Don’t Expect That Barnyard Flavor With Collective’s New 100 Percent Brett Beer, It’s Not Even Grown Into A Petting Zoo.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Collective Brewing Project’s Brett SMaSHY.

Fast Facts on Collective Brewing Project’s Brett SMaSHY.
Style: American Wild Ale (Brett Beer).
ABV: 6.6 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 50.
Color: Pale gold.
Availability: Limited.

Collective Brewing Project seems to get better each time I try its beer. Last time around, we spent some time with CBP’s Petite Golden Sour and it was very good. This time around, we’re checking out its Brett SMaSHY, a Brett IPA. Brett who? Well, this beer is fermented with a different kind of yeast compared to the normal Saccharomyces – a wild yeast called Brettanomyces. And not only does it contain Brettanomyces, it’s likely fermented with 100 percent Brettanomyces. Why is this beer called Bretty SMaSHY? Well, smash beers are known as single-malt-and-single-hop. Basically, the mash consists of one type of malt, and the beer is hopped with one varietal of hop.

Background on Brett Beer.
In most instances, a brewer will start out initial fermentation with Saccharomyces yeast, and then finish a beer or age it in barrels with a little extra sugar plus a healthy dose of wild bugs such as Brettanomyces. These beers are typically what I think of when I think of mixed fermentation beers or Brett beers. These types typically take on that horse blanket/leather/barnyard sort of vibe. It’s intentional, and it’s delicious if you’re in to that sort of thing. And I am absolutely in to that sort of thing! The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) has a subcategory of American Wild Ale dedicated to this all-Brett beer. Instead of a mixed fermentation situation, some Brett beers are fermented 100 percent with Brettanomyces. Brett can eat up some of the weirder-chain sugars that everyday Saccharomyces cannot, and this means that Brett beers can finish with very little residual sugar, giving the beer a super-dry finish and overall interesting drinking experience. Younger Brett beers will showcase more fruit, while older or barrel-aged Brett beers typically take on more funk.

Brett SMaSHY pours a cloudy pale gold, almost straw sort of color in to the glass. I see some initial foam, but the foam quickly fades in to a more of a ring-around-the-glass scenario. This beer reminds me of a New England IPA — one of those IPAS that people apply the term juicy to. Eww. But fear not, because while this beer might end up being a juicy beer, I will try my best to not use the term. It’s just weird.

Brett beers are often brewed with carefully-selected hop varietals that are meant to harmonize with the fruity esters and other byproducts of fermentation. There are a ton of hops on the nose, but the hops here are way cranked up on the fruity end of the spectrum. If you’re looking for cascade or some other piney aroma, that’s not here. It’s big, fruity and tart. According to Untappd, Brett SMaSHY is brewed with Maris Otter malt, and hopped with Columbus hops. Columbus is a well-used bittering hop, but not known as well for its dry-hopping characteristics. But Brett SMaSHY takes that bias we might have and turns it on its head. And I don’t know what sort of dry-hopping situation is going on with this beer, but there is a ton of tart citrus and earthy spice on the nose, and I dig it.

My first sip gives me a rush of tart flavor first, followed by the old familiar signature of Brettanomyces. It’s not horsey, though; it plays nice with the bitter sensation from the hops here, and what I thought might end up as a barnyard in my mouth hasn’t even grown to a petting zoo. The bitter and citrus-y hops strike a fine balance with the funky notes of the Brett and play a tug-of-war on my tongue.

The mouthfeel on Brett SMaSHY is nice and bright, albeit a tad thin. I do not consider this out of style, though, since Brett on its own is a vigorous and thorough fermenter. Its carbonation is relatively high compared to your standard American IPA. It seems to dial up the brightness and funk on this beer. Mouthfeel for the style is variable, but for Brett SMaSHY and what it is, the mouthfeel is very pleasurable.

Overall Impression.
I am a fan of this beer. This isn’t a beer I’m going to sit here and drink all night, no, but I will most likely have a couple while I can find it. That scarcity is another thing we need to cover: Collective isn’t the easiest brewery to find around town. Just because it’s located in Fort Worth doesn’t mean that it should be necessarily difficult to track down. What might make it difficult to track down is the output and the capacity of the brewery. Collective Brewing Project just isn’t making that much beer compared to a bigger capacity brewery like Lakewood. If you really want to get some time with Collective’s beers, head to Collective’s space. Otherwise, it’s sort of hit or miss at this point with rarer beers like Brett SMaSHY.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Collective Brewing Project SMaSHY a 9.25

What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Friday, January 20: Turning Point Beer Tasting at Ron’s Corner Tavern.
• Saturday, January 21: Dallas Brew Bus January Tour.
• Sunday, January 22: Happy Birthday Sasquatch Pub Crawl in Downtown Denton.
• Friday, January 27: Pop-Up Beer Dinner w/ Maple & Motor at Noble Rey Brewing Co.
• Saturday, January 28: Barbecue Pitmaster Cooking Class w/ Heim at The Collective Brewing Project.
• Saturday, January 28: Grand Opening at On Tap.
• Sunday, January 29: Girl Scout Cookies & Beer Pairing Flight at L.U.C.K.
• Saturday, March 11: Tater Tots and Beer Festival at Fair Park.
• Friday, March 31-April 2: Big Texas Beer Fest at Fair Park.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
• On Rotation’s Lingonberry Sahti: 9.25.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Small Brewpub’s Black Pepper Pils: 8.5.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Prime Minister: 8.25.
Lakewood’s Thread Spinner: 8.
Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit: 8.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
TUPPS Full Grown Man: 7.75.
3 Nations American Wit: 7.75.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Dapper Apple: 7.75.
Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
Manhattan Project’s Plutonium-239: 7.
Backcountry’s Texas IPA: 7.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
Three Nations Texas Xmas Hazelnut Ale: 6.5.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Four Corners’ Celebración: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Woodcreek’s Lakeside Cerveza: 5.
Martin House Cuvee Pumpkin Latte: 5.
Intrinsic’s Crunktoberfest: 5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Audacity’s Checkered Past: 4.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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