Michael Bury's picture

Freak Tractor (Model 14)

May, 2017
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Put your overalls on, Catskill’s Freak Tractor, a “wild ale” is being evaluated as a Brett beer (2015 BJCP Category 28A) due to the nature of the flavors and aromas present without a lot of the characteristic funk that can come from a truly wild fermentation.

Freak Tractor hits the ground running with intense lemon and mandarin oranges, alongside zippy white pepper. Malt and hops are merely in the background and display themselves respectively as generic grain and floral notes. This ultimately allows the more complex Brett aromas to emerge. Like many Brett beers, this one is golden with a significant amount of haze and a thin cream-colored head.

Moderate sweet, honey-like malt is emphasized from the citrus fruit present from fermentation but is thankfully balanced mainly from peppery flavors. As the beer warms, hay and leather emerge but stay mainly in the background allowing the primary fermentation Brett characteristics to dominate.

Although Freak Tractor is quite clean for a Brett beer and doesn’t display a whole lot of funkiness it is still none-the-less a well crafted beer. The range of fermentation related aspects provides intrigue and drinkability while steering clear of Saisons and other light Belgian styles.