Colorado Chronicles – Funkwerks

 

Our last stop in Fort Collins was Funkwerks, a newer brewery on the Colorado landscape.  I need to make a few caveats about my visit to Funkwerks: 1) we were exhausted after an entire day of drinking and 2) I was dealing with some serious palate fatigue.  That said, Funkwerks makes some absolutely delicious beer.

Funkwerks brews a style of beer called a Saison.  Saison is a farmhouse style ale that originated in southern Belgium in in nineteenth century.  It is a dry, fruity beer brewed with wild yeast that lends an earthiness quality to the flavor.  Since each farm has different microflora, Saisons vary greatly from beer to beer.  The style almost died out but is experiencing a resurgence, especially in North America.  Now back to the trip…

Funkwerks is a tiny little building with a quaint but modern feel.  We arrived about an hour before close right after my Patriots knocked the Broncos out of the playoffs.  Despite the Broncos blowout, the atmosphere was very welcoming and friendly.  Our bartender, who couldn’t have been any nicer, poured us a sample of every beer they had on tap.  I was the only one who was still enjoying the myriad of beers in front of us.

The first beer I tried was Funkwerks Saison, their flagship beer.  I tasted a lot of citrus and pepper notes.  My next beer was Casper – a lighter Saison that Funkwerks describes as a session beer due to the lower alcohol content.  The first flight included Chai White, a Saison brewed with chai spices with a background of coriander and citrus peel, and Tropic King.  Tropic King, an Imperial Saison, was mired in controversy last year.  It was originally called Maori King as it is brewed with hops from New Zealand called Rakau.  Many New Zealanders took offense to the name and Funkwerks changed it to Tropic King.

My second flight of beer included my favorite- Solstice, a dark strong Saison brewed in collaboration with Mile High Wine and Spirits.  I really liked the dark fruit and chocolatey flavor with the Saison spiciness.  The flight included Aurora, a single hopped Belgian Golden Ale, and Exile King.  Exile King was intended to be Tropic King but missed the final hop addition.  Funkwerks decided to dry hop with three times the regular amount as compensation and turning it into a hoppy Saison.

The final flight was called the Crooked Flight and featured beer from sister brewery, Crooked Stave, which focuses on sour and wild ales that feature a yeast strand called Brettanomyces but commonly called Brett.  The first beer from the CS flight was Good Glory Barrel.  Good Glory is a Belgian-style beer that Crooked Stave took and aged in French oak Chardonnay barrels for five months.  The second CS ber was Wild Wild Brett Yellow or WWBY that incorporated tumeric and mango coriander.  Both beers were quite sour and right up my alley!

I would love to go back to Funkwerks again someday, preferably to start the day so I can fully appreciate the complex and subtle flavors of their beer.  If you are in Fort Collins, Funkwerks is a must visit.

 


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