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How The Bruery Got Its Groove Back 

The Terreux line hits Bend en masse

The Bruery, the Orange County-based craft beer maker founded by Patrick Rue in 2008, has nothing if not a colorful lineup. Known for intense experimentation (and, often, equally intense pricing on its 750-milliliter bottles), The Bruery's beers run the gamut from light, refreshing saisons to enormous beasts like Black Tuesday, their bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout—2015's batch clocks in at just below 20 percent ABV and costs a cool $29 per bottle.

With this experimentation has come some occasionally rocky releases. The Bruery's rep took a hit in 2013 when five different beers "didn't go as planned," as the company put it on its blog, mainly due to rogue yeast strains sneaking in the bottles and causing unintended souring over time. The outfit offered refunds for the bad beer, and as a more permanent solution, founded Bruery Terreux the following year, a completely separate label and brewing facility focused on wild ales and brettanomyces yeast-infused sour beers. (The original Bruery, meanwhile, now focuses on barrel aging and non-wild fermentation.)

Terreux was SoCal-only when it debuted in April of this year, but is now ramping up production across the rest of its distribution area, including Central Oregon. Several varieties are available in bottle shops right now, including: Hottenroth, a 3.1% Berliner weisse with a snappy sour kick; Tart of Darkness, an oak-aged stout that offers equal parts sourness and roastiness; and Sour in the Rye, a wild-fermented rye ale that packs in notes of fruit and farmhouse dankness. Other beers in the Terreux lineup include The Flanders Giant (a 14.2% mix of Belgian-style red ale and American-style booze monster), Filmishmish (a barrel-aged blonde ale with apricots), and Humulus Terreux (a series of wild-fermented light ales, each using a different set of hops).

It's an impressive lineup, and its availability in Oregon provides a convenient opportunity to try The Bruery again if you're still leery about the quality-control issues of the past. All three beers tried hit home with what they were attempting, offering heavy tart and barrel-aged flavors exquisitely balanced with each other to provide a fun and funky sipping experience. And even better: At a price point of $10 or so (depending on the beer), you won't go broke on Terreux's main lineup the way you can if you try collecting all of The Bruery's esoteric, pricey seasonal releases.

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