For holiday toasts this year, beer lovers will have another bubbly option besides champagne: Adelbert’s Brewery has recently come out with a bière brut (also known as bière de champagne), a rare style that not many other breweries in the U.S. have experimented with yet. With Sundowner, Adelbert’s is the first brewery in Texas to bottle the style, and it’s been released just in time for the upcoming holiday season.
“It is our hope that this crossover style will give beer lovers and non-beer fans something to enjoy together,” Adelbert’s general manager Sarah Haney said in a press release. “Plus, it’s the perfect New Year’s drink for craft beer fans.”
From the first pour, it’s clear how much Sundowner resembles champagne. The golden-colored brew shimmers as bubbles dart, comet-like, up the glass, an effervescence that Belgian breweries (the most common creators of this style) have achieved by letting their bière bruts mature for a lengthy period of time. Adelbert’s stuck to the tradition of aging by bottle-conditioning Sundowner for three months before it was sent to store shelves.
Sundowner, according to the press release, “is a blend of the spicy, fruity notes of a Belgian ale balanced with the mouthfeel and body of a sparkling wine. Brewed with champagne yeast, this effervescent ale possesses hints of white grape and green apple with a crisp, bone-dry finish.” And its striking similarity to champagne does indeed mean that people who don’t like beer might find themselves sipping on Sundowner. Just keep in mind that like champagne, the beer is 12 percent ABV.
Only about 105 cases of the beer were shipped out to Austin stores, but if people clamor for the style, Haney said, the brewery might consider making more in the future.