Christchurch’s Concept Brewing is one of the latest producers with a barrel program in development, and its first releases are just beginning to emerge. Multitude of Sins is a range of starkly different beers, all of which having shared some time in barrel. Volume 1 is a grapefruit IPA that was first conventionally brewed before undergoing a brettanomyces refermentation and eight month rest in an old red wine barrel.
The brett wields a strong influence over the nose, adding its unique pungency to the pithy grapefruit and rich malty aroma. The palate is where things really get complex, and it’s going to take even an experienced taster a few sips to get a hold on it. There’s significant malt character, though wrung dry of any residual sweetness by the rigorous brett yeast. An initial dance of sweet citrus on the tip of the tongue reveals the grapefruit, while further back the brett character locks together with the firm oak tannin for a big and solidly bitter finish, gradually receding to reveal the grapefruit once again.
It’s very rare to get a brett beer that isn’t also a sour, which makes this one a particular recommendation for anyone curious as to the profound effect this peculiar yeast has on the flavour. The influence here is definitive, but not nearly as all-consuming as it can be in even bigger, freakier examples like Hopwired Unchained.