Nov 16, 2011

Odell Brewing Friek

Odell Brewing Friek photo

To say that I was pleasantly surprised to find this bottle of Odell Brewing’s Friek awaiting my arrival home a couple of days ago would be an understatement. Let’s just say I frieked out. You see what I did there? Cause the beer is called Friek… frieked out…No?


Friek is hybrid amalgamation inspired by Framboise (Lambic fermented with raspberries) and Kriek (Lambic fermented with sour cherries) varieties of beer. The brewery starts out with a blend of “multiple” Kriek ales that are fermented with wild yeasts and tart cherries before being moved to oak barrels for a little maturing. Right before the final blending, fresh local raspberries are added. The result is a beer that captures both aspects of the different Lambics — the sweet and the tart — in a beer that is lively and packed full of flavor.


Friek pours a peachy rosé in color with a faintly pink, effervescent head that bubbles excitedly for a moment before disappearing. Through the unfiltered beer, single column of continuous carbonation rises to the surface.


For the most part, the sour notes, cherries and wild funk dominate the nose, as hints of raspberries, wood and a subtle sweetness come and go. For a lambic, it’s got a fairly balanced nose.


Oh man, I can see why this beer won gold at this year’s Great American Beer Festival® (Wood and Barrel Aged Sour Beer category). It’s got everything at just the right levels. The sour tartness provided by the cherries, wild yeasts, lactobacillus and pediococcus carry the weight of the flavors as oaky and fruity raspberry notes join in on the fun. The mouthfeel is crisp and active, adding a touch of sharpness on the palate that accentuates the beer’s tart nature. The lingering finish is a mix of sweet and sour elements hangs around for a nice while. At 6.5% ABV, there’s no alcohol presence in the flavors.


I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It’s not as tart as some lambics, but still packs a solid sour character. The moderate levels of tartness and the wood come together nicely in this well balanced and tasty beer. It’s not a brew that I would describe as easy drinking, as it’s sour tartness may not be for those just getting into craft beer. I’d love to see how this one fairs with a little time in the cellar.

Rating: 4.5/5

This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

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