From the Brewer: Oude Funk

Straight from the source!

©Heather Hanson Photography LLC
Kevin Welch, Co-Owner & Head Brewer                                              ©Heather Hanson Photography LLC

Oude Funk, definitely the high point of my brewing career so far. This is a beer which got its start even before the brewery got its. In the tradition of the great Lambic breweries of Belgium, this beer is an authentic example with only the exception of a koelschip. The beer is fermented with two different cocktails of microbes. One was acquired from Pajottenland region one of our trips to Belgium just prior to opening the brewery. The other was the result of a spontaneous fermentation that occurred from the air of southwest Minneapolis where we used to reside just before opening Boom Island. The Belgian microbial mix was used to inoculate the first barrel that we acquired and it became home to a 60 gallon batch of turbid mashed wort for the next 2 years. The first real challenge we came across was when we experienced our first expansion, which included a move. The entire move was planned around how to deal with the liquid in that barrel. We had just acquired several more used wine barrels and placed them strategically in our new brewery just two blocks down the street. On the final day of the move, I tasted the spontaneously fermented two-year old beer. It exceeded my expectations in complexity and maturity. It was everything one could hope for in a straight unblended old lambic. The barrel was carefully drained into four kegs bunged up and moved into place in the new brewery. The delightfully sour beer was then used to inoculate the newly acquired, used (but clean) wine barrels. The following day the antiquated technique of turbid mashing was once again in action around the brewery. The old beer was reunited with itself in a single barrel and new wort filled the rest. This beer proceeded to undergo the same fermentation process as the first vintage with very consistent results. One of the barrels had a slightly slower rate of maturity but given just a couple of months more, it followed with very similar flavor development. One year later, juggle a few more barrels and repeat process. (oh yes…try not to sample to much…very limited quantities.)

The real fun happened when blending day arrived. Three vintages of spontaneously fermented, barrel aged sour beer produced from a turbid mash. Why the long explanation instead of just saying “Lambic”? Also pointing out that by blending these three vintages, then allowing them to referment in the bottle a la Méthode Champenoise would turn it into an Oude Geueze type Lambic.

Actually the use of the term, Lambic, is regulated in the European Union just like the term “Champagne”. Considering that much of my personal inspiration comes from our visits to one particular Lambic brewery whose head is a strong advocate for limiting the usage of the term, I prefer to keep those friends rather than dishonor the tradition that they and generations before have struggled so diligently to preserve.

© Heather Hanson Photography LLC
© Heather Hanson Photography LLC

As a result, I have always seen this beer is an homage to that ancient tradition rather than an effort to imitate it. It is for sure spontaneously fermented. A turbid mash was executed and it was brewed with old oxidized hops. Absolutely, it was aged in old wine barrels of 1, 2, and 3 year old vintages then blended. It was refermented in the bottle creating natural carbonation, just like every single beer we bottle. It is Oude, (which simply means old in Dutch). And it is Funky.

This Friday, October 2nd 2015 at 6pm, we present to you: “Oude Funk”

Cheers,
Kevin

See what Growler Magazine has to say about Oude Funk in their recent article on the release, here.

Join us at the Taproom: 2014 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

Meet Heather

After a long procrastination I have finally decided to introduce myself as a member of the Boom Island Brewing team. So, Hi! I am Heather, the Social Media Manager, Photographer, self-proclaimed “Marketing Ninja,” and merchandiser for the brewery. I have been charged with managing Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, assisting with www.BoomIslandBrewing.com, and writing these very blog posts!

Heather Hanson, Social Media Manager for Boom Island Brewing Co.

I’ve been working with Qiuxia, one of our co-owners on the marketing side since December 2014, but before then….

(commence Wayne’s World flashback effects)

…. It all began with a group of friends.

Kevin Welch, Greg, Doug (my husband), and Ross at Boom Days 2014
Kevin Welch, Greg, Doug (my husband), and Ross at Boom Days, 2014
Robby & Doug at Boom Days, 2015
Robby & Doug at Boom Days, 2015

I feel this is an important anecdote to my relationship and view of the brewery, so bear with me. One of my husband’s friends (and my friend too), Robby showed up for the first day of the Boom Island Brewing Tasting room. For those of you new to our taproom, this was pre-taproom two blocks down from where the brewery is now). Little did we know that Robby’s love of craft beer and funny stories would wrap our small community of friends around this new local brewery. What is now referred to as the “Hoodoo incident” will forever live in infamy and began Robby’s relationship with Kevin, Qiuxia, and the brewery, and eventually launched my love for this little taste of Belgian I’ve now found on the banks of the Mississippi in Minneapolis. So what is the story? Well, you’ll just have to find me in person and ask!

If you ask my friends and family, they can tell you that beer was not always my favorite, but as most good relationships go, my husband tricked me into enjoying the finest craft beers money can buy. And at the beginning there wasn’t a lot I did like… Except for Hoodoo. The fruit notes, dark flavor,  and lingering heaven kept me coming back for more. It’s still one of my favorites, but I also enjoy Well’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Beer, Left Hand Milk Stout, and even Miraculum.

My favorite part about working for Boom Island Brewing is the small community we have built up. It’s easy to make an impact when you are teamed with a close-knit group of hard-working individuals. I get to practice what I love (photography) while learning about (and drinking) great craft beer. If you’ve been to any events at the brewery in the last two years, you’ve probably seen me with a beer in my left hand, camera in my right.

Follow me personally @HansonWeddings on Twitter, I am in Denver as a traveling brand ambassador at GABF September 23-26!

See our posts @BoomIslandBeer on Twitter & Instagram and on Facebook under Boom Island Brewing Company.

The Great MN Get Together Day #10

We have the guide to get you going on the best food pairings at this year’s Minnesota State Fair! Every day we will share a new fair food pairing to go along with each of our beers available on tap. So grab some great local beer and great food to finish out the summer right!

FRENCH FRIES & WITNESS

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French fries may seem like a mild food choice at a fair where exotic and fried dishes reign, but you have to admit, you can never go wrong with the “World’s Greatest!” Pair this crowd pleaser with Witness Witbier, whether you’re at the Minnesota State Fair or grilling up some goodness at home with friends!

Grab a Witness, on tap at Giggles’ Campfire Grill, and more at the Craft Beer Hall, housed in the Agriculture/Horticulture Building to start your journey. Remember to share your own Boom Island Beer and food finds with “#WitnessTheFair” to win free beer and prizes!

****We want to know: What ‪#‎MNStateFair‬ food are you pairing with the ‪#‎BoomIslandBeer‬ on tap? Share your selections using the hashtag “#WitnessTheFair ” August 27 – Septmebr 7 to win FREE BEER & PRIZES! Winner(s) announced September 8!

Stay tuned for more pairings — new ones each day of the MN State Fair!

The Great MN Get Together Day #9

We have the guide to get you going on the best food pairings at this year’s Minnesota State Fair! Every day we will share a new fair food pairing to go along with each of our beers available on tap. So grab some great local beer and great food to finish out the summer right!

CARAMEL SUNDAE & HOODOO

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Rich and complex dark malt flavors of our Hoodoo Dubbel harmonize with anything caramel. Pair this light roasted aroma with sweet flavor with a caramel sundae from the Dairy Building. This is one sweet treat you can’t leave the fair without!

Grab your Hoodoo at your favorite liquor store if you can’t find it at the #10kBeer Craft Beer Hall at the State Fair. Don’t know which liquor store carries our beer? Find it here: http://boomislandbrewing.com/find-beer

****We want to know: What ‪#‎MNStateFair‬ food are you pairing with the ‪#‎BoomIslandBeer‬ on tap? Share your selections using the hashtag “#WitnessTheFair ” August 27 – Septmebr 7 to win FREE BEER & PRIZES! Winner(s) announced September 8!

Grab a Witness, on tap at Giggles’ Campfire Grill, and more at the Craft Beer Hall, housed in the Agriculture/Horticulture Building to start your journey. Remember to share your own Boom Island Beer and food finds with “#WitnessTheFair” to win free beer and prizes!

Stay tuned for more pairings — new ones each day of the MN State Fair!

The Great MN Get Together Day #8

We have the guide to get you going on the best food pairings at this year’s Minnesota State Fair! Every day we will share a new fair food pairing to go along with each of our beers available on tap. So grab some great local beer and great food to finish out the summer right!

PRONTO PUPS & WITNESS

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Who can resist a hot dog, layered in a crisp and fluffy pancake-batter bun? With ketchup, mustard, or both, you can’t go wrong. Pair this pup with the floral and citrus flavor of Witness, witbier. The perfect summer snack, at the State Fair or a day up at the cabin.

Find your refreshing glass of Witness at the back right bar at Giggles’ Campfire Grill at the Minnesota State Fair, or from your favorite liquor store. Find Boom Island in a liquor store near you by visiting: http://boomislandbrewing.com/find-beer

We want to know: What ‪#‎MNStateFair‬ food are you pairing with the ‪#‎BoomIslandBeer‬ on tap? Share your selections using the hashtag “#WitnessTheFair ” August 27 – Septmebr 7 to win FREE BEER & PRIZES! Winner(s) announced September 8!

Stay tuned for more pairings — new ones each day of the MN State Fair!

The Great MN Get Together Day #7

We have the guide to get you going on the best food pairings at this year’s Minnesota State Fair! Every day we will share a new fair food pairing to go along with each of our beers available on tap. So grab some great local beer and great food to finish out the summer right!

BLUE CHEESE AND CORN FRITZ & SAISON

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Grab some deep fried blue cheese and corn fritters from the Blue Barn and a Saison and you’re in for a wave of amazing flavor. Its’ crispy rich flavor pairs smoothly with our cool Belgian-style farmhouse saison. Hints of orange peel melt with the warm deliciousness of this savory bite-sized dish.

Grab your Saison at the #10KBeer Hall in the Agriculture/Horticulture building at the Minnesota State Fair, or from your favorite liquor store and pair with your home-made cheese fritter creations! Find Boom Island in a liquor store near you by visiting: http://boomislandbrewing.com/find-beer

We want to know: What ‪#‎MNStateFair‬ food are you pairing with the ‪#‎BoomIslandBeer‬ on tap? Share your selections using the hashtag “#WitnessTheFair ” August 27 – Septmebr 7 to win FREE BEER & PRIZES! Winner(s) announced September 8!

Stay tuned for more pairings — new ones each day of the MN State Fair!

Meet Christian

Meet Christian, our new-ish brewer (since June)! In charge of crafting the delicious Belgian-style beer alongside head-brewer and co-owner, Kevin. In a short period of time he’s stepped into the role of brewer naturally and added another fun-loving personality to our team.

Photo © Heather Hanson Photography LLC
Photo © Heather Hanson Photography LLC
“The first time I had a Boom Island beer I was hanging out with some friends grilling, one of which brought a bottle of Brimstone. I was intrigued first by the bottle and presentation. Large, heavy bottle. Cork and cage and all. Buddy popped the cork on the bottle and out came this beautifully clear effervescent beer which paired wonderfully with the food and friends at the time. Didn’t hurt that it was almost 10% ABV as well!”
Christian spent a couple of years working at Northern Brewer, which fostered his love for the art and science of making beer. He also spent time working at Lucid Brewing working on their packing line, furthering his skills and adoration for the craft beer industry.
His current favorite at the taproom is Witness — “It’s just so refreshing!” Other favorites include Edmund Fitzgerald from Great Lakes and Bent Paddles’ Venture Pils.
“I love seeing the regulars coming in as well as those who are discovering not only Boom Island beer but possible Belgian-style beer for the first time. Jim does a great job making the taproom a fun friendly place to drink beer,” he remarks about his taproom experience.
At the end of the day, he says his real joy in working at Boom Island Brewing is simply making beer!