Sisyphus Brewing's Brett IPA offers a nontraditional take on a popular style
This July, Sisyphus Brewing opened in Loring Park with a steady rotation of in-house only beers available on their four taps. This includes Brett IPA, a 6.3% ABV, 62 IBU IPA that is brewed with Brettanomyces, a strain of wild yeast often used in sour beers.
The Brett IPA varies from that sour association; it's fruity but subtle, not a white or Belgian IPA. The yeast gives that fruity impression in the flavor more than the aroma, with a bit of peach and an underlying spice, or as head brewer Sam Harriman calls it, a "little bit of funk."
"The best way I can describe the funk," says Harriman, "is that it's kind of like sweat, which doesn't sound very appealing, but is surprisingly tasty."
The beer is consistent, flavorful, and a light cloudy copper in color, with a medium carbonation and minimal head in pour.
"The Brett characteristics come through differently depending on the strain and fermentation times," says Harriman. He took his inspiration from Denver's Crooked Stave Brewery, whose founder, Chad Yakobson, specializes in Brett fermentation. "He's doing some real tasty, innovative things with wild yeast and I saw an opportunity to be creative and adventurous in ways most of the brewing world right now is afraid to. There are just as many different strains of Brett out there compared with traditional yeast strains. I like doing things that go against tradition, and this to me is a really good opportunity to do that."
Brett is currently on tap at Sisyphus with another batch in preparation for when the small-batch brewery's supply runs dry.
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