Wild, sour beer fest brings out the best from the Midwest and beyond
“Pupitar Pokemon 373 parking special.”
That’s what it literally said in my notes for this column when I sat down to write it.
Not just any Pokemon, but Pupitar.
Not the 372 parking special, but 373.
Sounds pretty important.
Yes, folks, you guessed it—I got pretty buckled at FUNK Boston: A Wild & Sour Beer Fest held by our buddies from Beer Advocate at Cyclorama in the South End last Friday and Saturday. Way more shellacked than I expected to get. But while I walked in as a sour-curious skeptic who tended to say things like, Yeah, I drink sours, but rarely more than one at a time, I emerged without any enamel left on my teeth, the exposed nerves cloaking my cavities the color of a cranberry bog.
Here is what I think “Pupitar Pokemon 373 parking special” means: Sam Adams came through with a pretty fucking special farm ale specifically brewed for the fest. I think that’s what it meant because that is what I typed right below the unintelligible drivel, which I suppose I left in my notes to remind me of how drunk I got.
Whatever the case, the special from Sam Adams was outstanding. Thick. Fantastic aftertaste. Apologies to the guy working the taps who I mistook for an old pal despite it being my first stop on the tour of delectables.
Next, let’s talk about 3 Stars Brewing Company in Washington, DC. I tried its signature Low Hanging Fruit in strawberry as well as pomegranate, and both hit the mark. Some of the only refreshing sours I have ever sipped in my short stint as an aficionado, these are selections I’d return to on a frequent basis should they become widely available in this market.
I also had a chat with cats from the Destihl Brewery of Normal, Illinois, whose 2018 Ain’t Nothin’ Normal sour collabo with Greater Boston beer kings Night Shift I wrote this about:
The limited exclusive number is so consummately tart that we’ve been cracking cans and sipping water between gulps, trying to preserve as much of a terrific tongue rush as we got on our first tilt. The result: candy. Close your eyes and recall what it felt like to stick your tongue inside of a bag of Lik-M-Aid or Fun Dip as a kid on a break from the schoolyard, and you’ll begin to understand the sort of magic in play here.
Here’s what I have to say this time around: Destihl’s Blueberry Gose, a star in its across-the-board amazing WiLD Sour series, definitely mirrors that description. Again, it ain’t nothin’ normal.
As far as I know, FUNK Boston wasn’t any kind of formal competition. Nevertheless, I have to offer a crown to the Michigan-based Arclight Brewing, whose dark and robust sours had more heads than just mine asking for their two-ounce cups to be refilled. A combination of mead and dark fruit juice-like in color and consistency, the sours poured by this crew revealed yet another realm of feel and flavor in this growing niche.
Let’s call it the Pupitar Pokemon 390 parking special.