Friday's here, so it's time for beer.
Every Friday, so long as the creek don't rise, this beer enthusiast will take a look at a Florida beer that, hopefully, should be readily available in a local shop or on tap at your favorite bar.
Sometimes a good name is hard to come by, but that is certainly not the case for the Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery, who, seemingly every other week, come up with some new concoction to test the limits of both beer ingredients, and interesting names for their beers.
Someone has a penchant for Peanuts. And no, we're not talking about No Crusts, the peanut butter and jelly beer that patrons fawn over every time it is released.
We're talking about the comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz, and, more specifically, the 1967 musical based on those comic strips, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
"You're A Good Beer, Belgian Brown" is, luckily, what its namesake declares; a good beer in the Belgian brown style. Belgian browns are, also luckily, fairly straightforward in composition: a practically standard brown ale brewed with Belgian yeasts. What this should leave the brewer with, is the signature spice or fruity esters of the Belgian yeast, and a refined almost lightly roasted character of a malty brown ale.
This particular beer, from Funky Buddha, is delivered in an appropriate-for-the-style tumbler glass. The beer, even in the low light of the Lounge, is dark ruby brown. The aroma is mild, but with clove-like esters and a bit of toffee coming through. The taste first hits with that unmistakable flavor of yeasty ester that every Belgian-lover knows, and then transforms into treacle or golden syrup (something akin to the sugar profile of honey) and honeyed nuts. It finishes off only mildly with earthy hops, but nothing too bitter: only enough to get you interested in having another taste. The mouthfeel is slightly thick, and has a moderate carbonation level. At 6.8% abv, it's floating under what many might call the 'Belgian strong ale' category, but won't hammer you out after 16 ounces. In other words: drinkable.
The possibilities of this style seem intriguing, but the commercial beers in it are fairly uncommon in popularity. It's no India Pale Ale or even the ever-present sour red or brown style. But, if you're interested in a solid malt-heavy Belgian beer, that isn't in the range of Trappist beers or high in alcohol like many Belgian strong ales, this one is a sure fire hit to the senses.
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