Funkwerks | Oud Bruin
Funkwerks Brewery, located in Fort Collins, CO, has achieved something pretty remarkable: in a town full of breweries, they maintain an underground “hidden gem” vibe while consistently producing quality beers. Maybe it’s their tiny taproom, or the lack of splashy events to draw in crowds. (Side note: you haven’t lived until you’ve done drunk yoga with kittens. Yes, that is a real thing here.) Either way, Funkwerks has managed to stay relatively under the radar, event despite joining the ranks of a newly formed partnership with 21st Amendment, and Brooklyn Brewing last year—until now.
At the 2018 World Beer Cup, Funkwerks’ Oud Bruin took home gold for the Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin (or Oud Red Ale) category. This was their first gold medal in any category, and they were competing against almost every continent. (Antarctica is still woefully underrepresented in the craft beer world. YOUR MOVE, PENGUINS.) This win has already garnered Funkwerks some renewed attention, and don’t be surprised if you see their name popping up more.
At this point, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Sure, 33 judges from around the world rated this beer as the best in its class. But what do the writers at PorchDrinking think about it??”
Well, sorry to be predictable, but this beer is accurately award-worthy. Oud Bruin is a style of beer that originated in Belgium and is characterized by a long fermentation process, a reddish-brown color, and a deliciously sour finish. Funkwerks Oud Bruin is true to tradition, with the addition of red wine and whiskey oak barrel-aging. It smells like expensive molasses candy, or a drunken bike ride in France. The color is a gorgeous dark red wine. The oak notes come through prominently in smell and flavor, and they add a rich complexity to the taste. The sour component is not too extreme here; it tastes like tart fruit covered in dark chocolate. The whiskey imparts a slight boozy depth, while the wine add a smoothness that I almost never taste in sours. Nothing tastes rushed or out of place in this beer. It’s all steady, purposeful, and expertly crafted.
So, rest easy: the judges at the World Beer Cup know what they’re doing. If you’d like to try a classic yet unique interpretation of the Oud Bruin style, or want to get some craft beer street cred, check out Funkwerks Oud Bruin. (You can always head to kitten yoga afterwards.)
Cover photo courtesy of Funkwerks’ Facebook page