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Funkwerks | Paisley Belgian-Style Brett Saison

Funkwerks | Paisley Belgian-Style Brett Saison
Kara Loo and Kelissa Hieber

ABV: 7%

Paisley is a beer from Funkwerks’ experimental series, packaged in a bright Paisley-decorated bottle that could have come from Pier 1 Imports rather than the liquor store. We were excited to try our first Funkwerks wild ale and popped it open with some anticipation. The beer poured into the glass a hazy golden orange color with delicate lacing. At first whiff there was a strong barnyard smell that immediately transitioned to tropical flavors including apricot, cherry, and spicy passion fruit aided by the Funkwerks’ house yeast strain.

We were taken aback by the initial sip which had just as much barnyard funk as the aroma did. The assertive funkiness then mellowed out slightly with some familiar fruit notes and a little bit of candy from the Eldorado hops. It rounded out with a dry finish that had a juicy flavor from the hop character. We experienced a brief moment of reconsideration: should we review this mouthful-of-horse-blanket beer? The Brettanomyces had certainly gotten more assertive in the bottle. But as we kept sipping and found more complexity of flavors came out with each sip. Even the second and third sips were so much more enjoyable than the first. It was a true testament to the fact that you need to taste every sour or wild beer at least four times before you dismiss it.

The barnyard taste doesn’t diminish, but the hop flavors (El Dorado, New Zealand, Rakau, Australian Galaxy, Amarillo) open up and continue to do so the more the beer warms. The bottle describes notes of marzipan, which is totally interestingly true once you realize it’s there. The marzipan was probably related to the cherry notes we were detecting initially. We would have enjoyed a bit more carbonation, but it was still pretty highly carbonated. Overall, Paisley was a nice experimental beer from a brewery near to our hearts!

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