Beer Review: 11.05 – A collaboration with Sawdust City Brewing, Gravenhurst, Ontario and Nickel Brook Brewing, Burlington, Ontario

ABV: 11.05% IBU: 25-45 SRM: 7.5 OG:21.5 Plato

STYLE: Belgian Tripel with Brett – BEST AFTER SIX MONTHS

November 5th is a very special date for brewers Sam Corbeil of Sawdust City Brewing and Ryan Morrow of Nickel Brook Brewing- it’s their birthday! So, four years ago they decided to collaborate on a beer together and have been doing a birthday beer that is released on November 5th ever since. Every year a different style of beer is chosen, always 11%, with the 2016 release being a Belgian Tripel with a “Best after 6 months” sticker attached to it. In a tall can!

I wish that I had tried the beer when I received it in November, but I waited 9 months.

The aroma is Brett, tart and funky but with a swirl of the glass there is a hint of the base classic Belgian Tripel beer and some light grassy notes of the hops. It is a very carbonated golden ale with a creamy, moussy white head. The mouthfeel is drying and for 11% ale this beer does go down quite smoothly. It is an interesting combination of styles, with the brett taking over the subtleties of the Belgian Tripel, I would have preferred the reverse, but you can be guaranteed to have a great variety of flavours with every sip.


This is the latest in an annual collaboration that requires the beer to be 11% alcohol and to be released November 5th. The brewers advised drinkers to try the beer on release (in late 2016) but also to save some cans to drink after a few months, to let the brett “munch away” at the malt sugar. This review is of the beer after some 9 months of aging. This strong blonde pours hazy, with a foamy head, which holds very well. You can smell the brett right away as you are pouring – it’s pretty classic brett, a bit funky and medicinal, with some bandaid character, but it’s not over the top. There is a creamy, almost lactic note, as well as lots of citrusy fruitiness, which is quite attractive. What’s lacking though, is a noticeable Belgian Tripel character, in terms of a caramel malty note or the distinct spice notes from the yeast.  It is common for brett to lower the malty character by drying out a beer, and it can also increase the fruitiness, so this is not a big surprise. If you love classic Belgian Trappist Tripels, this won’t be what you are looking for, but for those who like bretty beers, or funky off the wall beers in general, this has plenty of complexity for you.