Style: American Wild Ale with Cherries
From: Krebs, Oklahoma
Brewery’s Note: “Cherry Funk is a sour ale that has been aged on cherries, and has an ABV of 7.5%. The end results are dry and sour with tart cherry flavor and aroma. Unlike some fruit beers that are syrupy and sweet, Cherry Funk is complex and on point with Prairie’s farmhouse point of view.”
The beer pours a murky, pinkish bronze. It’s sort of like pond scum with a healthy dose of blood/cherries in it, and yet it is alluring to the eye. The beer forms a small head of tight, creamy white bubbles that cling to the top of the beer timidly, but leaves thicker tendrils of lacing on the glass when splashed against it. On the nose, the beer smells of decadent brett funk. Pineapple, horse blanket, grass, and musky cherries tango on the nose with just a touch of lemongrass and mint. The barnyard is front and center in the nose, which is just the way I like it. Honestly, the cherry is so subtle that it is lost to just a small piece in the funky farmhouse musk, but I like it that way. The end of the scent has the most note of sour cherries with just a touch of sweeter cherry. As it warms, a sweatier aspect of the brett comes forward to add another accent. I like the brett in the nose of this beer. On the tongue, the beer tastes tart with slight fruity sweetness and a touch of bitters keeping things mellow. The tartness is never quite puckering, and tingles from citric to chalky, and back again. An earthy minerality subtly enters in the finish to give a touch more complexity to the sip, while the aftertaste gives lingering herbal bitterness. In flavor, the beer is mellower than the aroma. It begins as lemon funk with touches of grass and mineral water. This moves into a mellow cherry flavor with a cheesy rind quality, reminiscent of a fruited lambic (namely a kriek). The cherry flavor is light, which is really my only complaint, given that the beer is called “Cherry Funk,” but overall I like the refreshing and light nature of the beer. The finish is awash with sour cherries, mineral water, hay, and a touch of herbal bitters. In the mouth, the beer feels thin and crisp, with a middling crackle of carbonation. It closes a little too thin for what I want in the beer, and that seems to take away from the full weight of flavor that it could have. The beer is crisp and crushable, however, with just a hint of gristle from the cherries it was aged on. Overall, I’ve heard a lot of people that were underwhelmed by this beer, but I like it. It’s not the cherry-bomb that I was expecting, but I love the farmhouse musk. The nose is a little more complex than the taste, but this is crushable and delicious with just the right breadth of complexity. It’s very reminiscent of a mellower kriek. Let everyone be underwhelmed by this. I like it.