Beer Review – Brews from The Bruery

Found myself as a guest at the 8Eightyeight Diamond Crown Lounge again, courtesy of Dale Conjurski, a real humanitarian. The occasion was a tasting of five Belgian-style beers from an Orange County brewery called The Bruery. The misspelling is a play on words because the Rue family owns the brewery – bRUEry, get it?

According to the person conducting the tasting, the beers are sold only in 750ml bottles. The Bruery does not filter or pasteurize its beers. All of the beers gain carbonation through 100% bottle conditioning, allowing carbonation to naturally occur through a secondary bottle fermentation.

Here are the company’s own descriptions of the beers offered for tasting, with my comments.

Orchard White is an unfiltered, bottle conditioned Belgian-style witbier. This hazy, straw yellow beer is spiced with coriander, citrus peel and lavender added to the boil and whirlpool. A spicy, fruity yeast strain is used to add complexity, and rolled oats are added for a silky texture.

Not my cup of tea. The citrus taste was pleasant enough, but I was put off by an unidentifiable taste; perhaps the coriander? A swing and a miss. A weak 7.4 on the Morris scale.

Black Orchard is an unfiltered, bottle conditioned Belgian-style black wheat beer, or black wit, if you will. This dark but surprisingly light bodied beer is very drinkable while still having character and complexity. Chamomile is added for its floral aroma, while the coriander and citrus peel give the characteristics of a traditional witbier.

Very surprising. The beer is almost black, so you’ll think you are about to taste a heavy porter. Instead, you are met with a refreshing, light tasting beer. I’ll be sure to pick one up if I see it at the store. A strong 8.4 rating.

Saison Rue is an unfiltered, bottle conditioned, Belgian/French-style farmhouse ale. This is a beer of subtlety and complexity, with malted rye, spicy, fruity yeast notes, biscuit-like malt backbone, and a slight citrus hop character. With age, this beer will dry out and will become more complex with rustic notes of leather and earth from the contribution of a wild yeast strain. Being a Saison, Saison Rue is ambiguous unto itself as it is a different beer when fresh and when aged.

Another winner, literally. According to the website, this beer pulled in a gold medal in 2008 and an “A” rating from Beer Advocate Magazine. I’ll be passing this up in the store because it didn’t send me, but I could appreciate its complexity.  An 8.0.

Trade Winds Tripel is a Belgian-style Golden Ale with a Southeast Asian twist. Instead of using candi sugar (typical for such a beer), we use rice in the mash to lighten the body and increase the gravity, and spice with Thai Basil. The result is an aromatic, digestible and complex beer made for a lazy summer evening.

A different taste for sure, but not at all off-putting. If you can’t face the same ol’ same ol’ another day, this would be a good change up. I give it an 8.2.

Partridge in a Pear Tree is a Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale, brewed with our brewery-made dark candi sugar, Munich and Vienna malts. Dark brown in color, fruity and complex with a rich malt backbone.

The beer’s name comes from the brewery’s intention to go through the Christmas song for the next 12 years. Contrary to the company’s description, the beer was not particularly strong or complex. There are better seasonal ales available, so give this one a pass. I can only give this a 7.9.

One Response to “Beer Review – Brews from The Bruery”

  1. I think the overpowering flavor in the witbier is lavender. Not what I’m looking for in a beer either. I finished the sample though.

    Looking forward to the Gurka review in a couple of weeks!

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