Brewery: Parallel 49 Brewing
Location: Vancouver, BC
Style: Brett IPA
Alcohol: 6.8% ABV
If I’m as good as I think I am at reading your mind, I know what you’re thinking; What the funk is all this talk about Brett you jive turkey? Well, Brother- let me hit you with the skinny. Brett ain’t some far out honkey who’s always getting jiggy with your babe, nor is Brett some chill and mysterious fox who recites James Joyce like a smooth operator. Brett (Brettanomyces) is a far out yeast used by brewers to add some really funkadelic flavour to your beer man. Can you dig it? The man has used this yeast for a loooooong time, whether they meant to or not.
An unsuspecting person who drinks a beer fermented with brett yeast might think their beer is off due to the often “unwelcome” flavours that Brett yeast imparts in beer. Without getting too specific and boring you with details, different strains of Brettanomyces are known for some interesting characteristics:
- Horse Stable
- Sweaty Saddle
The list goes on, but these are some of my favourites. You may look at that list and think “what the Funk?!?!?” But don’t worry, these flavours when controlled properly really do something great to beer. Personally I am on the love/hate fence of Brett. I attribute this to the skill of brewers; you can go very wrong with Brett if you don’t know what you’re doing. When used wrong, a beer just tastes wrong, gross and down-right laughable. But when it’s done right, well, it’s groovy baby!
Parallel 49 Brewing’s Dumb Funk IPA is what I like to call Brett 101. Its not too Bretty. It allows those new to this particular strain of yeast to experience it without getting turned of it completely. It looks approachable enough as you pour it; a nice light head and an orange/amber colour to the beer itself. Dumb Funk smells citrussy right away, the funky party starts here too. When you know what the funk smells like you’ll pick it up right away. Once you get this bitchin’ brew into your face you taste some light caramel, more of that funkified funkiness, an ester quality that I can only really describe as a banana and hop mingler that finish a little citrus and a little resiny. The Citrus/pine funk doesn’t go home until the party is long over. Not that he’s an unwanted house guest overstaying his welcome, but more a friend that helps you clean house until the taxi comes to pick him up.
Overall I liked Parallel 49’s Dumb Funk, I don’t see it winning awards or being at the top of their sales list, but it’s a decent beer worthy of trying, especially if you are into Brett or want to know what he’s all about.