Make Your Best Brett Beer – Craft Beer & Brewing

Sometimes you just roll the dice.

That was my approach the first time I dropped (just) Brett into a beer, at the urging of a friend whose pro brewery had recently produced a really good Brett Pale Ale. I believed then and believe now that they had benefitted from luck as much as anything else, if for no other reason than that the precise mechanics and outcomes of a pure-Brett fermentation weren’t especially well known at the time.

Maybe it was that belief in fate that led me to think to myself, “well, you know what? Before I get too wrapped around the axle on how to design a recipe for a 100 percent Brett beer, why not just take a hoppy recipe I already have, maybe tinker with it a bit, and see what we get?” Darned if it didn’t work. I can’t promise the same will be true for you – it remains the case that, for a wide range of technical reasons, Brett beers can still be an exercise in “your mileage may vary.” Start here, knowing that you might get something funkier, or sweeter, or fruitier, or drier than I did.

Like my granddad says, “you roll the dice, you take what you get.” I’m willing to wager, though, that you’ll like what you get, even if it’s not what you expect. Specialty styles (especially those using unconventional fermentations) are like that.


Brett Beers, as defined by the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, are a specialty style that can use as their foundation any base style. You’ll often see pale, hoppy beers in this category on the shelves, but you needn’t be constrained by that. This happens to be a variation on my Peachtree IPA recipe, but Brett produces flavors that are complementary to a whole

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