Lips Of Faith and Lost Abbey Brett Beers
Strange things are afoot. There’s been some talk around the humidor recently concerning the new collaborative brews launched in tandem by craft beer giants Lost Abbey Brewery and New Belgium ( Lips of Faith ) Brewing. What make this particular case so interesting is that both of these new creations sport the unusual designation of being brewed as a Brett beer. A Brett beer is a beer which utilizes Brettanomyces yeast in the brewing process, resulting in a more sour profile. You may not have ever heard of it before, but Brett yeast is what helps give many lambics their sharp tartness.
Now here’s where the details can get a bit confusing. Recently, the team at Lost Abbey Brewery paired up with the folks over at New Belgium Brewing to produce a unique, one-of-a-kind Brett beer; a perfect choice for a summer seasonal called the Lips of Faith Brett. Nearly simultaneously, the two companies began working on a second collaborative brettanomyces based brew called Lost Abbey’s Mo Betta Bretta. Essentially, it’s two different companies, producing two different beers, in one unique format. So at our last Monday night meeting we decided to find out what made these two similar products, designed by the same two companies, uniquly different enough from each other to deserve their own lines.
First, we sampled the Lips of Faith (New Belgium) version simply called the Brett. Poured in its glass, the Lips of Faith Brett is slightly hazy and golden in color. The nose has a strong banana scent layered atop a sour yeast aroma, similar to the characteristics of a hefeweizen. On the pallet, the Lips of Faith is smooth with a bit of an herbal taste that rescinds once the slightly tart Brett yeast begins to take rise. Towards the finish, there is a subtle tropical fruit sweetness that lingers for quite a while. All in all, this is a great beer. Though, to be completely honest, if the Lips of Faith Brett were mislabeled a hefeweizen, it would be awfully difficult at first to notice the mistake.
Next, we moved on to the Lost Abbey iteration of the collaborative brews known as the Mo Betta Bretta. As soon as the cap was removed the air began to fill with the aroma of powerful Belgian Brett yeast. The nose is yeast intensive, forcibly subduing the milder herbal and spice scents that rest in the background. In the glass, the Lost Abbey was less effervescent, far more viscous and intensely richer in appearance than the Lips of Faith. The Mo Betta Bretta’s profile has a bold tartness with splashes of peach and green apple thrown in for good measure. It’s also a bit drier compared to the Lips of Faith with a nice balance in profile that teeters between sweet and tart.
So who’s the winner in all this, you may ask? Well, we all are! It’s kind of difficult to judge these two on equal footing as they both offer a diverse and unique experience. Both beers offer a citrusy reprieve from the hot days of summer and both taste excellent. In truth, it comes down to which style you tend to gravitate towards more. If you prefer a lighter, sweeter beer that’s more similar in profile to a hefeweizen, then the Lips of Faith Brett beer by New Belgium and Lost Abbey is a better choice for you. However, if you tend to enjoy a rich, bold and yeast laden brew, more in the style of a traditional Brett, then the Lost Abbey/New Belgium Mo Betta Bretta is a no-brainer.
So hopefully this helps to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the unusual collaborative efforts put forth by New Belgium and Lost Abbey. Although birthed by like minds, and honed with similar intentions, these two brews couldn’t be more different.