Thursday, July 12, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Saison | Funkwerks | Ft. Collins, CO

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on the side patio of The Draught House in a slightly uncomfortable sweat waiting to meet the first fan-of-the-blog who would agree to meet me in person. 

Well, okay, so this wasn't really a meet-and-greet from anyone who reads this garbage, but I did have a buddy fly in all the way from Ft. Collins for the explicit purpose of bringing me generous quantities of Coloradan potations for the sole purpose of drunken wankery in this 103° inferno.  We also planned deep analysis of shit we know nothing about, like the brewing process and yeast strains -- but one of us sports a scraggly outline of a beard and one of us lives in The Centennial State by way of The Golden State, so we figured those were good enough combined credentials to act like professional beer media for purposes of scribbling in this shitty blog.  So take that, Perez Hilton!

Anyway, so I am sitting there in my usual spot waiting for my dude, trying to look busy or important on my phone -- the way someone tries to do when visually convincing his make-believe audience in the bar that, yes, he's in the band, so I won't be alone here much longer, just waiting on my mates, yer know, so no need for sympathetic interrogation or seat poaching, thank-you very much -- when from the very precariously placed Dart Hazard Door of The Draught House burst Dean and his wife Tanya with a box of bootleg and secrets for smiles.

I could see right away these two were about to put on a great show, and I was concerned that a fair bit of fuck should be given on my end of things.  Dean presents me with a sweet Funkwerks tulip that he wants me to drink out of like Belgo-American royalty.  I concede and shortly after we're arcing our vessels towards our faces in greedy thirst, for this is what the fuck was in that mystery box of his...

...and the mind fucking boggled!

The Belgians have been brewing saisons since God was a boy, so in that time, it is assumed that they had mastered the nuance of making a beer that would be brewed in the spring to last until fall in the era of pre-refrigeration and Black Death.  One would also assume that, given the allotted head start, The Belgians would have imparted characteristics into the beer that would be so clever and deft, that anything brewed in homage to this style in the modern era would simply be a clone of an already-perfected recipe.

However, I think that it is the Americans who have adopted this beer style and illustrated the ways in which a saison could be brewed delicately, complexly, organically, perfectly -- much in the same vein of the India Pale Ale, which we ratified from the English.  Saisons and Audrey Hepburn may be Belgian by birth, but their success and perfection is derived from American appreciation.

Funkwerks jumped into the farmhouse beer enterprise only two years ago, but based on the contents of this bottle -- shared in communal fashion the way God and the Wallonians intended -- they are as skilled as a lefty specialist, picking the spots on your palate to buzz with a cunning slurve.  This is a twenty strikeout beer.

It is very obvious that the flagship beer of Funkwerks is brimming with pride.  It is very well-executed, satisfying, and thoughtful -- rich and cozy.  The exposition of this saison is that of a brightly-steeped lemon and ginger tea.  Then, there is crisp pear and citric acids exposing shrewd carbination that boils on your tongue like cauldron spill.  Over-ripened guava, alfalfa hay, pepper and cloves impart before finishing with biscuity malt notes.  This beer was kicking some serious ass.

Then, Dean cracked another bottle from his box, hidden from pint-glass-flunkies and the formerly sympathetic chair imperialists.  This shit was just about to start getting real.  It did.  True story.

ABV: 6.8%
Acquired: Dean and Tanya! Thanks!