Bruery Terreux has a forest of foeders—a warehouse full of rows and rows of big-format barrels waiting to sour beers the way Flemish monks would’ve prided themselves on. The queen of this beehive of spontaneous fermentation is Wit the Funk, a traditionally brewed witbier taken to even more classical ends with some Brettanomyces and oak planks. This is not sour 101. This is a masterclass in the power of wild yeast to transform a good beer into a great beer.
Bruery Terreux boasts “no kettle sours here,” but you’d be forgiven for thinking Wit the Funk came out of a stainless tank. It’s a gleaming pineapple yellow. The only indication you have that this wasn’t a lacto rush job is the murky middle.
One of Wit the Funk’s selling points is the coriander and orange peel added to the base wheat beer. Though both are muted in the flavor, you get a nice round, peppery plume of spice right in the nose. You also get a little wet wood scent from the French and American oak foeders, but other than that, it’s all sour candy. It smells like a bag of Sour Patch Kids.
This is a beer sprung from respect and fortitude—there’s not a gimmick in sight.”
Wit the Funk’s 3.3 pH reading is dastardly. To an unaccustomed drinker, it could taste like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. But to a trained palette, it’s a well-sharpened tart—a spear of tongue-startling yeast genius. Impossibly, underneath all that, there’s a sweet malt base sitting, waiting to jump over the pucker and surprise you.
“Funk” is one way to put it. “Wood-borne acidic miracle” is another. This is a beer sprung from respect and fortitude—there’s not a gimmick in sight. With all the well-fruited kettle sippers on the market, it’s good to have a reminder every once in a while of what a solid base beer, some wild yeast, a porous barrel, and some patience can accomplish.