Brewery: Brekeriet Beer AB
Style: Sour Ale
Character: Brewed with Black Currants and Brett
Ratings: BeerAdvocate: 3.91/5 | Untappd: 3.81/5
Metal Connection: EDGE OF SANITY – Enigma
BeerMetal Rating: 5/5
Here’s one of those beers that won me over just on description alone, and their simple but colorful label, somewhat helped, I guess. I saw this beer online and my good friend Jorge Espinoza of animebeers.com helped me get it down here to me. This is Ribes, which I just found out today is pronounced rī-(ˌ)bēz, like raibes, but with a long I. I was saying ribes, as in rībz. Oh well, learn something new everyday.
Ribes is a genus of about 150 known species of flowering plants, which includes edible currants, which is the main adjunct used within this beer, along with our little buddy brettanomyces. In Sweden this beer is named Cassis, which of course is a word used to describe strong black currant character in beverages like wine. For some reason our wonderful country had them change the name of Cassic for US distribution, so they chose the name Ribes for this beer. Besides the name change, the label is different by adding a background of different color, from the original black on white label of Cassis. So before we get into my take on this black currant wild ale hybrid fermented with brettanomyces yeast, let’s talk about the colorful label.
The background to this label is light green with a wallpaper looking design that seems to be an abstract drawing of berries on a vine. There is a large letter B, representing the brewery name and the word Ribes below the large letter. Very simple, yet the colors caught my eye and made me want this beer. Plus I love Wild Ales with fruit, so….
I poured this beer into a Prairie Artisan Ales snifter glass. The beer’s appearance was a purplish-red like color, similar to fruit punch. As soon as poured, there was a tiny fizzy head, which, as expected, fizzled away really quickly, leaving no head, an no lacing down the glass. The color though was very inviting.
Fruit punch, very berry-like aroma. This is what I was looking for as soon as I opened this beer. There was a little hint of floral, and bready yeast behind the funk of the wild fermentation. A perfect sour aroma. It wasn’t just all sour or funk. There were actual characters involved here.
The taste followed the nose. Tart sour berry fruit punch was the main flavor going on here. I loved the way that the currants cut through the wild yeast. After each sip, I let the beer taste buds settle and as I smacked my lips to get a final taste, the floral and breadiness came forth while the currant and sour funkiness was still present. Well rounded beer.
The body was a medium thickness, giving this beer a feel like a fruit punch with real fruit in it. The mouthfeel was smooth and oily with a dry finish.
My overall rating of this beer was a perfect score. Rabis provided everything it said it would with the added black currants and brettanomyces . As I said, I liked that beer wasn’t just one sided, and had a well rounded overall flavor with a mouthfeel that went perfectly with the taste. This was my first encounter with Brekeriet Beer AB from Sweden, and I hope that one day, their US distributor, Shelton Brothers will have some available here in TX. I want more from these guys. They are doing something great over there with their small brewery producing wild ales, and being the only brewery in Sweden to ferment their beers with nothing but wild yeast and bacteria. Seek them out if you are a fan of sour beers.
Metal Connection: Well I knew I was not going to find a Metal song with ribes in the title. The brewery name isn’t even a real word, as it is a play on words, as I read in an interview with Frefrik and Andre Ek, two of the three bothers who started the brewery. Read that interview here on The Hop Review. Since this beer was a perfect 5/5, I went with one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands from Sweden; “Enigma” by Edge of Sanity. This was the first song I ever heard from this almighty godly band, as Unorthodox, their 1992 full length album was the first I ever bought from them. This was one of those albums that I purchased based on the album cover alone. I had never heard of them before this purchase. I want to say I bought this at Flipside Record Parlor here in San Antonio. They used to have their Death Metal CD’s in a glass case. I loved the cover. This song has it all. It shows off the wide vocal range of the man, Dan Swanö. His Death Metal style vocal approach was one of my early influences that made me want to front a Death Metal band. You can also hear his soothing clean vocals on this song, which would be something he loved to show off during their entire career and many other bands that he is a part of. I usually hear this song at least 5 times a day while I am driving around my sales route for my job. It helps get the blood pumping. Edge of Sanity has disbanded, and I miss them dearly, but their legacy will forever live on.