We Spent a Day with the NOLA Funk Series Team

Nola funk series vlog cover

Learn more about NOLA’s Funk Series!

February 24, 2018

We spent an afternoon at NOLA Brewing chatting with Derek (director of Funk Series) and Dylan (COO) about all the cool shit they’ve got in the pipeline

-9th Anniversary party this weekend
-brand new IPA series
-the inspiration behind the NOLA Funk Series
-and more…check it out

You can read the full transcript below.

music by our Founder, Marsig

Where: NOLA Brewing, Uptown

When: March 3, from 5 to 10pm

Tickets: Nine Years of Beer

Jesse: Hey y’all, we’re here at NOLA Brewing. This is Jesse and Matt, we’re the co-owners of NOLA Brew Bus. Today we’re gonna be talking about the 9th Anniversary Party.

Matt: Wow nine years.

– Cheers. –

Jesse: So we have Dylan the COO. And then we have Derek here, the director of the Funk Series.

Matt: – And here we are in the barrel room. These guys have manufactured over a hundred sours in their time since the Funk Series has started.

Dylan, Derek, for the people that have never tried a sour before, give us an idea of what they can expect when they taste one of these delicacies that come out of this room.

Derek: – So a sour beer is, the main difference is we use lactobacillus along with yeast and other organisms. When lactobacillus produces lactic acid, which actually gives you acidity, that’s where you get the term sour, and where the sourness comes from in sour beers.

This beer was aged for 3 years to celebrate NOLA turning 300

So what you should expect is, right up front you’re gonna get mouth-puckering sour. We make pretty aggressive sours here at NOLA, but you’re gonna have that flavor up front.

So you’re gonna get the initial sourness, but then following that, you’re gonna have all of these really interesting funky, deep flavors depending on what type of sour that you have.

So you’re gonna get kind of wood, oak, vanilla flavors from the barrel aging. You’re gonna get different fruits from different fruits that we add. There’s different herbs, spices, whatever we come up with. I didn’t realize I had made a hundred sour beers but I’m glad, I’m glad.

-Laughter

– Congratulations.

Matt:– That was actually just an untapped research project there, you guys have worked pretty hard on that.

Dylan: Like a thousand beers total

Derek: So, yeah, we keep trying new things, and we find that ones we like, we’ll do bigger batches, getting them out there.

Most of our sours take 6-18 months for aging. We do have one unique one now that we’ll be releasing for the party that took three years to age.

– Wow. –

But they take a much longer time to make, so we really only put it out one day for each month. Depending on what facility we have. –

Matt: -Well, this Dryades, it’s the sour brown, aged in plum and cherry, it’s delicious.

Jesse: – It is. –

NOLA dryades sour

Matt: Tell us the inspiration behind the Funk Series, how’d you get this whole thing kicked off to where you actually got to create a hundred beers in a short amount of time.

Dylan: We actually always wanted to brew sour beers. Derek introduced me to sour beer a decade ago when I was living in San Diego. We just never had the space to do it.

Sour beers create a risk to the brewery, with the infection and all that.

So once we took over this building, the tap room was empty, it came with that little shed in the back that we turned into a sour room.

We needed a space where we could actually control it, keep it away separate from everything else. And once we had that, we already had the guy we knew we wanted to live there.

So it was just a natural progression.

But we always wanted to make these beers. These are the beers we love to drink.

We know that he’s been making it for 15 years already.

Matt: Well, you guys are killin’ it. I always say when we’re on our (Brew Bus) tours, I always have to compare the sours here to the ones from Crooked Stave in Denver and Cascade up in Portland because they make some killer sours, too.

NOLA funk series sour

Let’s talk about the party a little bit. So, you guys have Robert Randolph and the Family Band coming in, big-time band, obviously

New Orleans is big in music, Jazz. Funk. Blues, tell us your inspiration, what was your instinct to bring music into the beer (scene).

Dylan: That’s just been something, bringing two of our favorite things together.

Matt: – It’s New Orleans, right?

Dylan: Exactly

We love music, we love beer, throughout the country there’s a huge splice of those two, they go hand in hand. People that like good music tend to like good beer, and vice versa, it was just natural.

We’ve kind of gotten ourselves, now that we’re nine years old, geez, we’ve kind of gotten ourselves embedded into the music industry here.

So we have friends that are in the industry, and I called in pretty much every favor to get Robert Randolph to play this party.

[laughter]

So, it kind of worked out well. Apparently, he’s got another show on a cruise leaving out of New Orleans two days later, and the stars align.

Jesse: Hey, we’re excited. There’s gonna be some dancing.

Matt: They’re probably gonna sell out, so you guys need to get on that quick and get ’em on their website, nolabrewing.com.

Let’s get into the beers you guys have.

So it looks like we’ve got three beers coming out for the party, if you guys wanna talk about these.

Derek: Yeah, so we’re doing two brand new beers and we’re doing a new release of our Sauvage. So we start with the regular stuff.

Now we’re starting a new series where we’re doing a bunch of different hoppy sixteen-ounce cans, this is the first one here, it’s called Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.

We did an Imperial IPA, we added pineapple juice, lactose, and vanilla, and we let that age for a few weeks on that vanilla to get some really nice characteristics.

But it’s really juicy, sweet, fruity, tropical, those lactose IPAs that are kind of popular, some people call them shakes. We could’ve gone with Pineapple Upside-Down Shake.

Dylan: We almost did.

Matt: – It’s 50/50, right? –

Derek: But that one is made to drink fresh, it’s going to be ready to go, really nice, first time we’re doing this, and we have a few more of those series coming out here.

And we’re really excited to start the series with our 9th anniversary. The Sauvage, we’ve released this a few times before, this is our fourth batch. Excited about this because we actually got to put the World Beer Cup Medal on there.

nola brewing funk series sauvage with beer medal

Matt: Nice, congratulations!

Derek: For the first time, it will be on the label.

Dylan: Thank you

Derek: But this one is a blend of 18-month-old barrels and 6-month-old barrels. So as we’re getting more space as we’re getting more barrels we are able to do more blending character.

So our initial sours are always just more batched, because I only had room for about 60 barrels in the beginning.

Now, I can hold stuff back. This one has a lot more complexity, a lot more depth. Hopefully people will enjoy that.

And then, the really exciting one is Bienville.

Matt: This the three-year project right here?

Dylan: Yeah, this is the first beer to be brewed in the room, right?

Derek: Yeah

[laughter]

Jesse: No pressure

Derek: Been working on this one ever since I came back from Belgium. I took everything I learned from the breweries I visited there.

This took a full brew day, a 12-hour brew day, for the mash, add fruit to the beer and, then it went into barrels and sat for upwards of three years, just waiting and it’s the first time we used a lot of corn juice at the brewery, normally we just use brett or lactobacillus.

This has a whole host of cultures that I don’t even know all of them because I used dregs from different brewers as well.

But this was three year aging, it’s really intense, really funky, and then kinda, to blend it back a little bit, we use some one-year-old stock.

It’s really, really intense. It ages very, very well in the bottles. We’ll release this up now, I will release this in a few months for Jazz Fest as well.

Dylan: This is gonna age very well. We want it to mature, it’ll last years and years.

Matt: Well, you can buy all three of these for $49, which includes your cost of the ticket, is that correct?

Dylan: $45

Matt: $45, excuse me. And it’s 20 bucks for just general admission to the show.

Dylan: The $45 includes free admission, so you buy the three beers, one bottle of each, then you get in for free.

Matt: And you’re gonna want to get these beers before they sell out before Jazz Fest.

Dylan, Derek, thanks for having us.

Derek: Yes, thank you.

Dylan: Absolutely, guys, thanks for coming. –

Group: Alright, cheers! –

Matt: That was good there, good job, guys. I liked that.

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Cheers,
Matt & Jess