If you’ve got some Tums or Rolaids (or in my case, Zantac 150), it’s time to stock up and pop ‘em if you got ‘em, because, in honor of Sour Beer Day, New York Beer Project are funking up the taps (in a good way) at the first ever Funk Fest: A Celebration of Sours on September 20 (5pm).
NYBP are pulling out all the sour stops for Funk Fest; not only are they returning four of their most beloved sour offerings, they are debuting half a dozen new brews, including a sour take on a classic refreshing beverage, four Berliner Weisse variants born out of a friendly competition between NYBP brewers, and a barrel aged sour.
“We have a great lineup of past favorites plus new ones, including four takes on a Berliner Weisse,” NYBP Head Brewer Jason Crossett says. “It’s been a lot fun watching our brewers’ creative juices flow and come up with some unique ideas and twists on a traditional German-style sour. It also was a lot of fun! [It] breaks up the daily routine of brewing flagships as well as seasonal beers. Everyone put a lot of thought in to these beers and even went outside their knowledge base to try something new. Can’t wait to try them all!”
Now for the important stuff. Here is all of the sour beers you can expect to see for Funk Fest.
- Moscow Mule (4.4%): Gose brewed with Motueka hops, lime zest, Kaffir lime leaves, fresh ginger, coriander, and fleur de sel (sea salt).
- Superhero (4.5%): Sour brew with lemon peel and Mosaic hops. Aged with blueberries, raspberries, tart and cherries. Fermented with a Belgian Saison strain.
- Supernatural (4.2%): Sour brewed with Amarillo and Simcoe hops. Aged with passionfruit.
- Superfunk (6.25%): Barrel aged blend of two beers that took nearly 2 years in the making. Blend of a farmhouse saison and barrel fermented sour (in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels). It packs a rustic barnyard character with flavors of ripe apricots and mild notes of wood, spice and citrus. Moderate tartness and finishes dry.
- Barrel Aged Papaya Gose (4.8%):Last year NYBP brewed a gose with Azacca hops then fermented it with papaya and dry-hopped with Galaxy. They aged a portion of it in Lockhouse Gin barrels that were previously aged with Blackbird cider. The barrels lent aromas of juniper spice and citrus while imparting flavors of tart and sweet apples to go along with the tropical fruit flavors already present. Effervescent and refreshing.
- Pink Lemonade Sour (3.8%):Their newest full-scale kettle sour from the creative brewers at our Lockport location. Brewed with fresh lemon zest and juice, Mosaic and Huell Melon hops and finished with a blend of raspberry and strawberry puree. It holds a bold pinkish color with reddish hues. It offers a light body with a nice balance of sweetness and acidity. Blast of strawberries and lemon zest with just the right amount of raspberries to round out the tartness and add some depth of flavor. Light and refreshing just like lemonade should be.
Brewer’s Friendly Competition Beers (Berliner Weisse as base style):
- Berliner Weisse Aged in Casa Larga Chardonnay Barrels (4.6%):Aged in second use barrels that previously aged a farmhouse ale brewed with sage. Ben Elford, who heads up brewing operations at NYBP Victor, brewed this. Soured with Lallemand wild brew strain and fermented with house strain. Pale straw colored beer brewed with pilsner malt, wheat, and Hersbrucker hops. Chardonnay barrel character evident on the nose. Pleasant tartness up front with a wheat grain finish.
- Da Crusher (7.2%):Brewed by John Hyman and Jason Crossett with pilsner malt, white wheat, flaked wheat and oats. Soured with a blend of lactobacillus strains: Brevis and Delbrueckii. Late addition hops with Mosaic, Nelson, and Azacca. Fermented with German ale yeast strain with a secondary fermentation on 12lbs. of fresh organic blueberries from Child’s Blueberry Farm out of Hinsdale, NY. Lightly dry-hopped with Mosaic and Nelson hops and aged with guava puree to add complexity. Da Crusher is fruit forward lending some sweetness to balance the acidity with aromas of blueberries, grape, and tropical fruit. Flavors of blueberry, guava, and grape, with light floral and citrus to compliment. Smooth with a light creamy texture.
- PEACH, please (4.5%):Brewed by Chris Ceccato and Pat Bradley with lager malt, white wheat, oats, and Amarillo hops. Soured with Greek yogurt then fermented with Champagne yeast. Secondary fermentation on 14lbs. of fresh peaches from Susice Farms in Ransomville, NY. Dry-hopped with Amarillo hops. A refreshing beer that is tart and fruity. Aromas of peach, apricots, and citrus. Strong peach flavor with moderate acidity and somewhat dry finish.
- Strawliner Winner (7.7%):Brewed by Sean Hamilton and Alec Campbell and brewed with pilsner malt, white wheat, Topaz and Huell Melon hops. Soured with Greek yogurt and fermented with a blend of kolsch yeast and Brett Bruxellensis. Secondary fermentation and aging with over 10lbs. of fresh strawberries. This beer has a light pinkish color with complex aromas of barnyard funk, leather and fresh strawberries. Moderate tartness and very refreshing.
Whether you’re an experienced sour seeker or just a tart trainee, Funk Fest really does have something for you, from the lighter end of the sour spectrum with sessionable sours and easy-drinking goses to bigger bodied, more imperial style brews. And if you’ve yet to try a sour beer and have been sitting around wondering what all of the hype is about, this is the perfect opportunity to try a few and see what you like.
For more information on Funk Fest, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/920266878320638/.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column for Step Out Buffalo. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague) and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).