Jaron here, co-founder of BottleHop, and I have a story to tell you all. My father loves Pilsner. His favorite beer is Kronenbourg 1664, and I have to agree it’s one of my favorite Pilsers ever made. My dad has also been drinking beer primarily in western Europe and the United States for his entire life, and for a majority of that time Pilsner has been pretty much the only option. It’s only in recent years that the American IPA craze has resulted in the bitter brew being more popular, and as a result craft breweries trying their hands at styles perhaps unknown to the American palate.
Previously unknown styles like the sour beer.
When I first gave my dad a sour to try, he looked at me in horror. “This is beer made for kids who were raised on soda pop!” he exclaimed indignantly. It took some serious convincing to explain to him that sour beer is one of the oldest styles of beer on earth, and that just because those who favor sweeter, tarter beverages prefer it over the more bitter beers doesn’t mean it should be looked down upon.
One particular style of sour beer, the Lambic, is first mentioned as early as 1794 in the Pajottenland region of Belgium southwest of Brussels. The name is thought to come from “alembic,” leading beer historians to think that the beer originally had more in common with spirits than what we now know as beer.
So why am I talking about Lambic? Well, the Lambic hop, the main hop used in Barebottle’s Fields of Funk, is a very low bitter hop cultivated in the Aalst-Asse area near Brussels in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. Because of the low bitterness the Coigneau was originally a favorite hop used for Lambic beer. These days, it’s cultivated en masse out of Oregon and Washington and plays a large role in flavoring sour beers like Fields of Funk.
Fields of Funk has a Lambic history, with a sour, tart bite that wakes up your mouth before quickly falling off and finishing crisp and lightly peppery. The result is a very easy beer to drink that satisfies immensely on a hot summer’s day.
Fields of Funk gets that lightly peppery finish from the Saison yeast strain used in the brewing process along with those aforementioned Lambic hops. Saison yeast originates from Belgium, and is known for adding a spiced, spicy or peppery note to beer. In this particular beer, it rounds out the initial sharp bite of sour into a drink that keeps you coming back for more. With a relatively low alcohol of just 4.8%, there is no shame in having that second glass either.
Or maybe third.
Fields of Funk is a delicious sour saison that we highly recommend to those who enjoy either style. As a saison fan myself (and lover of the mouth-puckering sour beers as well), this is a really lovely, crushable beer that I very much enjoyed sharing with my friends. Sure, maybe my dad was right in that it’s got pretty much no bitter in it at all and is more akin to soda pop than typical beer… but who said that’s a bad thing? Celebrate sour beer, one of the oldest styles of beer, with a glass of this lightly golden beer. You won’t regret it!