Five on Five: Mixed-Culture Beers

Mixed-culture beers run the gamut from lighter, nuanced, farmhouse-style ales to acid-forward wild ales and lambic beers. Here, five respected brewers share favorites from these broad categories that influenced them or exemplify the best of today.

Craft Beer and Brewing Jun 22, 2020 - 4 min read

Five on Five: Mixed-Culture Beers Primary Image

Floodland Brewing VAN

Cory King, owner/brewer at Side Project Brewing in St. Louis, Missouri

“Adam’s beers at Floodland are some of my favorite beers I’ve had in a long time. Lovely, elegant, lively, spritzy, round—they’re everything I need from a sour producer. This one used a cherry varietal I haven’t used before, and it was beautiful. It’s more funky saison, or New World saison—delicate, but it doesn’t lose the base [beer].”

Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bière

John Laffler, cofounder at Off Color Brewing in Chicago, Illinois

“The beer that got me into doing what we’re all doing now, was Jolly Pumpkin’s Bam Bière. I had it at this bar in Madison, Wisconsin, and it was one of those moments like seeing OJ driving the white bronco. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know what this is, but I want to know more about it.’ That slight element of funk—that citrus-rind funk—is unique and intriguing and opened up this whole other world. My favorite thing about brewing is introducing people to the beers that we all make, and having people respond, ‘This is beer?’ That was this beer to me. ‘There’s more to this that I need to know about.’ It was an enigma and an experience I wanted to engage more in.”

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Rodenbach Classic

Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, founder at Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, New York, and Copenhagen, Denmark

“It’s one of the beers that back in the early days turned me on to other beers, and I remember it as a pinnacle in my beer education. It still tastes awesome. I drink it as much as I can, actually. When I see it at a bar, I always drink it. I also love the idea of having something that’s made at such a massive scale but still tastes fucking awesome.”

Jolly Pumpkin Oro De Calabaza

Gabe Fletcher, founder at Anchorage Brewing in Anchorage, Alaska

“It’s a beer that’s inspired me and always sat with me as long as I’ve known those kinds of beers. It has the perfect sourness, and it’s one of the beers that inspired me to make Brett beers and other sour beers. Ron has always been a pretty big inspiration for me, and now we’re pretty good friends. We talk to each other quite often, so it’s kind of weird to have a beer that has inspired me so much as a brewer, but it’s also from one of my friends now. His [fermentation] culture is so distinct with a lemony and bright acid character with a backlining sesame-seed character, and I always know it’s a Jolly Pumpkin beer.”

3 Fonteinen Oude Gueuze

Blake Tyers, wood cellar and mixed fermentation director for Creature Comforts Brewing in Athens, Georgia

“It was a transformative beer for me. I started asking myself ‘Why does this taste this way?’ versus other lambics I tasted, and the thing that I landed on is that there’s so much hop flavor in the beer, and it’s way more restrained in its acid profile than their colleagues are. Consequently, I started using hops a whole lot more in my [sour] beers, to add that [element] I love. This beer proves there’s a role for them.”

Photos: Matt Graves(5); Jamie Bogner

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