Friday January, 23rd, 2014 marked the release of the second round of collaborations between Levi Funk, of the Funk Factory Geuzeria and Marc Buttera, of O’so Brewing Company. This latest round release featured two beers: Framrood, a raspberry lambic; and Door Kriek, a cherry lambic. The two beers, released exclusively at the party, were “spontaneously fermented” by allowing the hot wort (unfermented beer) to cool in a shallow open vessel referred to as a coolship. The wort cools in the coolship (more on this below) and is then added to the fermenter, in this case French Oak barrels for fermentation. If you would like a more in-depth discussion of the use of coolships in brewing, please refer to last week’s Framrood post, for now though, let’s give Door Kriek its due.
A kriek is a lambic with cherries. All lambic-style beers can vary in taste based upon the microbes that fermented the wort, but a kriek is also heavily influenced by the choice of cherries used. For Door Kriek, Funk Factory and O’so used what I believe to be Wisconsin Montmorency cherries from Door County, which are well known for their tart, or as some would call it, sour flavor. Compared to the sweeter Bing or Ranier Cherries which can be eaten on their own, tart cherries are commonly used as an ingredient in something that can cut the tartness like a pie, a jam or jelly, dipped in chocolate, or paired with something savory (like cheese or meat) to give a recipe added depth.
Last year Marc Buttera and Levi Funk released the first in what will hopefully be many collaborative lambic-style beers, and now here we are with the second major launch event, and a bottle of Framrood. On with the review.
Door Kriek is a blend of lambic style beer that was aged in used French oak wine barrels for 18-24 months. It was then re-fermented with two pounds per gallon of tart cherries for three months. We are proud to be using 100% tart cherries grown by a small family farm operating in Door County, WI, an area long-famous for their superb cherry crops. Expect this Kriek to be tart yet balanced, complex yet delicate, and bursting with that pi-cherry flavor we love!
We recommend drinking Door Kriek in the first year, but it will age very well in the cellar.
Door Kriek pours a brilliantly clear, bright red with pink highlights when held up to the light, the color is reminiscent of watermelon juice. The thin, small bubbled, white head holds very low retention before fading to a very thin collar and leaving behind minimal lacing. A soft, pale maltiness leads in the aroma, with a hint of fruity tartness. Light tart pie cherries and a slight funkiness linger into the finish. The tart pie cherries become more prominent as Door Kriek warms to room temperature.
Door Kriek is mildly funky, with a strong note of tart pie cherries on the front end. Notes of tart lactic acid mingle with slight barnyard/horse blanket funkiness and the tart pie cherries that linger throughout. There is more tart pie cherry in the finish and long lingering aftertaste. As in the aroma, the cherry notes become more prominent as the beer warms to room temperature. At the end of the bottle, I poured a little of the yeast dregs in with my last few ounces of Door Kriek. The addition of the yeast added a strong pie crust character which turned the tart pie cherry into a cherry pie, an amazingly awesome cherry pie! Door Kriek is light bodied with a moderately high level of carbonation, which is dead on for a good kriek.
Door Kriek is an excellent kriek with a moderate level of funkiness and a strong tart pie cherry flavor. As with Framrood, Door Kriek will continue to develop in the bottle becoming funkier and picking up additional depth as it slowly oxidizes; the wild yeasts will make the beer even funkier. In a recent twitter exchange with Crooked Stave, they mentioned that they prefer their American Sours after at least one year of aging in the bottle. I guess that means I will have to hold onto my last bottle of Door Kriek for at least a year before I open it. It will be hard to hold off that long because this is an excellent kriek that, like Framrood, signifies great things to come from all future Funk Factory / O’so Brewing collaborations. With a beer like this, I can’t wait to taste the Funk Factory Geuzeria’s upcoming releases! once Levi starts rolling out releases.
That’s all for today, check back soon for another review!
Happy Drinking, remember to always Drink Wisconsinbly!