Carnivale Brettanomyces 2016: Wild International Beer Festival

The legendary Beer King (De Bierkoning) in Amsterdam and the not less legendary beerbar In de Wildeman organize from June 23 until June 26, 2016 for the fifth time Carnivale Brettanomyces, an international beer festival dedicated to wild yeasts. With the help of the best beer venues in Amsterdam, they offer a comprehensive program with forty breweries from the Netherlands, Europe, and beyond. Exceptional at this festival are also more than twenty expert lectures about wild fermentation, ‚foodpairings‘, and a real forum with the leading brewers in this growing and fascinating sour beer niche. The goal is to get wild, spontaneous-fermented, and „sour beers‘ closer to the general public, as well as giving yeast a more important role in in beers as a driver for great taste.

Abnormally as standard
During the four days of the festival, not just any given beer is of interest, but everything is focused on beers with different yeasts and bacteria. No lean and cultivated yeasts are in the center, but raw organisms, which are hard to tame by the brewer and but big and surprising taste. Brettanomyces is one of them, as the festival name suggests, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus are two others. Beers with Brettanomyces will mainly feature more earthly, dry taste, the other two provide herb and bitter flavours. These yeasts and bacteria are indispensable in Geuze lambic, Flemish red and in the better-known Orval. But they actually can be combined with almost any style of beer. Despite some unruly characteristics in the brewing process, these deviant creatures have a growing popularity worldwide and so you can enjoy this year hundreds of beers from forty breweries from ten different countries.

Unique formula 
Unlike virtually any other beer festival, there is no central festival area at Carnivale Brettanomyces. All activities take place at six locations in Amsterdam. The opening and closing is done by Oedipus Brewing. Friday and Saturday the Beer King, In de Wildeman, Brouwerij De Prael, ‚t Arendsnest and American beerbar, The BeerTemple open their doors to all lovers of wild and sour beer. The Walloon Church will function these days as a restaurant with different food pairings.

As in previous editions, the gathered (sour) beer knowledge will be used again. This year, twenty lectures will be offered, with topics ranging from „Brettanomyces for dummies“ to treatises on biochemical level on the same subject. There are also a number of speakers covering the cultural and historical aspect of sour beers.

To open the festival proper, two leading brewers will engage in discussion in form of a forum. Chad Yakobson, brewer and founder of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Denver and the author of ‚The Brettanomyces Project’. He approached his yeast and brewing in a scientific way. This contrasts with Brewmaster Jean van Roy from Cantillon in Brussels, who is not easily intimidated when it comes to knowledge about wild fermentation, which he has learned purely from experience and was inherited from father to son in the more than hundred years old brewery in Brussels. With these two speakers on Thursday night, one can enjoying two examples of what binds them together and what makes them special.

Breweries at Carnivale Brettanomyces 2016:

Home brewers at Carnivale Brettanomyces 2016:

Visitor information

The festival will take place all over Amsterdam from 23 till 26.06. The lectures require a ticket, which can be purchased online (here).

A detailed festival calendar can be found on the website of the festival or here as a google calendar.


  • Bierkoning
  • In de Wildeman
  • Arendsnest
  • Beertemple
  • Brouwerij Oedipus
  • Brouwerij de Prael
  • De Waalse kerk


For more information, check our Interview with wild-yeast mastermind Jan!

Foto: Wildegist/ Arjan de Rooij

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