Belgian IPA with Brett

Image from To Øl brewery

My interest in beers with Brettanomyces has grown over time.  Initially my experience with Brett was not one of great fondness.  At the time, I had recently discovered New Belgium’s La Folie, the great American-face-punching-brown-sour and was so captivated that I was looking for anything else like it.

I ended up trying any of the potential “sour” beers that showed up in Texas and ran into a number of American farmhouse beers that utilized Brett.  Anyone who has tasted La Folie will know that there isn’t a hint of “classic” Brett flavors or aromas, even if Brett is employed in the creation of La Folie.  None of the “horse leather, sweat, funk, cheese” nose that can come from some Brett strains.

It was exactly those overly peppery, funky, sweaty flavors that had turned me off of Brett beers.  But as with hoppy beers, which I didn’t originally enjoy, eventually your tastes change.

At this point, I can say that I’m having a similar transition from avoiding Brett beers to being completely enamored with any beer that utilizes Brett in any form.

One of the beers that literally changed my mind about Brett was the Sans Frontiére beer from the To Øl brewery.  I received this great beer from the Rare Beer Club and initially was quite hesitant with the description.  Hoppy Belgian but fermented with Brett.  I decided that I would drink the beer as soon as possible to minimize the Brett character.  What I encountered was an amazingly complex, dry, hoppy Belgian beer that fundamentally changed my outlook on Brett.

Earlier this year I was looking for something in the Belgian Blonde category for a local Pro-AM competition so on a whim, I sent an email to the To Øl brewery asking about Sans Frontiére and to my surprise, Tore Gynther, the head brewer there, (who started brewing with Mikkeller in Chemistry class) replied with the recipe.  Fantastic!

Now that I’ve got a few strains of Brett around at the Woxford Brewery I figured it was time to see how well an all-brett hoppy beer would turn out.  So let’s see how this one goes.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.3 gal 60 min 62.8 IBUs 6.2 SRM 1.058 1.006 6.9 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Belgian Specialty Ale 16 E 1.03 - 1.08 1.006 - 1.019 15 - 40 3 - 50 2.1 - 2.9 3 - 9 %


Name Amount %
Brewer's Malt, 2-Row, Premium (Great Western) 8.602 lbs 75
Oats, Flaked 1.032 lbs 9
Crystal, Medium (Simpsons) 7.34 oz 4
Munich Malt 5.5 oz 3
Candi Sugar, Clear 1.032 lbs 9


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Herkules 0.71 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 18.5
Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 1 oz 10 min Boil Pellet 4.3
Tettnang 1 oz 1 min Boil Pellet 4.5
Columbus (Tomahawk) - 2012 Crop - Purchased 20130220 1 oz 10 days Dry Hop Pellet 15.3
Styrian Goldings 1 oz 10 days Dry Hop Pellet 5.4


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Abbey Ale (WLP530) White Labs 78% 66°F - 72°F
Brettanomyces Bruxellensis (WLP650) White Labs 70% 65°F - 72°F


Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 148°F 90 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min


To Ol - San Frontiere recipe

2 thoughts on “Belgian IPA with Brett

  1. Pingback: This and That

  2. Pingback: Extra Special Bretter, or more fun with Brett. B. Trois | Woxford Brewing Co.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *