By Julia Burke, Beer Editor
I dig brettanomyces in beers as long as it’s not overpowering, so I picked up the 2009 edition of this “Funkhouse Ale with Brettanomyces” from the self-proclaimed little slice of Belgium in Cooperstown, Brewery Ommegang.
A yearly specialty brew, it was cellared at the brewery; Ommegang recommends aging this and many of their beers so I had no qualms about trying it at 13 months old.
Ommegeddon pours a four-finger head with fair lacing retention and a cloudy peaches-and-cream color.
The nose doesn’t show a lot of brett – mostly citrusy yeast esters and a hint of barnyard funk.
A full, highly carbonated palate offers an Orange Julius-style creamy mix of orange and and coriander and solid earthiness courtesy of wild yeast. It’s quite hoppy on the finish thanks to dry-hopping, which is a nice surprise considering the lack of serious hop presence on the nose.
An important note: though the label recommends serving this beer at 40° it really opens up much better at room temperature.
The description “funkhouse ale” is interesting – though it’s pleasant I think considering the funk available to wild-yeast Brett-infected Belgian ales it might be an overstatement.
As a brett nut who likes my Belgians funkier than George Clinton, I think this beer is a bit restrained for the style and for the price. Give it some stinky cheese for a more complete experience, or try to score next year's offering a bit younger.Producer: Brewery Ommegang
Sample Size: 25 oz. bottle (750 mL)
Stemware: 12 oz. goblet
(Note: I have been shopping around for an effective and clear beer rating system; I’m using the A-F grading system in the meantime because it’s in wide use in the craft beer world. Please feel free to offer any feedback as to what sort of beer rating format you’d like to see, whether it’s a 100-point scale, a 1-5 star scale, or something different. We welcome your suggestions!)