Beer Reviews

Science Fiction (Funky Blonde Ale)

This review was penned by our Sensory Specialist Travis Houston, who can beat Mega Man 2 without dying once AND CAN PROVE IT.

Science Fiction (6.9%) began as a six gallon experiment back in 2013, our Barrel Master’s first foray into the mystical ether of sour beer. Since then, we’ve refined this Funky Blonde Ale, melding our Belgian Extra Pale Ale Fiction with a Roeselare blend and allowing it to work its magic for 20 months in our basement.

Vintage: 2018

Months Aged: 20

Cultures: Roeselare

Science Fiction is the fourth release in our Outer Reaches Sour Ales series. Talk about the role it played in the program’s launch and its evolution as a beer over the years.

When we first brewed our Belgian Extra Pale Ale Fiction back in 2013, our Barrel Master Luke pulled a single 6 gallon carboy and inoculated it with a Smack Pack of Roeselare. After letting that grow for a while, that single carboy was used to inoculate a large number of the sour beer we currently have maturing downstairs, including this batch of Science Fiction. The name came naturally, as this was an experiment using Fiction!

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

This is a very complex sour ale, with hints of lemon, oak, tart acidity and mild funk. What makes this beer special is how balanced all of these components are, creating an extremely drinkable, but incredibly flavorful brew.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

Science Fiction is light and bright, but still deep and complex. The wild yeast creates citrusy esters of lemon and orange zest, which is enhanced by various tart acids produced by the other Roeselare microbes.

What are some other Funky Blonde Ales that you dig?

Petrus Aged Pale, Temptation by Russian River, and Genesis by Wicked Weed are all world-class examples of the style.

Fruit (1-6): 0.5

Funk: 4

Wood: 0

Sour: 2

Appearance: Hazy gold with a white, fluffy head, good retention and excellent lacing.

Aroma: Hints of acetic acid, lemon and citrus, with a slight touch of Brett-y funk.

Taste: Fruity citrus quickly gives way to tart acidity, which lingers slightly in the finish.

Mouthfeel: This beer is bottled conditioned to a higher level of carbonation than our standard beer, lending an extremely light and nimble body and finish.

Overall: Light, bright and approachable, with enough complexity to appeal to the most experienced sour drinker. The interplay between tartness and fruity esters is accented by a high carbonation level.

What foods would pair well with Science Fiction?

This beer is screaming to be paired with a charcuterie board. The funky and acidic flavors of blue cheese match amazingly well with the funk and acid in the beer. The high carbonation is perfect for cutting through fatty or oily meats, cleaning your palate for the next bite.

Ideal glassware for Science Fiction?

A large tulip would serve this beer well, allowing enough space for the carbonation to form and preserve a large head, while trapping the aromatic esters in the glass.