Well, who can resist a beer called Ommegeddon?
From the Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York comes this ominously named brew.
It is a Belgian-style ale brewed with a type of yeast called Brettanomyces otherwise known as “Brett”.
Brett is an interesting thing. It is often feared in the wine industry. A small bit of Brett can be OK in a heartier red wine, lending complexity and interest. A wine with an overlarge population of Brett, on the other hand, can exhibit smells that are often described as wet dog, mulch, or farmyard.
However, in certain styles of Belgian beers, Brett is actively cultivated. Russian River Brewing, in Santa Rosa, has gone so far as to brew a beer with no traditional beer yeast, only Brett.
Beers with some Brett gain complexity of flavor and are often described as “Dry” or “Winey”. There is often a straw or farmyard character and can be a slight bitter aftertaste.
To the best of my knowledge, this beer is Brewery Ommegang’s first experiment with Brett. They produced a limited amount, and are planning on making a batch every year.
To me, this first try, is more interesting than compelling. For one thing, they have aggressively dry hopped this beer, which is not something that is typically done in Belgian style ales. To me the hops comes across as a bit over done, almost to the point of leaving a soapy taste in your mouth. It is also quite sweet, more like a Belgian Triple than the lambics and farmhouse ales that really benefit from the complexity of Brett. On the whole the flavors of the beer just don’t quite come together for me.
While I can’t whole heartedly recommend this beer, I do applaud Brewery Ommegang for taking a chance on a new style and look forward to the further iterations of Ommegeddon.