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Try these funky beers!

Kerry CYGANIEWICZ

Funk is not just for music. There is a growing trend for beers to be brewed with different strains of yeast to give beers far-ranging flavors. These flavors can range from mild to wild, with some even incorporating fruit or seeing some time in a wood barrel. These beers are perfect for those who are just coming over to craft beer from wine or if you are looking for a beer that is not hop-forward. Cheers!

Crooked Stave Petite Sour Blueberry, 5.0% ABV

This beer pours a clear, light brown with a smallish white head. It leaves lacing in the glass as you drink it. It has a light aroma of blueberry, grass and oak. It tastes similar, with a subtle sweetness from the blueberries that gives way to a lemony, crisp finish. It is not as powerful as most sours and is quite refreshing. There is a little bit of a grassy funk, just enough to get you acclimated to what a sour is but not enough to push one away. This is an excellent choice for a first sour beer to get someone accustomed to the style.

Mystic Brewery Saison Renaud, 6.5% ABV

This is a personal favorite of mine from one of the most underrated breweries in Massachusetts. This traditional farmhouse ale pours a cloudy, pale orange with a pillow-like white head. The carbonation is ambitious, and there is an aroma of crackers, light pepper, straw, citrus and general funk. It is a dry saison with a full mouthfeel and a balance of flavors that came through on the aroma. No surprises here; nothing coy about it, just an honest upfront representation of a true saison brewed locally. Get to the taproom of you can.

Night Shift Everweisse, 5.0% ABV

I am a big fan of Night Shift’s line of Berlinner weisses, and this just might be my favorite. This is a Berlinner weisse brewed with strawberries, kiwi and hibiscus. This one pours a pretty pink in the glass with a tiny head that goes away quickly. I do not taste the hibiscus, but in all honesty, I cannot remember the last time I ate a hibiscus petal. The strawberry/kiwi really comes through in both the aroma and the taste, as does some Granny Smith apple and a touch of acidity.

Jester King Funk Metal, 7.0% ABV

This is a sour, barrel-aged stout brewed in Texas using well water and wild yeast from the air surrounding the brewery. On top of that, it is unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle conditioned. You cannot get more natural or wild. It pours a deep black with a rich brown head. As I am pouring it, I catch the aroma of chocolate, tree fruit and vinegar. It is not subtle at all. It tastes of citrus, grapes, earth, coffee, tree fruit and a hint of lemon. So much going on, but yet it is balanced. With each sip it changes. One of the more complex beers I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

Brouwerje Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne, 6.0% ABV

This is a Flanders red ale, a blend of 8-month and 18-month beers that have matured in oak casks. It pours a beautiful reddish brown with a small, white head that persistently stays put. There is an aroma of sour cherries and oak, but a cloud of tartness seems to envelop all that you smell. Let me start with what is smooth – the carbonation and mouthfeel are quite gentle and forgiving. The taste and finish are complex. Cherries and vinegar seem to be engaged in an unpredictable dance as you drink this beer, and that is not a bad thing. Sweet and sour play out in interesting ways. This is must-try, perhaps not as your first sour, but please do try this beer at some point.

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