There are three things that I enjoy about living in Baltimore. First is loving my hometown Baltimore Ravens. Second is falling asleep to the sounds of police patrol helicopters searching my area for murderers and rapists. Third is being able to call DuClaw Brewing Co. my neighbor.
I’m a huge DuClaw fanboy. I love all of their designs. I love all of the food at their brew pubs (I can forgive the salads and veggie burgers). I love their Fermentation Consultants. And, of course, I love ALL of their beer. The consistency, the flavors, the quality; it never falters. I have already been enjoying my fair share of Oz this summer; so imagine my glee when I found out that an additional warm weather libation was on the cusp of emergence?!
I promptly disrobed and ran up and down the streets of Baltimore County bellowing cries of elation. Some people applauded. Some people screamed. Some people ran in the opposite direction. I think the aforementioned helicopter patrol was involved, who can be sure?! However, the people that truly matter – the fine folks at DuClaw – they heard my screeching songs of delight, and answered with a pre-release 6-pack of the new stuff: Funk Blueberry Citrus Wheat Ale.
Just looking at the packaging, I already knew I liked it. It’s almost like they designed it just for me. The distressed feel of raw Americana got me so fired up that I made my wife salute the box while I went to change into something a bit more comfortable in which to compliment my impending drinking experience.
The beer is billed as an American-style Wheat Ale brewed with Meyer lemons and blueberries. The damn thing might as well be an advertisement for summer. I knew that I needed to be outdoors to drink this the way the Lord intended, so I prancercised my ass out into the 95 degree heat, spread eagle on my deck steps, cracked er’ open and poured it into a pint glass that had been hibernating in the freezer for the last week.
I was shocked when I lifted the glass and didn’t pick up any lemon citrus aroma. Usually when a beer features lemon, or any other typically strong form of citrus, you run the risk of having it be in your face (just mushing it right in there). Instead, with this particular brew, the smell of blueberry is dominant.
In fact, if I were to close my eyes, I would have literally thought I was face down on a mound of blueberries in the produce section of my local grocery (it doesn’t matter whether or not this happened before and PLEASE stop asking).
I was still slightly worried. Don’t get me wrong, I loves me a good fruit beer, but the raw power of the smell lead me to believe that the blueberry would dominate every facet of the flavor – sending me into sensory overload. Thankfully, this wasn’t necessarily the case.
The beer was very light and extremely refreshing. When sipping (some call it gulping), the flavor of the Meyer lemons gave the citrusy taste at the front while the blueberry flexed at the finish. It was the perfect compliment to a humid day.
The blueberry was a tad more paramount than some may prefer, but personally I thought it was balanced. I’ve had some blueberry beers where I was hard pressed to notice and berry flavor at all and I’ve had some that tasted like I was swapping spit with Violet Beauregarde.
I found Funk to be a perfect fit, right in between the two extremes. Not too much – not too little. The alcohol is also low (5%) which makes it perfect for drinking all day on the beach, drinking all day next to the grill, drinking all day while playing lawn games, drinking all day in the pool, drinking all through your kids piano recital… you get the picture.
For all you jerks out there that whimper at the slightest taste of bitterness and hops, you will be happy to know that at only 16 IBU’s, Funk is completely void of such a profile. Teetering the line of almost falling into shandy territory, but holding back enough to stand on its own, DuClaw got it right with Funk. It’s June, July and August, liquefied and shoved into a patriotic bottle.
Fruity enough for someone just venturing into the craft world, but beer enough for us seasoned folk. I give Funk by DuClaw 4 Beer & Pig sleeveless tees out of 5. I implore you, put down down the Bud Light Limes and the Blue Moons and make room for something new this summer. Funk will be available starting THIS weekend wherever fine DuClaw beers are sold.