One of the Method Brewing guys hands a beer to a customer during the SF Beer Week event Wednesday, Feb. 11. Photos by Daniel Porter
Jared Funkhouser has been brewing beer and working in the industry for the past 10 years. He is currently enrolled in SF State’s graduate school problem working on a master’s in sustainability. Merging both his love of beer and sustainability, Funkhouser recently developed a beer education program for sustainable brewing that he has begun to introduce to bars in the area. In recent years, he has noticed an exponential growth in the beer industry and bay area restaurants, as they have started paying closer attention to their craft beer selection.
Funkhouser formally reviewed Method Brewing’s beers on February 11. Method Brewing offers a unique and innovative science-driven approach to beer making. You can read more about Method Brewing in Xpress Magazine’s Spring 2015, Issue 1.
Here are some of Funkhouser’s thoughts on the beer choices of the night.
IRA 6.8% ABV
A hoppy, West Coast style india red ale
Funkhouser holds up his beer glass to eye-level. Through his spectacles, he observes the bubbling clear liquid in his hand and determines it’s filtered. The red ale gives off an aroma of pine and flowers. “You can smell the sugars, maybe toffee and caramel,” he says in between sips. “I would buy a six pack of this and take it home,” he notes enthusiastically.
Best paired with? Red meat and Irish pub food.
Tiniest Green Wolf 3.6% ABV
A seasonable micro-IPA that is low in alcohol but packed with hops and flavor
“I can see myself drinking this in the sun all summer long while mowing the lawn,” Funkhouser says as he sips on the easy to drink micro-IPA. The low alcohol content and light body makes for a refreshing beer that showcases the hops and malty flavors. “There’s a bit of a danky smell, a little marijuana smell,” he mentions as he explains that hops are cousins of marijuana without containing any THC.
Best to drink? In between greasy foods to clear palate.
Noyaux Nut Brown Ale 5.2% ABV
Got a bit of a sweet tooth? This light body beer tastes of marzipan and cherries, making the beer itself a decadent dessert, according to Funkhouser. As the beer warms up to cellar temperature, the marzipan decreases and the taste of cherry and almond increases.
Best paired with? Dark chocolate cake.
Toasted Coconut Guayusa Brown Ale 5% ABV
An earthy brown ale made with toasted coconut chips and gunpowder guayusa.
He inhales. “I can smell toasted coconut all day,” he says. This ale is not too sweet and has a toasty milk chocolate and caramel well-balanced flavor, he adds. He goes on to explain that the guavas plant is native of the amazon and is typically brewed like tea. This adds an earthiness to the flavor that is reminiscent of a musty forest. “This is s stand out to me thus far,” he says as he continues with the beer tasting.
Big Boy Imperial Porter 12% ABV
A dangerously drinkable imperial poter. Over a year old and clocking in at 12% ABV.
Funkhouser recommends drinking beer flights from lightest to darkest. He suggests to end with the most complex, which will in turn, leaves you to most satisfied. That’s exactly what he did by leaving the Big Boy to the end. The beer is slowly sipped, slower than the rest of the beers. Having the same alcohol content as wine, this beer is treated with a bit more care. It tastes of molasses and black licorice, he shares.
Best paired with? Stinky, funky bleu cheese. Chocolate Cake.
Final thoughts? “Beer is supposed to be fun, and I can tell these guys are having a lot of fun,” concludes Funkhouser.