Jul 7, 2017

Captain Lawrence American Funk

My first introduction to Captain Lawrence was a tasty sour ale that packed a good amount of flavor in its golden depths. Based on that experience, it was a no brainer for me to pick up a bottle of American Funk, a 7.5% ABV IPA dry-hopped with Citra and Simcoe hops, fermented with Brettanomyces and aged in oak for several months. The result is a beer that tells two completely different tales — on tropical and fruity, the other rustic and wild.

The aroma on American Funk, thanks to the dry-hopping, tells the tale of pungent hops packed with tropical notes and pine resin. A hint of herbal notes and soft funky yeast linger at the edges, but there’s no woody presence. The taste of this IPA, however, forgoes the the fruitiness, trading it in for a focus on the Brett — funky, rustic and wild. There’s still a bit of fruitiness, but much like the funk in the aroma, it lingers at the edges while the yeast and wood aging dominate. The hops still provide a solid bitterness, but that’s about it for their influence.

American Funk is definitely a tale of two beers and I like both stories equally, but really wish they came together somewhere in the middle. I would love to have had more of that hop character present on the tongue instead of stepping aside in favor of the rustic, wild yeast. The good thing here is that this IPA also has the opportunity to develop in the bottle due to that yeast. The hop side would continue to fade a bit, but the funkiness should continue to produce other flavors.