By Julia Burke, Beer

538902693_1905822723_0I dig brettanomyces in beers as long as it’s not
overpowering, so I picked up the 2009 edition of this “Funkhouse Ale with
Brettanomyces” from the self-proclaimed little slice of Belgium in Cooperstown,
Brewery Ommegang.

A yearly specialty brew, it was cellared at the brewery;
Ommegang recommends aging this and many of their beers so I had no qualms about
trying it at 13 months old.

Ommegeddon pours a four-finger head with fair lacing
retention and a cloudy peaches-and-cream color.   

The nose doesn’t show a lot of brett – mostly citrusy yeast
esters and a hint of barnyard funk.

A full, highly carbonated palate offers an
Orange Julius-style creamy mix of orange and and coriander and solid earthiness
courtesy of wild yeast. It’s quite hoppy on the finish thanks to dry-hopping,
which is a nice surprise considering the lack of serious hop presence on the

An important note: though the label recommends serving this beer at 40° it
really opens up much better at room temperature.

The description “funkhouse ale” is interesting – though it’s
pleasant I think considering the funk available to wild-yeast Brett-infected
Belgian ales it might be an overstatement.

As a brett nut who likes my Belgians
funkier than George Clinton, I think this beer is a bit restrained for the
style and for the price. Give it some stinky cheese for a more complete
experience, or try to score next year's offering a bit younger.

Producer: Brewery Ommegang
ABV: 8%
Sample Size: 25 oz. bottle (750 mL)
Stemware: 12 oz. goblet
Availability: Seasonal
Price: $11
Rating: B-

(Note: I have been shopping around for an effective and
clear beer rating system; I’m using the A-F grading system in the meantime
because it’s in wide use in the craft beer world. Please feel free to offer any
feedback as to what sort of beer rating format you’d like to see, whether it’s
a 100-point scale, a 1-5 star scale, or something different. We welcome your