PILE ENOUGH funky ingredients into the same barrel and trust to fate. Alternately, make like those massive malty homebrews wherein each small defect obscures its neighbors almost ad infinitum. Denali Brewing likely deserves more credit than either of these impressions, but their Flag Stop Series #2 still feels a little slapdash for all its complexity. Brewed to the West Flanders Red style, it’s pitched with Brett, aceto, and lacto acids, aged in sour American oak barrels, and fermented at last with raspberries for good excessive measure.
The barrel-aging accentuates #2’s root beer hues and turns the raspberry tartness denser and darker. The overall impression is more akin to blackberries on the nose, though it could just be the density of other sourness and minerals in the aroma. Brett is fairly strong early on, funky though more smooth than expected through the midpalate. Then comes a wash of phenols, harsher acetic acid, and a somehow not unpleasant solventy air for a more assertive finish. A bursting head foreshadows the beer’s huge effervescence on the palate and the creamy bloom of carbonation cleverly clears out many of its smaller offending flavors. But not all of them.
Served: 750 ml bottle (Skyline Loft, FoBAB 2013, Chicago)