Codename: Ron Burgundy, Funkwerks Brewing Company, Fort Collins
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
ABV: 9 percent
Serving Type: Draft (at Freshcraft)
Malty? Hoppy? Malt, but that's not what stands out (the fruit does).
Reviewed: July 2012
I tried this Belgian strong ale because of its moniker: Codename: Ron Burgundy (after Will Ferrell's character in Anchorman). Of course, almost any variation of a Belgian brew is worth a shot and I like Fort Collins' Funkwerks—if you haven't already, try their Saison. But it was the marketing that caught my attention while I looked over the draft list on a recent trip to the bar. Apparently, I'm a sucker for a Ron Burgundy reference. Luckily, this experimental brew delivers on more than just a name.
The brewers at Funkwerks took a traditional recipe for a Flanders brown ale and subbed in a Belgian yeast, instead of the typical blend of yeast and bacteria that give Flanders a sour character. Then they aged the beer on French-oak, red-wine barrels. Codename: Ron Burgundy pours a dark reddish brown. I didn't get much out of the nose. The flavor started crisp and mellowed quickly, giving way to malt and rich dark fruit flavors like black cherry and plum. The red wine character pops on the finish; after each sip, the brew coats your mouth as if you're drinking a Cabernet Sauvignon. Note: Be careful, at 9 percent ABV, this one can sneak up on you.
Would we buy it again? Not a regular pick, but worth trying.