Beers in Review: Asheville-Wicked Weed Funkatorium and Asheville Brewing

We continue the tour of Asheville tonight with three different breweries.

Our second-to-last stop on Saturday was at the Wicked Weed Funkatorium. Now, my parents and I had visited and had lunch at the Wicked Weed Brewery earlier in the day, but they have a separate facility a few blocks away known as The Funkatorium, their home for barrel-aged sour ales and other funky beers, serving up to a dozen at any given time. The barrels are quite prominent, as the storage area is right off the tasting room, and you can see rows of aging barrels stacked high full of maturing beer. Here, I had a pre-determined flight, starting with their La Bonte w/ pear. This was a fairly rich and slightly hazy yellow color, and starts as a Belgian-style farmhouse/Saison that is blended with Blonde sour ale and then flavored with French pears and bottle-aged. I found this to be fairly mild overall, and not necessarily my favorite, though I feel this is more a reflection on me: I need to be in the right mood for Saisons, and I'm not much of a pears guy, either.

Also in the flight were 3 of their barrel-aged sours, which were a little more up my alley, as much as my palate held up (again, we'd drank at least 10 different beers prior to this point). The Marina was a more pale yellow color, almost evoking white wine. The peaches and apricots used in the barrel-aging really came to the fore, flavor-wise, though, as expected, we got little to no sweetness out of them. Next was Amorous, which was a nice orange color, with citrusy flavor notes to match. Noted as a Sour IPA, to me, most of the hop characteristics were overtaken by the sour. The final sour was Recurrant, which was aged with Currants in cabernet barrels. I had hoped my parents, who are more winos than beer snobs, might take to this one a little more than the others, owing to the wine-barrel aging. My dad tolerated all of the sour ales, my mom wasn't a fan at all. They did enjoy our split dessert of vanilla ice cream with berry compote made with sour ale--the contrast of sweet ice cream and sour compote was quite delightful. I enjoyed the ales at the Funkatorium (probably the Amorous was my favorite), but, again, my palate was getting fatigued, so we had just one beer at one last stop.

At Asheville Brewing Company, I had their flagship IPA, called Shiva. Shiva has nice citrus notes, and a good amount of dank piney hops. There is also a good amount of bitterness. This was a well-executed IPA, and I need to head back here to give them more of a try.