The NOLA Funk Series is On-Fire
By Matt Marsiglia, NOLA Brew Bus Founder
January 12, 2018
Around this time a year ago, Wicked Weed had a reputation like none other. The number one brewery in arguably the best craft beer city in the country, Asheville, NC.
If by some chance you managed to grab your hands on one of the breweries sour beers, it was worth the equivalent of any beer in America in trade bait. And, then in early May, some shocking news occurred. One of the biggest stories of 2017.
Wicked Weed sold-out to Budweiser, or known to the corporate world as InBev.
It won’t take you long to find a few hate articles on why InBev is ruining the craft beer industry. Here are a few to choose from if you get bored:
- Big Beer’s Five Point Plan to Crush the Craft Beer Revolution
- Craft beer brought to you by Big Beer
- The King of Beers Wants to Push Craft Brews out of Your Supermarket
InBev is just part of the problem though, and it starts with our three-tier distribution system. Three tier simply means what it says: there are three tiers in the supply chain before you are able to drink your favorite beer of choice.
- Manufacturing (The Brewery brews it)
- Distribution (The Distributor picks it up and resells it to your local markets)
- Retailers (The physical locations you purchase your beer from)
In theory, it works well so breweries can avoid inventory and save space while also selling their product at a profitable margin.
Of course, with anything capitalistic in nature in the Western world, big dollars equals greed, power, and abuse. Case in point is the direct relationship between InBev and local distributors. Like anything that can ruin a good time, it’s all politics now.
Whoever holds the wallet also holds the keys to the industry. Think in terms of political sponsorships. Field sales reps littered across the country. Big beer taps & retail taking over valuable lines and shelf space.
“Paying to have your beer be an exclusive product at a festival or retail account is very illegal in Louisiana. However, if you go to Jazz Fest or VooDoo fest, you won’t find any local beers but mostly beers from breweries owned by multi-nationals who can afford a “sponsorship.” If you go to a let’s say a Falcons game in Atlanta, you’ll see many taps of locally brewed beer being poured.
In many of Louisiana’s sporting venues, you’ll see mostly taps and bottles for those that sponsor the venue. It’s quite a shame, as many locals and tourists to our state’s sporting and cultural events look for a local option.”
Case in point when comparing the Falcons stadium & the Superdome.
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson recently purchased Dixie Beer & now it’s available for consumers inside Benson’s Superdome–thus allowing him to profit on the sale to distributors and the sale of retailers.
What us Who Dats like to call it, DOME FOAM!
Regardless, the system is disadvantageous for the local brewer. Big Beer is BAD for the industry!
Since our craft beer reemergence with 6 new breweries opening its doors in 2017, we have unfortunately also seen a rise in the number of InBev taps to takeover our city.
Wicked Weed is yet another example.
I Don’t Care About Big Beer, I Just Enjoy The Beer
You can play ignorant to the corporate reality we live in, that’s fine. Honestly, I understand this perspective. Wicked Weed has some of the finest beer in the country.
My argument though is simply one of opinion.
My honest damn opinion is we just brew better beers locally. That’s right, meet the NOLA Funk Series team
From NOLA Brewing’s website:
“At NOLA Brewing, we loved sour beers before they were cool. They’ve long been among our favorite beers to drink, and Derek, our Director of Funk, has been brewing them at home for years. Sours and other wild ales are not easy to make.
It must be done in a separate facility using separate equipment, lest the wild yeasts get their claws in your existing equipment and make every beer you brew henceforth a wild yeast beer.
Also, many of them are barrel aged, which adds time and expense. But these kinds of beers are awesome!
And as they began catching on among beer lovers around the world, New Orleans demanded and deserved sours and wild ales of their very own! So we made the NOLA Funk Series.”
They hit the nail on the head, these beers are delicious!
So Why Can’t You Just Buy Both?
Again, my personal preference and opinion, but Sours are beers that I would not define as crushable. Crushable to me is something that’s an everyday drinker. Give me a Parish Envie, Urban South Holy Roller, or Great Raft Commotion for beers I can drink any hour of the day.
I absolutely LOVE sours when I drink them. But, like most of my friends as well, it’s a beer that’s just not opened as often as others in the fridge.
The problem with sours is most of them brewed come in 750 mL bottles in order to help capture the complex flavors of the beer. When opening, it’s best to have a couple of friends to share it with. Drinking an entire bottle is akin to eating all the Salted Caramel Dark Chocoloate bars you purchased at Rite Aide.
It’s freakin delicious but just too much…therefore, I just see no reason to buy from Wicked Weed when I have the awesomeness that is NOLA in my neighborhood.
The beers themselves are original and offer a varietal of different ingredients, fruits, and styles. Untappd, the pouplar beer app, shows the funk team has just surpassed their 100th sour beer brewed.
Let’s take a gander at some of the Brew Bus favorites.
Sour Ale aged in Tequila barrels with kaffir lime leaf, coconut, and pineapple. I was able to actually drink two bottles in one night of this beer. I do love margaritas though.
a Sour Brown Ale with Plums and Cherries
NOLA Butterfly In A Hurricane
A barrel aged sour with passion fruit and grenadine. A spinoff of the famous Hurricane drink was a much better drinker at the brewery to say the least.
Melon Collie and the Infinite Sourness
A collaboration with NOLA & J. Wakefield Brewing, the sour ale is brewed with cantelope, ginger, and lime. The bottle is straight fire with the obvious Smashing Pumpkins spinoff. Of course, the beer is fantastic as always.
A collab with one of the most popular sour breweries in America, the Bruery Terreux, a subsidiary of The Bruery. Stout meet Sour. This one packs a punch with a big mouthfeel with the sour after-bite as well.
From the NOLA launch party event page, “Caddywhompus is the latest collab and NOLA Funk series member of NOLA Brewing and is dark and wild like a moonless night down the bayou. This rich, sour stout has mixed cultures, mixed barrels, clocks in at 6.8% abv, and finishes slightly caddywhompus!”
Meet Desire, she’s a raspberry sour ale aged in Chardonnay wine barrels
To sum it up perfectly: we appreciate everything Wicked Weed has done for the industry. However, NOLA Brewing’s Sour game is an equally elite level, and it’s time for locals to pony up a few dollars and support the brewery.
You May Also Enjoy…