This week I’m bringing the funk with two brews from Funkwerks.
The brewery was opened in Fort Collins, Colorado back in 2010 by a couple of friends that met while studying Brewing Science at the prestigious Siebel Institute in Chicago.
The brewery focuses on saisons and sour ales but has been experimenting more and more throughout the years and has been releasing both Belgian and American style ales, in addition to barrel-aged brews and plenty of other styles. You can now find Funkwerks in eleven different states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois (Chicagoland), Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, and Texas.
They recently released a variety pack. The 12-bottle pack includes their award-winning Saison, Miho, and two variations of their Provincial beer (Passion Fruit Provincial and Raspberry Provincial). It runs for $19 but comes with three bottles of each style.
Today I have their Passion Fruit Provincial and the Miho to share with you.
I’ll begin with the Passion Fruit Provincial which is a sour ale brewed with passion fruit and Belgian yeast. The 11.2-ounce bottle checks in at a moderate 4.2% ABV.
This brew poured a slightly cloudy straw color with minimal head. No more than a finger of white foam ever appeared and quickly it was down to a razor thin line across the top of the glass.
On the nose, this sour ale was dominated by notes of juicy passion fruit and other tropical fruits, like mango, and a little clove and banana from the yeast. There wasn’t too much tartness in the aroma, just a prickle here and there. It was certainly a fruit-forward brew.
My first sip began with a light tingle of carbonation before the passion fruit came out…and it really came out.
It was wave upon wave of the juicy tropical fruit. Then, after a second or two, a very moderate tartness seeped in. It wasn’t even enough to make me pucker or anything but served as a reminder that this was indeed a sour beer.
Midway through, that Belgian yeast showed up with the tiniest notes of clove and banana but the taste was still dominated by the tropical fruits. Some mango and lemon tartness could be picked up here too and there was a slight hay/grass flavor as well.
From there the combination of flavors began to fade, all at the same time. It then ended with some moderate dryness and a light sticky feeling that required a swig of water every now and again to clear.
Weirdly enough, that light carbonation didn’t hit so much initially…but, towards the end of the beer, I could feel it bubbling in my stomach making Provincial sit heavier than I was expecting.
However, this was quite a tasty sour ale. Lots of juicy tropical fruit flavors while never being overpoweringly sour. It was a nice, crushable brew.
Up next, their Miho – a Belgian pale ale that has a decent 5.5% ABV. Like Provincial, it comes in an 11.2-ounce bottle.
Miho poured a cloudy amber color with about a finger of tannish brown head topping it off. The vapid foam quickly fades into a light accumulation around the edge of the glass.
This brew has a very sweet aroma that was quite malt forward. Big notes of caramel and toffee lead the way with some muddled fruity notes sitting underneath. The Belgian yeast also offers up more of that clove and banana here also.
My first taste begins with very little carbonation and a slightly watery mouthfeel.
Then, as the smell indicated, the malt kicked in first with bold bready flavor and some sweet caramel notes.
As the taste progresses, the hops kick in some with a few citrus notes and a low-level bitterness that hums at the back of the tongue. Some grapefruit peel and lemon rind are noticeable here.
There is also a candied sugar flavor that leads to a sticky feeling that begins to coat my taste buds as the flavor begins to fade away. And, once again, that Belgian yeast brings forward some light clove notes as well.
Miho finishes with a few lingering characteristics. There is that sticky candy taste that mixes with some of the caramel and bready malt flavors that stays on the tongue for a couple minutes afterwards. Then there is also a very minute dryness that appears more on some sips than on others.
Overall, this Belgian pale ale is more Belgiany than it is a pale ale. It’s not bad but it seems muddled and is a little too sweet. Not bad but not the best.