We thought we’d try something a little bit different at this year’s Chicago Ale Fest by hosting a series of specialty mini-festivals within one giant beer fest! The “House of Funk” is one of these “mini-festivals within a festival” aiming to feature regional breweries producing some seriously funky and unique takes on the sour style.
The “sour” style of beer may be something you’ve been seeing more and more of on shelves and on tap at your favorite beer joint. While it seems like something new, it’s actually a flavor profile that dates back hundreds of years to Europe when brewers didn’t have cultured yeast for fermentation. Now brewers have returned to these Old World traditions, using wild fermentation, blending techniques and fruit additions to create some fun and interesting takes on the style.
Here are a few you can expect to see at the House of Funk this summer at Chicago Ale Fest.
Lagunitas – Aunt Sally Dry-Hopped Sweet Tart Sour Mash Ale
As complex as the name is long, Lagunitas produces a truly unique beer with this one. Aunt Sally hits the nose immediately after popping the bottle cap with a blast of juicy hops and unripened green apple aromas. It pours with a nice big fluffy head that might get the better of
you if you aren’t careful and has a golden, hazy appearance that looks pretty inviting. The first sip is fairly unexpected with sweetness right up front, followed by some intense tartness and tropical fruit notes that finishes dry, somewhat chalky with strong hop bitterness. Aunt Sally is certainly a summer sipper, perfect for those hot days when you’re craving a refreshing pour.
Destihl – Here Gose Nothing Gose
Here Gose Nothing Leipzig-style Gose is just one of many in Destihl Brewing’s Wild Sour Series collection and brings the salty that the style is so widely known for. “Here Gose” takes on
some powerful aromas with lots of vinegar, green apple, lactic acid and a slight sweet fruitiness. Pouring a very clear, golden yellow, there’s little head to speak and what exists dissipates fairly fast. Get ready to pucker up on first sip–it’s a sour one! Pungent and an instant mouth-waterer, “Here Gose” is crisp, effervescent and strong on coriander, citrus and tropical fruit notes. Wrap this one up with an almost margarita-like finish and you’ve got yourself a truly in-your-face gose.
Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose
While technically a wheat ale, Anderson Valley’s Blood Orange Gose is a refreshing kettle sour brewed with sea salt that gets healthy additions of blood orange during fermentation. It pours gold with an impressive white head that disappears as fast as it appears. One sniff of this pour and you’ll immediately find the orange aroma and a nice toasted wheat smell. The nose on this is a bit deceiving; first sip presents a much more tart and sweet presence with the orange fading to the back, while lemon and lime become much more prominent. It’s a tangy ale with almost champagne-like qualities for a real sessionable treat.
Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca
Calabaza Blanca or “white pumpkin” is a white ale brewed to the classic Belgian “biere blanche” tradition. It’s spiced with orange peel and coriander for a smooth, subtle and nuanced beer. Calabaza Blanca pours a murky, golden yellow with a bubbly white head that sticks around a bit longer than most of the style. The nose takes on that of a Belgian wit, strong with orange peel bitterness and some earthy tones. A bit more mild than what hard-core sour-seekers might target, Calabaza Blanca is more restrained; mild citrus up-front with noticeable wheat mouthfeel, some farmhouse flavor that ends with a subtle, dry tartness for a very drinkable warm-weather pleaser.
The Chicago Ale Fest is a celebration of American Craft Beer in the heart of Chicago. The 2017 fest will take place on Friday, June 23rd and Saturday, June 24th. Located at Butler Field in historic Grant Park, bordered by the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, the fest will feature more than 200 beers from over 100 American craft breweries.
2017 Chicago Ale Fest
June 23 & 24, 2017
Butler Field – Grant Park
Early Entry: 6:00 – 10:00 pm
General Admission: 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Early Entry: 2:00 – 6:00 pm
General Admission: 3:00 – 6:00 pm