List of Unpasteurized Sour and Funky Bottled Beers

This list is divided into three categories: sour beer with both yeast and bacteria; those that contain Brettanomyces, but not bacteria; and those that contain bacteria, but not Brettanomyces. It is by no means comprehensive, but it should include at least a few bottles that almost everyone can find at a local store that specializes in good beer. There are a number of sour beers out there that are pasteurized or filtered after fermentation is complete, so be careful of those not listed. Examples of beers that do not contain viable dregs include many Belgian Flemish reds (e.g., Rodenbach), sweetened fruit lambics (e.g., Lindemans, Liefmans), and American sour beers from some larger breweries (e.g., New Belgium).

If you are unsure about whether a beer contains viable microbes, contact the brewer to ask. In most cases breweries are consistent, with either all or none of their bottled beers containing viable dregs.

Bottles with both Brett and Bacteria 

• AC Golden Brewing Co. – Peche
• The Ale Apothecary – All Beers
• Allagash Brewing Co. – Coolship series, Gargamel, Victor Francenstein, Vagabond, Ghoulschip, FV 13, Little Sal, Merveilleux
• Almanac Beer Co. – Farmer’s Reserve series, Dogpatch Sour, Dogpatch Strawberry, Valley Of The Heart's Delight, Brandy Barrel Peche
• Alpine Beer Co. – Ned, Ichabod 2007/2009, Chez Monieux, Chez Monmee, Chez Monus, Briscoe
• Anchorage Brewing Co. – Anadromous, Between The Staves
• August Schell Brewing Co. – The Star of the North
• Avery Brewing Co. – Brabant, Quinquepartite, Sui Generis, Dihos Dactylion, Meretrix, Immitis, Muscat d’ Amour, Récolte Sauvage, Oud Floris, Odio Equum, Volunt Plus Erat
• Bells Brewery – Wild One
• Bent Brewstillery (Pour Decisions) - Acclivity
• Birra del Borgo – Duchessic, Rubus-Lamponi, L’Equilibrista, Caos Sour Ale
• Birrificio del Ducato – Beersel Mattina, My Blueberry Nightmare, La Luna Rossa
• Birrificio di Montegioco – Dolii Raptor, Bran Reserva, La Mummia
• Birrificio Italiano – Scires
• Birrificio Le Baladin – Nora Sour Edition, Super Baladin Sour Edition, Wayan Sour Edition
• Birrificio Loverbeer – All Beers
• Birrificio Torrechiara – Panil Barriquée (North American version)
• Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant – Golden Canary
• Brasserie Cantillon Brouwerij – All Beers
• Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes (BFM) – Abbaye De Saint Bon Chien
• Brasserie Fantôme – All Beers
• Brasserie Trois Dames – Grande Dame Oud Bruin
• Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen – All Beers except Beersel line
• Brouwerij Boon – Oude series
• Brouwerij De Keersmaeker/Mort Subite – Natural Oude Gueuze, Natural Oude Kriek
• Brouwerij De Troch – Cuvée Chapeau Oude Gueuze
• Brouwerij Girardin – 1882 Gueuze (Black Label)
• Brouwerij Strubbe – Ichtegem’s Grand Cru
• Brouwerij Lindemans – Cuvée René Oude Gueuze, Cuvée René Oude Kriek
• Brouwerij Loterbol – Duysters Tuverbol
• Brouwerij Oud Beersel – Oude Gueuze, Oude Kriek
• Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. – St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition
• Brouwerij Verhaeghe – Duchesse De Bourgogne (filtered, so culturing is difficult)
• Brouwerij Timmermans-John Martin N.V. – Oude Gueuze, Oude Kriek
• Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. – Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale
• Boulevard Brewing Co. – Love Child series
• The Bruery – Oude Tart, Hottenroth, Sour in the Rye, Marrón Acidifié, ISO:FT, Tart of Darkness, Filmishmish, Mélange #1, Bottleworks XII, Mother Funker, Sans Pagaie, Otiose, Rueuze, Ichigo Highway, Griffon Bruxellois
• Bullfrog Brewery – The Jaspers, Liquid Sunshine Reserva, Frambozen, Magic Beans, El Rojo Diablo, Blue Cheer, Black Cherry Bomb, Beekeeper, Oud 15
• Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. – Flaming Furry, Little Linda's Liquid, Barrel Select Batch FO/BB, Barrel Select Gold, Barrel Select Black, Barrel Select Mother Barrel
• Cisco Brewers – Woods series, Saison Farm House Ale
• Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project – Surette, Pure Guava Petite Sour, L’Brett d’Or, Wild Wild Brett Yellow, Wild Wild Brett Indigo, Origins, Persica
• De Dolle Brouwers – All pre-1998 batches were fermented with a mixed-culture supplied by Rodenbach
• De Garde Brewing – All Beers
• De Proefbrouwerij – Flanders Fred
• De Ranke Brouwerij – Cuvée De Ranke, Kriek De Ranke
• Deschutes Brewery – The Dissident (Filtered so culturing microbes may be difficult)
• De Struise Brouwers – Struiselensis, Dirty Horse
• Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales – Festina Lente
• Freetail Brewing Co. – Fortuna Roja, Ananke, Woodicus, Bandito
• Firestone Walker Brewing Co. – Feral One, Bretta Rosé
• Fitger’s Brewhouse – Framboise
• Goose Island Beer Co. – Madame Rose
• Grand Teton Brewing Co. – Grand Teton Oud Bruin Belgian-Style Ale
• Geuzestekerij De Cam – All Beers
• Gueuzerie Tilquin – Oude Gueuze Tilquin à l’Ancienne
• Gulpener Bierbrouwerij B.V. – Mestreechs Aajt
• HaandBryggeriet – Haandbic, Haandbakk, Wild Thing
• Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. – Michael
• Hanssens Artisanaal – All Beers
• Hill Farmstead – Biere De Norma, Ann, Vera Mae Batch #2, Art, Flora, Mimosa, Civil Disobedience #1-6 (All?), E., Phenomenology of Spirit, Juicy, Elaborative series, Prolegomena
• Indigo Imp Brewery – All beers
• Ithaca Beer Co. – LeBleu
• Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Cassis De Hill, Framboise De Hill, Kriek De Hill, Lambic De Hill, Flemish Red, Dark Humor
• Jackie O's Pub and Brewery – Dynamo Hum, Cab Cherry Man, Brown Recluse, The Grand Wazoo, Quincedence, Chunga's Old Bruin
• Jester King Craft Brewery – Das Wunderkind!, Das Überkind, Boxer's Revenge, Funk Metal, Buddha’s Brew, RU-55, Salt Lick Pecan Wood Smoked Saison, Atrial Rubicite, Aurelian Lure, Cerveza De Tempranillo, Montmorency Vs Balaton, Nocturn Chrysalis, Omniscience & Proselytism, La Vie En Rose (all beers going forward)
• Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales – All Beers
• Leelanau Brewing Co. – All Beers (Brewed by Jolly Pumpkin)
• The Livery – 33 1/3, Cherry Bomb, Umae Umami, Unknown Soldier, Impeche, Verchuosity, Red Molly
• Logsdon Farmhouse Ales – Far West Vlaming, Cerasus
• McKenzie Brew House – Saison Vautour (Du Bois), Irma Extra, Grisette, Cuvee McK, Tristessa, Oer Faute
• Midnight Sun Brewing Co. – Open Container
• Mikkeller – Spontanale (et al.)
• Modern Times Beer – News From Nowhere, Rampart Junction, Empty Hats, Oracle of the Bottle, Palace of the Cracked Heads
• Mystic Brewing – Flor Ventus
• Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. – American Sour
• New Belgium Brewing – Pre-Lips of Faith series corked and caged 750 mL La Folie, La Folie Falling Rock 10th Anniversary, Twisted Spoke 15th Anniversary, Bottle Works 10th Anniversary Wild Ale
• New Glarus Brewing – R&D Gueuze, R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek, R&D Sour Ale
• Odell Brewing Co. – DeConstruction, Friek, The Meddler
• Oxbow Beer – Barrel Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale, Arboreal, Blended Oxtoberfest
• Port Brewing Co./The Lost Abbey – Red Poppy, Cuvée de Tomme, Duck Duck Gooze, Cable Car, Framboise de Amorosa, Isabelle Proximus, Sinners Blend 08 and 10, Veritas series except 011, Box Set series (except Tracks 6/8/10/11)
• Prairie Artisan Ales – Prairie Gold, Bierica, Puncheon, Prairie Somewhere
• Professor Fritz Briem – 1809 Berliner Style Weisse
• Rare Barrel – All
• Rivertown Brewing Co. – Ville De Rivere Geuze, Ojos Negros, Lambic
• Russian River Brewing Co. – Supplication, Temptation, Beatification, Consecration, Sanctification, Depuration, Deviation, Framboise for a Cure, Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale, Toronado 25th Anniversary Ale
• Sante Adairius Rustic Ales –  Maiden Fields, West Ashley, Appreciation, Love’s Armor, Saison Bernice
• Side Project Brewing – Fuzzy, Saison Du Fermier, Saison Du Blé, Le Saisonnier, Pulling Nails Blend
• Snake River Brewing Co. & Brewpub – Le Serpent Cerise
• Southampton Publick House – Berliner Weisse, Black Raspberry Lambic, Überliner
• Squatters Pub Brewery – Fifth Element
• Telegraph Brewing Co. – Reserve Wheat Ale, Petit Obscura
• Three Barrel Brewing Co. – Penitente Sour Ales (Chimayo, Hermano, Genizaro, Morado,
Saliente, and Major)
• TRiNiTY Brewing Co. – Old Growth, The Flavor, Brain of the Turtle, Red Swingline, Double Swingline
• Tröegs Brewing Co. – Splinter Blue
• Upland Brewing Co. – Fruit Lambic series, Dantalion, Gilgamesh, Sour Reserve
• Upright Brewing Co. – Four Play, Fantasia, Blend Love, Fatali Four, most Sole Composition series (although some contain only Brett)
• Vanberg & DeWulf – LambickX, Lambrucha
• Weyerbacher Brewing Co. – Rapture, Riserva, Sour Black
• White Birch Brewing – Indomitus “Black”
• Wicked Weed – Black Angel Cherry Sour, Oblivion Sour Red, Amorous, Genesis Blonde Sour

Bottles with Brett

• 4 Hands Brewing Co. – Cuvee Ange Wine Barrel-aged Wild Ale
• 7venth Sun Brewery – Brett Saison Extrême
• Ale Industries – Unity As In Edward
• Allagash Brewing Co. – Confluence, Interlude, Midnight Brett, Tiarna
• Anchorage Brewing Co. – Whiteout Wit, Love Buzz Saison, Bitter Monk, Tide and Its Takers, Galaxy White IPA, Rondy Brew, Invasion IPA
• Avery Brewing Co. – Fifteen, Dépuceleuse, Avery Muscat d’Amour, Récolte Sauvage
• Backlash Beer Co. – ONCEMADE #1
• Bent Brewstillery (Pour Decisions) - St. Whatshername 
• Black Raven Brewing Co. – Pour Les Oiseaux, Raven De Garde
• Boulevard Brewing Co. – Saison Brett
• Brasserie à Vapeur – Cochonne
• Brasserie d'Orval S.A. – Orval, Petite Orval
• Brewery Ommegang – Ommegeddon, Bière de Mars
• Brewery Vivant – Escoffier Bretta Ale
• The Bruery – Saison de Lente, Saison Rue, Mischief Gone Wild, “100% Brett” versions
• Bullfrog Brewery – Undead Ed, Saison Noire
• Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. – Cuvee de Castleton, Rosso e Marrone, Barrel Select Cherry, Barrel Select Raspberry, Hops N’ Roses, Barrel Select Black
• Cigar City Brewing – Sea Bass (they claim it did not have Brett), early batches of Guava Grove used yeast including Brett from St. Somewhere, but newer batches do not
• The Commons Brewery – Flemish Kiss, Eidolon
• Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project – Wild Wild Brett Rouge, Wild Wild Brett Green, Wild Wild Brett Orange, Wild Wild Brett Blue, Nightmare on Brett Street, Hop Savant, St. Bretta
• De Dolle Brouwers – Stille Nacht Reserva, Oerbier Reserva
• De Proefbrouwerij – Flemish Primitive series, Reinaert Flemish Wild, Signature Ale, Le Deux Brewers, Monstre Rouge, Broederlijke Liefde
• Evil Twin Brewing – Femme Fatale Brett
• Evolution Craft Brewing Co. – Fall Migration
• Flat Earth Brewing Co. – Rode Haring, Extra Medium
• Funkwerks Brewery – Brett Dream
• Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof – Porticus, Berliner Style Weisse Brettanomyces Lambicus Special Edition (the sourness in their beers comes from a strongly lactic wort added to the boil)
• Goose Island Beer Co. – Matilda, Juliet, Lolita, Sofie
• Grassroots Brewing – Wachu Saison
• Green Flash Brewing Co. – Rayon Vert
• Ithaca Beer Co. – White Gold, Brute
• Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Dark Humor
• Jackie O's Pub and Brewery – Funky South Paw, Quincedence
• Jack’s Abby – White Wine Barrel-aged Brett Biere de Garde
• Jester King Craft Brewery – El Cedro
• Logsdon Farmhouse Ales – Seizoen Bretta, Peche ‘n Brett
• Maine Brewing Co. – Thank You Allan!
• Mikkeller – It’s Alright!, It’s Alive!, USAlive!, Yeast Series: Brettanomyces, Yeast Series Brettanomyces Lambicus Pale Ale, Yeast Series Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Pale Ale, AK Alive!
• Midnight Sun Brewing Co. – Anchor, 3767, Uranus, Pluto, Lust, Pride
• New Belgium Brewing – Biere de Mars, Peach Porch Lounger, Fall Wild, Imperial Berliner Weisse
• New England Brewing Co. – 668 Chardonneighbor Of The Beast
• New Glarus Brewing – R&D Golden Ale
• Night Shift Brewing – ONCEMADE #1, Wild Queen and Jester
• Odell Brewing Co. – Saboteur, Avant Peche, Hiveranno, Shenanigans
• Perennial Artisan Ales – Savant Beersel, Aria
• Prairie Artisan Ales – Prairie Ale, American Style, JFJO Jazz Millions, Potlatch, Funky Galaxy, ‘Merica
• Port Brewing Co./The Lost Abbey – Carnevale Ale, Gift of the Magi, 10 Commandments, Saints' Devotion, Saints’ Red Barn, Brouwers Imagination 2008 Saison, Mo’ Betta Bretta, Veritas series 011, Box Set series Track 11
• Russian River Brewing Co. – Redemption (Batch 001)
• Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Brux Domesticated Wild Ale
• Smuttynose Brewing Co. – Brett & I
• Southampton Publick House – Trappist IPA
• Stillwater Artisanal Ales – Barrel Aged Stateside Saison, Barrel Aged Cellar Door, Barrel Aged Folklore, Debauched, Premium
• Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. – All Beers
• Sante Adairius Rustic Ales –  SARA Loves Brett
• Side Project Brewing – Saison De Rouge
• Surly Brewing Co. – Five, Pentagram
• Three Floyds Brewing – Battle Priest
• TRiNiTY Brewing Co. – TPS Report, O Face, Capitaine Petite Bouddha, Le Petite Morte Trajet, Merle Saison Nocturnum, Little Death Ride Saison Apocalyptique
• Tröegs Brewing Co. – Splinter Gold
• Le Trou du Diable – Bretteuse (Fût de Syrah), Buteuse Brassin Spécial, Dulcis Succubus
• Victory Brewing Co. – Wild Devil, Helios pre-2010 (since then it is sterile filtered before bottling)
• Westbrook Brewing – Farmhouse IPA, Brett and No Mices
• White Birch Brewing – Indomitus, Barrel Aged Wild AKA, Wild Ale
• Wicked Weed – Serenity

Bottles with Bacteria

• Brasserie Trois Dames – Ale de Noël Wine Barrel-aged Sour Ale
• Brauerei Hofstetten – Barleywine Ale (Matured In E. DuPont Calvados Wooden Barrels)
• Cascade Brewing – All beers
• Crabtree Brewing Co. – Berliner Weisse Ale
• Jester King Craft Brewery – Bonnie the Rare
• Listermann Brewing Co. – Quaff Bros Sour Grapes!
• Night Shift Brewing – Ever Weisse, Mainer Weisse, Somer Weisse, Cape Codder Weisse
• The Olde Burnside Brewing Company – Highland Wild Ale
• Picobrouwerij Alvinne – Morpheus Wild, Alvino, Kerasus, Cuvée Freddy, Undressed Sour Ale
• Rivertown Brewing Co. – Old Sour Cherry Porter
• White Birch Brewing – Berliner Weisse
• Yazoo Brewing Co. – Fortuitous

Bottles with neither Brett nor Bacteria 

• Bavik – Petrus Oud Bruin, Petrus Aged Pale
• Brouwerij Liefmans – Goudenband, Kriekbier
• New Belgium Brewing – "Lips of Faith" La Folie, Le Terroir
• New Glarus Brewing – Belgian Red, Raspberry Tart, Serendipity, Apple Ale, Strawberry Rhubarb


Andrei said...

great list, Mike! thanks for putting this together. proposed additions: Crooked Stave Hop Savant, Evolution Fall Migration 2012 (you already list 2011).

did i read that all Crooked Stave beers have lacto in them these days? maybe it was even from you? if so, shouldn't all their beers be in the brett+bugs category?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Not sure on Crooked Stave, I'd be surprised if they had all switched to having Lacto. However, Jester King has switched, "all of our fermentations now incorporate a variety of yeasts and lactic acid bacteria."

Andrei said...

i thought that i read somewhere that all CS has lacto now - not on purpose so much as it's out of their control or that they're tired of fighting it. so it was less of a conscious switch and more of a forced capitulation... but i'm probably mis-remembering this. lemme search around and see if i can come up with something. if my story is right, would probably mean that only very small amounts of lacto are present in their "intended non-lacto" beers,

Eric Branchaud said...

I find it odd to think that Ommegang Zuur is Brett-only. It's definitely lacto sour. The only way I could see this is if it gets pasteurized first, then bottled with Brett. That would seem like an odd strategy to me.

Four Fermentors said...

Pour decissions (which is hard to come by now), which is now Bent brewstillery.
They have some brett's in their berliners ("kofi" is really good). You would have to check with Kris on the strains.
THey have put brett in a few other beers to. I know St. Whateshername for sure.

Most other sours were not bottled, but they should have some coming out soon with Bent getting up and running

kcschmitt said...

I think perhaps the Logsdon Farmhouse beers are backwards in categories. The far west Fleming is their take on a kriek and has lacto and pedio. I happened to arrive when he was blending this year's far west and it was lacto and pedio heavy, where peche n Brett and seizon Bretta are the same beer but one with peaches. When I visited dave lgdson told me seizion Bretta had about 4 strains of unique Brett added with a farmhouse strain.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I removed Zuur. I emailed Ommegang about it and never heard back.

I really enjoyed the bottle of the Pour Decisions gose (salinity) I tried last summer. Added a couple.

Fixed Logsdon, nice catch!

research said...

I don't see any Cantillon listed. I was saving my last bottle of Cantillon Lambic to pitch the dregs in a sour batch. Are there viable bugs in Cantillon?

CrunchLaney said...

Shaun Hill recently told me that they started bottling with a wine or champagne yeast...not sure when, but at least this year's E. and Arthur do not have pure cultures of HF microflora.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

It's just listed under the full name of the brewery "Brasserie Cantillon Brouwerij."

Many of the beers on the list contain bottling yeast. As long as they aren't filtered or pasteurized the dregs can be used.

James said...

I have read that Petrus does not include dregs that are suitable for homebrewers to use, although I can't remember why. Maybe it is filtered?

James said...

Yeah so just following up, it appears Petrus does not have usable dregs. Which is too bad, because it has such a nice sourness.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Thanks! I added a new section at the bottom for sour beers confirmed to lack viable non-Saccharomyces organisms.

ericjp72 said...

Loving the book. Thanks for all of your hard work. Although I'm sure lots of it had to be quite enjoyable. How can you tell if a beer has viable dregs for re-pitching? I bought a couple bottles (Perennial Regalia & Boulevard Love Child No. 4) and they have dregs, but how would I know if they can be re-pitched in secondary and make an impact?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Knowing that a brewery's other sour beers contain viable dregs certainly suggests that a new release will as well. However, the only way to be sure is to contact the brewery and ask (if you do, report back here)!

ericjp72 said...

From Boulevard Brewing:
Thanks for contacting us, Eric, and thank you for your interest in Love Child #4. Since Love Child #4 is not pasteurized, you could potentially harvest lactobacillus and brettanomyces from the dregs. However, you will also be getting champagne yeast that we use for bottle conditioning.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns and have a great day.

So is there any problem with the champagne yeast in the mixture?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Bottling yeast is no problem at all. Many of the beers on this list contain a bottling strain of one type or another. I've never had an issue stemming from it. Most wine strains are ill-adapted for life in a souring beer, they are incapable of fermenting any of the complex carbohydrates that remain (which is one of many reasons they are perfect for bottle conditioning). They could cause problems if you make a starter with the dregs, which is a good reason to pitch them directly into the beer.


Firestone Walker's Barrelworks bottled releases are not filtered, they are just blended, cold crashed and packaged with bottling yeast. there is Brett and Lacto in all of the releases so far.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Has Firestone Walker released any sour bottles in addition to Feral One and Bretta Rosé? I need to make it up there next time I visit San Diego!

billy.braga said...

Hi Mike,

I live in Québec, Canada, and one of the only Flanders Red we can easily find is the Duchesse De Bourgogne. This post mentions that this beer is filtered. Could that beer still be used to brew myself a Flanders Red?

billy.braga said...

(forgot to subscribe)

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

As I mention in the post, apparently there are still some live microbes in Duchesse, so culturing is possible. You'd have to be extra careful with your process to avoid introducing additional/unwanted microbes. I would probably leave an inch of beer in the bottle and dose with an equal volume of sterile wort. Put an airlock on the bottle and let it get started before stepping it up. If you are able to get a starter culture going, evaluate it before pitching into a beer. Bacteria tends to be smaller than yeast, so you likely won't get a representative mix of microbes.

Albright said...

From Trinity:
Red Swingline, IPA Primitif. A wild and sour session IPA. Brewed with three heavily fruity hops, coriander, and tangerine zest the profile is definitely American in focus. Aged in French Oak Chardonnay barrels with souring Lactobacillus, funky Brettanomyces yeast, and dry-hopped in each individual barrel. This beer is a definite wow moment. 4.1% ABV; pH 3.6; 100 IBUs; rare.
So there is supposed to be bacteria not just Brett.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I asked their brewer Jason Yester about Red Swingline, but never got a firm answer. Their original descibtion left it unclear to me if they were pasteurizing after souring: "uses a unique double fermentation (warm with Lactobacillus delbrueckii in the kettle then cool with a special Bretta)." The new description certainly makes it sound like there is Lacto in the barrels as well. I'll move it for the time being, thanks!

Charles R said...

Jester King Provenance has brett and bugs and bottle condition w/ a extra does of Brett Drie. No wine or champagne yeast added per Garrett.

easytears said...

I've got a very beginner question about bottle dregs. As a general rule how many bottle dregs (37,5 or 75cl) i've got to use in a 19 liters batch for a typical mixed fermentation? And in case i would use the dregs in a 2-head combo with the brewer's yeast (no wild culture from Wyeast/White Labs i mean) how many bottle to use in that case?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I'd never pitch dregs directly from a bottle without a known/active culture of brewer's yeast. If you want to make a beer with nothing but dregs, I'd suggest making a starter with them (although that is not without its own set of issues). My standard practice is to pitch a normal pitch of brewer's yeast, plus a commercial souring blend, plus the dregs from two to three bottles of sour beer. That is probably overkill, but the results are good!

Matt said...

Mike, First thanks for sharing so much via this site, truly a huge resource.
I've been trying to find more info on Alvinne's Morpheus yeast / blend. Everything I've found online indicates it's Sacc + lacto. Where did you get your info on it containing Brett? Your list is the only resource that indicates Alvinne uses Brett.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I sent the applicable portion of the list (including Alvinne) to the importer B. United for confirmation. They confirmed what I had and added a few more. Certainly could be wrong though. Have you tried contacting the brewery directly?

Matt said...

Mike - I sent a note to Marc De Keukeleire and he (very) quickly replied that Morpheus is just 2 strains of Sacc + Lacto, and they use a commercial strain at bottling.

Steve Elardo said...

Anyone know about cans/bottles of Westbrook Gose? Emailed the brewery but haven't heard back yet. I would think there would be at least viable lacto left in there (the cans have sediment) but not sure...

Kevin E. Osborne said...

Do you know if the Crooked Stave beers that are 100% Brett fermented are bottle conditioned with another yeast strain (e.g. wine or champagne)?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Not sure on the process at Crooked Stave or Westbrook.

Anthony Sorice said...

Do you happen to know if the Southampton Uberliner was conditioned with bottling yeast? I was thinking of growing a starter with the remains of my last bottle. Cheers!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I assume Uberliner was unpasteurized, however it's unlikely the Lacto is alive after more than three years in the bottle. Te primary strain is likely not in great shape either. Maybe add the dregs along with fresh L. brevis and US-05?

Brad Judge said...

Anyone know if the new Victory Sour Monkey has viable dregs? Looks to have lacto and brett in it but not sure if they condition with champagne yeast.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Plenty of beers are bottled with Champagne/wine yeast, doesn't necessarily mean that the bugs aren't viable. I don't have any specific info on Victory Sour Monkey though. Given that Helios no longer has viable dregs, I wouldn't be too optimistic.

Brad Judge said...

Thanks, so if its conditioned with a killer champagne or wine yeast, that yeast doesnt kill off the brett, lacto, pedio like it can do with sacch?
Im trying to find a contact over at Victory to find this, ill let you know if i get any info on this specific brew

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Exactly, the bugs aren't "susceptible" to the kill factor like most brewer's yeast.

Eric from Long Island said...

Mike I've been confused about the bottling yeast issue since reading your book and also listening to podcasts describing use of wine yeasts. I'd love to see a full explanation of why or when to be concerned about bottle dregs potentially containing these strains.
Some of the concerns relate to Brad's question above...killer strains...would I want sacc killers populating a barrel project? Also maybe doesn't matter but is that fruity ester coming from brett or wine yeast? How to know?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Wine yeast won't thrive in a fermented beer because most lack the enzymes necessary to ferment complex sugars. No real worries about them taking over a barrel for example, but I wouldn't make a starter with dregs including a killer strain and pitch that in primary with brewer's yeast.

Katharsis said...

I'd add Squareroot 225 Saison to this list from BFM as well. I built up the dregs and pitched them into a brown wort that was left over from a competition I was in at a local brewery here in Stafford, VA (Adventure). Not even two months in there was really thick pellicle and the flavor was already amazing. I probably need to pitch Brett to finish it, but the stuff is definitely solid.

Brian McVeigh said...

i have a starter going right now from a bottle of sour monkey and there was a pellicle on the 100 ml flask and grew another when i stepped it up to 250. I am about to put it into a 2 liter flask tonight

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Glad to hear, I've got a bottle of Sour Monkey waiting for me downstairs!

Art by Mouse said...

Hi Mike, love the book and the talk at HNC! I have a bottle of Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale that says it is bottle conditioned, but I don't see it listed. Am I just missing it?


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

There are a few opinions to the contrary, but as far as I'm aware Saison Dupont is 100% Saccharomyces. This page only address those bottles with "other" microbes.

Bob Givens said...

Finally found the info on Saison Dupont. They centrifuge and filter it, add liquid sugar if needed to bring the gravity up and pitch a new strain of yeast for bottle conditioning. So the dregs are most likely Sacc, as you thought!

Thank Mike!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately De Garde conditions thier bottles with champage yeast, they are not viable for use in sour beer, Ive tried and ended up directly contacting the brewer :(

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

There isn't anything about adding Champagne yeast that should stop you from reusing the dregs for a sour beer. Many breweries (like Russian River) add a wine strain for bottle conditioning. As long as they aren't sterile filtering, or pasteurizing the beer there are still viable dregs in there. That said, I wouldn't grow them up and use them for primary fermentation!

Tyler Witham said...

Do you happen to know of any of the Brett beers on this list that exclusively contain Brett C?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Not off the top of my head. In general, I'd suggest buying a culture if you want a pure strain.

Mike Fisher said...

Thanks so much for your original post on this. I used this method to sour a gallon of raspberry wheat (that might have also had some local wild yeast from the raspberries), with amazing results. I put a gallon of a farmhouse ale (WLP670 with some Brett) on top of the now much larger yeast cake and plan to keep it there for a few months.

I'm starting to think about keeping this blend around as my house yeast (for secondary or tertiary fermentations) and stepping it up to five gallons, but that leads me to wonder if I should be washing the yeast/bacteria at some point to clean it up. Will the Brett eat through anything dead and undesirable, or is washing necessary to keep my house blend happy? If I wash it, is the typical method safe in terms of retaining all of the good bugs?

Walrus1228 said...

so, you are saying that La Follie has no bacteria.

Steve Elardo said...

Not anymore. New Belgium pasteurizes their sour beers.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Exactly, there is plenty of bacteria involved in the fermentation, but all their sours go through a flash pasteurizer on the way to bottling to keep everything sanitary for the clean beers. A real shame as far as I'm concerned.

Unknown said...

Do you know if the Mikkeller Spontan-series from 2013 what is in it? Like these:

Unknown said...

I heard from Jay Goodwin on an episode of the sour hour that The Rare Barrel now bottle conditions using wine yeast. The bugs are still there , but the primary strain if building a starter would be a wine yeast.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

My understanding is that those beers are spontaneously fermented, so I've got no idea what microbes are actually in there. Likely a mix of wild yeast and bacteria!

Re: Rare Barrel, same case for many American sours (another good reason to just pitch them directly with a healthy pitch of brewer's yeast, rather than making a starter). Still really digging Sour Hour, I need to listen to the second episode of De Garde!

Brewer said...

How about uinta birthday suit? I have a bottle of the 22nd crooked line sour plum. Thanks.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

No idea, shoot the brewery an email and report back!

Richard Bolton said...

I emailed Uinta with the same question. They said drink ASAP its kettle soured no bugs. I hope one day Breweries will list this important tidbit on the bottle.

Matt Adams said...

Wicked Weed released a brett conditioned DIPA called Lusus Naturae. I have built up a starter of the dregs and get some nice funk character to it. Not overpowering. I have emailed them twice to see about getting an idea about what I'm working with. All I can find is that it's the house brett strain. Any ideas? Thanks for all you do! Finally broke into sour beers thanks to you, MTF and sour hour.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Sounds like its a house Brett strain... (but there could be a Sacch in there as well), best to try it out and see how it does for you! I wou;dn't worry too much about the original source.

Royski said...

Modern Times Comet Rider?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Yep! All of the Modern Times sours are unpasteurized.

brewcurious said...

Hello Mike! I just got my hands on a bunch of bottles of Jester King's Le Petit Prince. Any idea what bugs are in these?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I believe almost all Jester King beers now have a combination of wild yeast and bacteria. The brewer's website is always a good place to start, and in this case they say "Farmhouse Yeast, Native Yeast and Souring Bacteria from the Texas Hill Country."

Anonymous said...

Smuttlabs - Daily Brett pretty sure has Brett Drie in it. I've used the dreggs to annoculate one of my wheat ales. Definitely a thick layer of brett present on top.

Coat of Arms said...

Sorry to bring up such an old thread. I recently drank a bottle of Aged Pale and there was definitely a hefty layer of dregs in the bottle. I started them up in a 1.040 wort with some yeast nutrient and let it run on the stir plate for a few days. I put it in the fridge to let everything drop out and tested the resulting beer. It had a pH below 4 and an attenuation of around 75%. I've started a Golden Sour with the dregs and will be testing once it's finished to see how the dregs worked on a full beer. It's been fermenting for over a week now at 68 degrees F.

I emailed Bavik and received the same response as everyone else, but they also asked me for my lot number on the bottle. I sent that back to them but haven't received a reply.

Coat of Arms said...

Finally got a little testing in. The AA is 81% and the beer has gone sick, so there's definitely some bacteria in the dregs of Petrus Aged Pale. The brewery never responded to my last email when I gave them the lot number. I emailed them again to let them know what I had found from their bottle, but haven't heard anything back yet. Not sure if it was a bottling error or what, but this sour smells awesome.

Ryan said...

Boom Island has a few beers that may belong on this list. In particular, Kriek, Oude Funk and Triple Brett.

Cameron McKeigan said...

Hi Mike,

Do you know if Strange Times for Modern Fellows (MT and Strange Fellows collab) has live dregs? I have a couple bottles, and I live up in Prince Rupert, Canada, where the sour beer selection is pitiful at best. I've had to brew my own for years (your book/blog has been a great guide), and was wondering if I could culture the dregs from that one to add to my bug collection.


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Worth a try, but I hadn't heard about the beer until just now. Few small breweries are pasteurizing or sterile filter, but many have bottling strains (no problems if you are pitching with or after a Sacch culture). If you want to know for sure, contact the brewery. Good luck!

troglodytes said...

I have a bottle of Allagash Sixteen Counties, and woul dlove to use the dregs for a secondary brett fermentation. Anyone know if these are live brett dregs? I would think it would have to be, but I can't find any information on this release (maybe due to its limited nature).


Lady Luck Brewing said...

How about Free Will brewery out of Perkasie, PA? They have a lot of sours.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Had a few bottles Free Will, unpasteurized I believe, but not sure if any are quick sours vs. mixed fermentation. I've give up maintaining this list given the hundreds of new sours coming out each month. I'd suggest contacting the brewery.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much all of Holy Mountain's (Seattle) farmhouse or sour beers have some smattering of live bacteria/yeast in them. I know most are bottled with Brett (couldn't tell you which strain). Their clean beers are bottle conditioned are well.

Zeph Ozaroff said...

Hey Mike - I'm currently planning my first true (non-kettle) sour, and would love to throw a few questions at you that are perhaps too specific (or are, I suppose, more taste- or opinion-specific) for what's covered on the blog or in your book.

First, how do you determine which bottle dregs you want to use for a beer? I've been building up a small line-up based on this list (Red Poppy, Weyerbacher Riserva, Boon Oude Mariage Parfaite, Cascade Kriek, Jester King/Local Option Feral Dampf, Bruery Terreux Gypsy Tart [side note: is there viable bacteria in Gypsy Tart? Not included on your list, but I can't fathom why it wouldn't...]) and am trying to decide which dregs would be worth pitching, individually or severally. My gut tells me to try dregs coming from semi-similar backgrounds (Cascade, Weyerbacher, Red Poppy in that they are all in the red fruit vein), but that's based on nothing concrete.

Second (and related to first), is there a limit to how many dregs ought to be pitched together? I see that most blogs/forums advocate for greatest possible biodiversity, but I also don't want to waste dregs if they're not likely to contribute any appreciable character.

Third, will IBUs in dregs affect the performance of other bugs? Feral Dampf contains wild yeast and bacteria, but also clocks in at 40-ish IBUs, so my concern is that this might hinder Lacto strains from other dregs. Not necessarily a bad thing, but perhaps also not worth wasting Cascade dregs on the same beer.

Thanks for the time you put into this blog - I've only been brewing for about a year and I can honestly say this site has been my guiding light.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Yep, no reason that I know of that Gypsy Tart wouldn't have live microbes. Bruery does have a flash pasteurizer, but it sounds like it is just for the clean barrel-aged stuff when needed.

I'd pitch dregs from beers that have similar character to what you are trying to achieve. No reason to pitch more than a few bottles. I think too many microbes (like too many hop varieties or specialty malts) often leads to a muddled flavor rather than increased complexity of flavor. I like to pitch dregs from a few bottles of beer from the same brewery when possible.

The IBUs in a few mL of dregs wouldn't have a significant contribution to the overall bitterness of the wort. Even 12 oz of 40 IBU beer in 5 gallons would only add 1 IBU.


Mike Fisher said...

If it helps anyone out, I wanted to let you know that Urban Family Brewing doesn't pasteurize. I e-mailed them about Flooded Heart and was told that it does have active cultures, though they condition with champagne yeast so that's probably the majority of what's in there.

John Bull said...

Mike, I just finished your book. Thank you so much! One thing that would be very helpful to me in this list is a "DO NOT USE" category that has beers/breweries who use wine yeast to bottle condition that is considered "killer" yeast. I'm scared to death that I'll pitch dregs from one of those into an established house culture.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I use dregs from beers conditioned with wine yeast frequently without issue. Not a great idea to propagate them and pitch together with your primary yeast, but otherwise they shouldn't cause an issue. The toxin they produce is only harmful to Saccharomyces, so Brett, Lacto, and Pedio are all fine.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, Digging into your book and loving it. thanks for your massive contribution to homebrewing.
I've got several "experiments" going in 1-3gal fermenters, with a variety of mixed cultures. One (3-gal) has TYB Beersel Blend along with their Lacto Blend (no Pedio). I pitched them into a 1.013 wort (~3ibu) at 74F in secondary 1-month ago, and there is still airlock activity (Im guessing the Brett??), but the pellicle looks like its starting to fall. I'd like to build this culture up, but primarily interested in the Beersel Blend. If I make a starter culture and hop the wort up to about 40 IBU (using something like brewersfriend calc), would that kill off the lacto or just suppress it for that wort? Would I need to continue to feed with similarly hopped wort to keep the Lacto down? Would that only serve to make the Lacto hop tolerant? I don't really mind the lacto in there, just dont want to have a predominance of Lacto...would like the culture to be mostly Beersel Blend if possible.
Thoughts on how to proceed??

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

A big jump in IBUs like that should be enough to severely hamper the Lacto, but I'm not sure it would kill it completely. You may want to reculture a few times at the higher IBUs. You also may be growing the primary ale yeast. I'm surprised the Brett would be finished after a month as well with a 1.013 beer. Consistent gravity readings are a better indication than the pellicle.

Unknown said...

Hi Mike,

Learning loads from the book - thanks!

I've brewed a kettle soured gose that i think i got too excited to keg and ended up with what i think is acetaldehyde in the keg.

I have bottle dregs of some almanac, if i was to pitch these, would it make it any better, or am i better off turfing the batch?

If it is likely to get better, how long do you reckon it might take? If more than a month or so (which i suspect is the case), I'd probably need to put back into a fermenter.


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

If it is acetaldehyde, Brett should convert it to ethanol as it works. I'd guess a month at least. Dregs going into an already sour/alcoholic beer will take time to grow and work. A starter of Brett would be quicker, but still a month would be optimistic.