My favorite beer of 2015 was Modern Times' Funky Lomaland. I did not review it here on the blog, but that is no reflection on the beer. I'm not writing a more comprehensive 2015 "best of" list because my reviews were too sporadic last year. Despite this, Funky Lomaland deserves recognition. I diligently took tasting notes when I drank it - intending to write a review - and they include a bunch of eloquent, single and double word sentences followed by exclamation points: "Dang!," "Bam!," "Dry!," and the all-capped "BRETT BOMB!."
I bought Funky Lomaland a year ago, but did not get around to drinking it until early October. It was brewed with two types of brettanomyces yeast and aged in red wine barrels. It definitely tasted like a wild ale, but the wine added depth. Funky Lomaland was fruity initially, then the red wine brought out a sly, sour characteristic, all surrounded by the funky yeast flavors. A low abv (6.2%) and minimal hop bitterness did not interfere with its mixture of Brett and barrel aging. Funkly Lomaland was drinkable yet complex, interesting yet not extreme. The double dose of Brett brought out the wild funk, but somehow this dominant flavor was restrained and enhanced by the presence of the red wine aging.
Modern Times' regular Lomaland, is a solid, if unexciting saison that does not push the style. It is a go-to-beer; a beer that you should always have stocked in your fridge. Funky Lomaland proves the greatness of saison as a style when brewed by a proper brewer. The Funky Lomaland I bought was a special release, and while I don't know if Modern Times plans to brew it again, I suspect it will, at least some variation of it.
My final tasting note on Funky Lomaland shows my real opinion on the beer: "Why didn't I buy more of this gem?"