We’ve always admired the fruit forward notes that are in most of the golden nectars that flow from Schroon’s Paradox Brewery. What we didn’t know was how it gets there. Until now: it’s referred to by brewers as “Brett” short for: BRETTANOMYCES…now doesn’t that roll nicely off the tongue.
Paradox head brewer Devon Hamilton gives the short answer of what your new friend “Brett” is all about (and the odors he gives off) in the above video.
Serious Food has the low down on Brettanomyces:
Known for inspiring such tasting notes as "barnyard," and "horse blanket," Brettanomyces is a funky beast that tends to freak people out a little bit. Its impact on beer varies dramatically based on fermentation temperature, the other fermentation organisms present in the beer, and at what point it's added, but Brett (as it is commonly known), is most easily identifiable by that barnyard funk associated with 4-ethyl phenol, a flavor compound it produces. Brett is also known for tearing through sugars that normal yeast cannot, leaving beers very, very dry. Producing very little acid, Brett is usually not responsible for creating sourness in beers, instead, you're looking for horsey, earthy funk.