesting. A curious balance of fruit and must. Fair peach, apricot, jammy characters all overridden by a Belgian mustiness with mild spice and a touch of damp basement aroma to it. Sweet/tangy does hold its own though, and is pleasant enough to carry it through nicely.

Taste is more fruity for the most part. Some dry, quite attenuated cake batter malt upfront develops a nice fruity tang at the midway point. Peach and apple and an apricot jham sweetness come through that then become quite bitter on the back. Slightly musty with light peppery spice, a touch of rubber and an almost vinous note, just has that dry red wine yeast character on the back, quite oddly but it's a nice way to finish. Finish is slightly drab, though; there's not a big characters and it kind of drops off a bit. Overall is pretty nice.

Decent foamy texture with the perfect body, just really nicely weighted in the mouth.

If the finish had more character, it might venture into less drinkable. As it is it's not the most amazingly flavoured beer but is quite enjoyable for drinking.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Trade Winds Tripel
8.1% Tripel from The Bruery
Reviewed by Jez on 15.01.11 in bottle
Overall:
57 / 100
(Decent)

Purchased at Ledger's Liquor in Berkeley, CA, and brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable, @tobeerornottobe and @FakeCousinAndrew.

Pours a hazed but bright golden colour, with a fill bodied, if large-bubbled and foamy head. Lacing is sudsy and thick. Minimal carbonation present - in fact, the body of the beer looks quite still and quite heavy. Looks very pleasant, particularly the colour.

Nose is pleasantly round with lots of Belgian esters coming off it. Light vinous acidity, and very slight hint of oak. Some apple cider vinegar character comes through as it warms, which doesn't really suit, although the other characters are nice.

Very thin on the palate, with some faint cidery nothingness on the front and a back laced with sharp Belgian phenols. The rice, I feel, is the attempt to lighten the body, but I fear it's what gives that straight fermented sugar sweetness, and a hint of the cider. The phenols on the back are true to style, but they stand out a little too harshly. Not a whiff of the basil.

Feel is light in feel, but heavy in body. As in, you can't feel the thickness in the mouth, but you can as you swallow.

Only an average brew as far as I'm concerned. Misses the mark for the style, and the extra "quirks" added to it don't do enough to make it interesting.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Saison Rue
8.5% Saison from The Bruery
Reviewed by Jez on 25.10.10 in bottle
Overall:
46 / 100
(Not Great)

Pours an orangey golden colour. Head is huge and frothy. Sudsy lacing. Boisterous bubbling. Very vibrant and alive, which is what you want in a saison. Looks pretty interesting.

Nose is big and funky, with huge citrus characters, and a really nice almost smoky malt character on the back. Something solid and very grounded connect with the light and airy saison characteristics. Bit of pepper coming through as well. It has some really pleasant saison characters. Perhaps not as well integrated as some of the best examples, but the malt character grounds it nicely.

Taste is unfortunately quite thin, and rather insipid. Some spice on the front, with a lingering acerbic bitterness and a touch of acidity throughout. But there's no depth to it, no connection with the malt as in the nose - indeed, there's little body or malt on it whatsoever. Just a woody acidity, some funk and a green organic character on the back. And that bitterness, which doesn't really match with anything else. No, it doesn't work for me.

Oh, no. The Bruery has done it again for me. Every time I'm expecting something big, exciting and robust, and there's always an insipidness to their beers. It's happened every time so far, and I'm wondering how long I can continue to stick it out.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Rugbrød
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 14.09.10 in bottle
Overall:
53 / 100
(OK)
Pours a red-tinged brown colour, slight cloud fluffing out the body. Head is huge, but sinking, as all heads must. Retains a marshmallowy pillow in the middle and leaves slight specks of lace. Yeah fantastic head, the rest is pretty good too.

Nose is quite sour, also quite musty. Fair amount of orange and lemon rind on there with a slight funk, hints of white wine vinegar and cherries. Touch of cranberry as well and maybe a slight detergent note. Definitely needs more sweetness, it doesn't quite have the deliciousness of a sour ale, but lacks balance otherwise.

Taste is fairly funkatarium, with lots of musty, mouldy character coming off it. Aspects of brie rind and lucerne on there as well as some spicy phenolic notes, with hints of carraway and cardamom. Fair red wine character late mid gets earthy with soil and that general flavour of decay. Not the most appealing palate I've experienced, it's dark and has a slightly dismal overtone to it. There's not much in here that is fresh or uplifting. Not that it's bad, it just doesn't make me happy, the way a great beer should.

Bit of tart sizzle towards the back gives it some textue. Has a body that can carry it off, but not a lot to it otherwise.

Yeah, overall this beer just strikes me as depressing, like an attic that's been shut up too long with no windows.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Rugbrød
Reviewed by Jez on 04.09.10 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)

Sharing a bottle with @LaitueGonflable and @thescotdownunder which I brought back from California. Always love sharing beer with good friends.

Pours a deep red colour, very red, in fact, almost like black cherry juice, with a huge and frothy head of beige bubbles. Not much to the body, especially considering it's 8%. Head leaves little lacing. Love the colour, but I'm a little bemused at the rest of the appearance.

Not a huge amount on the nose, although there's a little acidity and a bit of grainy malt. As it warms a little, there are some odd bubblegum characters, along with some more sophisticated rye notes. But it's not an incredibly robust nose.

Taste is also a little lacklustre, quite a thin body, with overly bombastic carbonation, reasonably weak for the most part before a slight upturn in roasted malt and rye characters on the back. There's an odd acidity running through it, which may be put down to the rye. It's decent, but there's something a little uninspiring about it. Carbonation hurts the feel, and leaves it a little bloating.

I've had better rye beers, and better beers in general. This is just a little too flat, a little too devoid of character to be truly inspiring. Drinkable enough, and the 8% is well hidden, but I was hoping for something much better.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Hottenroth Berliner Weisse
Reviewed by Jez on 29.11.09 in bottle
Overall:
51 / 100
(OK)

Pours an extremely pale yellow, verging on colourless, very cloudy with a thick fine head of pure white foam. Lacing is very good, and the extreme, fine carbonation looks like tiny streams of pure effervescence. A very sophisticated and refined looking beer, and just exactly what you want in a Berliner Weisse.

Loads of funk and acidity on the nose, tart citrus rind, grapefruit, composting greenery and crushed vegetation. A hint of wet burlap sack, and a more organic yeast character are also noticeable. Not bad.

Taste is far different from expected. There's only an initial tart character on the front of the tongue, which disappears almost immediately, leaving a thin biscuity character, and an odd flavour of marzipan. The yeast funk is noticeable, and the finish is left quite phenolic and rank. Mouthfeel is extremely thin, which I guess is average for the style, but without much acidity, it just leaves exposed the very mediocre back palate.

Everything just fell away once I took a sip; this beer ends up thin, bare and empty. Maybe this is a Berliner Weisse which really requires syrup to give it any character (or rather, to cover the weak, but unpleasant characters it has). It was promising on the nose, and it looked the part, but it couldn't hold its end up when it counted. A shame.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 2.5