Bell's News

B1 Beer: Get to Know Le Contrebassiste, a Rustic Brown Farmhouse Ale

This post is part of an occasional series looking at the beers we develop at our original brewery, or B1.

Tasting notes: Brown Ale with Brettanomyces, funky, fruity, light tart finish

A part of both our sour program and Jazz series, Le Contrebassiste may be slightly different than when you first had it.

Compared to previous versions of this beer that were fermented with French Ale yeast, the most recent version, currently on tap was fermented entirely with brettanomyces in foeders to add a complex and distinctive flavor. The original hop and malt characteristics remain with a unique and tart twist.

The oak foeders used during the fermentation process are more than 30-years-old and were previously used for wine fermentation. It is in these foeders that the beer develops its sour characteristics.

The complex, toasty malts and European hop varieties combine with brettanomyces fermentation in the oak foeders to create a complex beer with fruity and toasty notes with a slightly tart finish.

See if the beer is available on our tap cam and keep your eye out for more specialty beers from our B-1 brewery.


B1 is how we affectionately refer to our original brewery in downtown Kalamazoo, located adjacent to our pub, the Eccentric Cafe. This is where we got our start and where we still develop new recipes, experiment with new varieties of hops and brew small batches of specialty beers like The Wild One and Mango Habanero Oberon today. Most of the beers brewed there are typically only available on draught at the Cafe, but from time to time they do make their way to special events.

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