Urban Funk Wild Ale

Urban Funk Wild Ale
Six pack, $12 or so, 5% ABV

Purchased at the brewery, Stratford – Thanks Shaun!


    Tear the roof off, we’re gonna tear the roof off the mother, sucker
    Tear the roof off the sucker

Interestingly, Superstorm Sandy did tear the roof off a few buildings, mother sucker.

    You’ve got a real type of thing going down, gettin’ down
    There’s a whole lot of rhythm going round

Two Roads definitely has a real type of thing going down. I’ve spent a LOT of CTMQ bandwidth boring you all to death about just what that is. Bottom line: They’ve been massively successful in their first year.

    Ow, we want the funk
    Give up the funk
    Ow, we need the funk
    We gotta have that funk

Which brings us to this, the Urban Funk Wild Ale.

    La la la la la
    Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, owww!

Which more or less sums up how eloquent I’ve been over all that CTMQ bandwidth trying to get at what I like – and what I don’t like – about Two Roads. Happily, this review will focus on what I like.

Two Roads says:

Urban Funk Wild Ale is the first of several planned releases from Two Roads’ Captured Yeast Series. With the help of nearby Sacred Heart University’s beer loving Biology Professors Kirk Bartholomew and Geoff Stopper, a local yeast strain was captured and propagated for use in fermentation. The yeast was captured during the evening of Superstorm Sandy so it’s a particularly hearty strain of wild yeast! Urban Funk will be in corked 375ml bottles and truly funky with a unique, delicious sour flavor and an ABV of 5.6%

There is nothing not to love about that entire paragraph. Science! Biology Professors! (This marks the second time Two Roads has partnered with biology professors – the Via Cordis Blonde was the first time – and as a holder of a biology degree who likes good beer, I’m already on board before drinking.) Wild yeast! $10 for 375ml of a beer no one has ever had before!

Oh wait, that last one’s not so great, but that’s the Two Roads way and… aw man, I said this whole page would focus on what I like. Never mind. What’s 10 bucks anymore anyway?

silicon-valley-5-logo-1Yes, this was one of the three limited release bottles the brewery served up in April 2014. This was their most aggressive of the three and to me, it showed that no one should discount Two Roads based on some previous efforts.

The label is weak; it reminded me of the opening montage to “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” but was certainly better than Chuy’s first Pied Piper logo effort on “Silicon Valley.” (Full disclosure: I love Mike Judge.)

Ok, a bit too insider. Here’s the deal – this beer is true to style, even if that style has no true form due to its wild nature. The whole concept is really cool and Two Roads achieved the right level of sour and funk in this beer.

Sidenote: in this beer, the sour and funk are supposed to be there. Ahem, other local breweries who have given me sour and funky beer that isn’t supposed to be sour OR funky. Now, did those attributes create a perfect wild ale? Let’s turn to ClarkVV who has almost 4,000 reviews on RateBeer:

wet_socks_8023Moderately cloudy, pale golden body is topped by a small, somewhat short-lived white head. Nose is full of brett and lacto biproducts. Certainly some enjoyable brett acids in there with a strong lactic presence adding cheesey funk and lots of musty cellar notes. The whole crew seems present here; horseblanket, lemons, limes, leather, etc…Pretty interesting nose, good strength to it. The brett and lacto flavors noted in the nose jump out in the flavor, right away, but are soon joined on the end by a plethora of funky flavors that are less than desirable. Strong presence of celery, lettuce, sweaty gym socks, cooked carrots, tons of mold and black pepper notes. Really an endless supply of dirtiness and veggies. The base beer was a bit lackluster as well, having been borderline overattenuated leading to a rather weak texture/mouthfeel. Still, the aroma and initial flavor are spot on for a Belgian lambic, just too many undesirable critters in there as well.

Good lord, I hate beer reviews. This guy is for real, by the way. He rated the Urban Funk 3/5. That’s right, the sweaty gym socks and mold and horseblanket and cheese came together to create a better than average beer for Mr. ClarkVV.

Since I’m not a complete lunatic like ClarkVV, I can’t report any horse blankets or garbage or socks or whatever. On the flip side, since I’m a relative ding dong, I can’t really tell you all that IS going on in the Urban Funk. Wild Ales are, by their very nature, hard to pin down. Because they’re WILD, you nut.

I’ll agree with Clark, there was a bit much going on here and the flavor was a bit murky behind the yeasty funk. Muddy. Unclear. Not crisp and bright like some other wilds I’ve had.

But really, if you’re into this type of style, it was pretty good. And the backstory and effort that went into it is to be commended – and I look forward to their next “Captured Yeast” beer.

Overall Rating: B
Rating vs. Similar style: C+

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