Brewery: Hallertau (Auckland, NZ)
Style: Sour Ale
Source: The Wine Vault, Richmond Rd
I just narrowly dodged a bullet this week – the bullet being a scenario whereby I did not realise Funkonnay existed, and went on about my daily life while it completely sold out.
Thank God (by which I mean Twitter) that didn’t happen.
We all know I like to make sweeping, grandiose claims, but Funkonnay is my favorite New Zealand beer right now. For one: it’s the first New Zealand sour beer I’ve ever tried, and two: it’s completely effin’ delicious.
Ageing it in chardonnay barrels was, in my mind, a very classy move. Personally I’m a big fan of those big oaky chardonnays that haven’t been cool since about ’91, and the nose on this beer took me right back to Wall Street. (I like to imagine I was a big time stockbroker like Patrick Bateman in the early 90s, minus all the killing bits.)
As well as chardonnay, there were all sorts of other funky things going on in the aroma. Someone recently described it as “the essence of rotting mandarins,” and I can totally see where they’re coming from. The brett gives off this mouldy smell that reminds me of finding old school lunches in some god-forsaken corner of my room, only I swear to you, in this case it wasn’t gross.
Olivia probably described the palate best when she said “Oh my fucking God. It’s like the nicest wine I’ve ever had.”
To expand on that (not that I really need to), it was soft and creamy and just gently sour, with low carbonation and a slightly prickly sherbet tingle at the finish. It was both weird as hell and not scary at all, obviously, as Olivia had never had a sour before and she loved it.
And finally, please excuse the posey glamour shot accompanying this post. Olivia took some photos of me drinking Funkonnay to go with another piece of beer writing I did for a paper, and we forgot to get the regular beer photo for the blog. (Granted, my hair does look quite good for once, but it would have been nice to show you the cool bottle.)