It is nice to have starters of various microbes on hand if you like brewing funky beers. When I have a bit of extra wort or beer from one batch or another that isn't headed the right direction or maybe just seems like a good candidate for some funk then I have the microbes to take advantage of the situation. I feed the Brett/Lacto starters every month or two, either with extra starter wort, or boiled down final runnings from a batch of beer. The Lacto in particular should probably be fed more often, but it seems to be doing fine after 6 months.
Last spring Audrey wanted to brew a Belgian Amber for her May 16th birthday. We came up with a recipe and brewed it, but it turned out more brown than amber. I decided it would be fun to steal a couple quarts and add some Brett Brux starter to see what sort of character we would end up with. It is fun to see how the beer changed with the addition of some funk compared to the clean portion.
Appearance – Brown at the top of the tapered glass, but amber towards the bottom. Clear when held to the light, with small bubbles rising slowly though it. The head is off-white, with fine bubbles, and good retention (beautiful lacing). Nice looking beer.
Smell – Nice combination of fruit (red grapes), spicy/dusty Brett, and a bit of bready malt. Complex and funky without being too aggressive.
Taste – Dry, with more earthy funk than I got in the nose. The finish is long and slow, with leather, hints of toasty chocolate malt, and prunes. Minimal bitterness, and only a suggestion of its alcoholic strength.
Mouthfeel – Feels a bit fuller than a beer this dry should be up front, but the finish is thin. Medium carbonation, any more and it would get in the way. Just slightly astringent from the dryness.
Drinkability & Notes – At almost a year old this beer is doing well. The White Labs Brett Brux in secondary did much better in this beer than when I used it in primary for the Brett Pale Ale.