In this 2018 vintage of Funk Factory Kriekenlaan, poured from a corked and caged 750mL bottle, the initial impression is a hazy watermelon pink hue. It boasts significant carbonation, resulting in a frothy, soda-like foam head that dissipates quickly. Following the tradition of Belgian krieks, this beer presents a prominent phenolic aroma, teetering on the edge of band-aid, but gradually transforming into the scent of freshly baked cherry pie.

Aroma The aroma is a mixed bag of sensations. On the one hand, you cannot miss the cherry notes, which are punctuated by the presence of juicy watermelon. Yet, it takes an unexpected turn with hints of saltwater and a touch of vinegar-like acetic acid. Unfortunately, the robust citric lemony flavors tend to overpower the anticipated rich cherry bouquet. Nevertheless, the overall acidity remains bearable, and the finish is tart but maintains an air of sophistication.

Taste When it comes to taste, Funk Factory Kriekenlaan delivers on some fronts but falls short on others. The cherry presence is evident, coupled with juicy watermelon notes and subtle hints of saltwater. However, the dominance of citric lemon flavors drowns out much of the expected cherry richness. The result is a somewhat imbalanced flavor profile that, while not unpleasant, leaves room for improvement.

Mouthfeel The mouthfeel of Kriekenlaan is characterized by its high carbonation and moderate funkiness. It aligns with the typical Belgian kriek style, offering a lively and effervescent experience. The acidity, though prominent, remains manageable, contributing to a tart yet refined finish.

Overall Funk Factory Kriekenlaan, like many of the brewery’s sour ales, impresses with its commitment to historical authenticity and technical expertise. The brewery’s dedication to reviving nearly extinct beer styles is commendable. However, there is room for refinement, especially regarding acidity levels. The overall high acidity in this beer makes it challenging to fully appreciate its complexities. A touch of blending, perhaps incorporating some non-sour, fresh beer, could bring better balance to the brew. Yet, this would necessitate deviating from the authentic lambic style and might require pasteurization to maintain freshness post-blending.

In summary, Kriekenlaan shines in a tasting session but may prove to be a taxing endeavor when attempting to finish a whole bottle solo. Despite this, it is highly recommended for enthusiasts seeking out Funk Factory’s Meerts series and their exceptional Faro.

Similar Beers If you’re interested in exploring other American interpretations of the Belgian style, consider trying pFriem Oude Kriek, pFriem Flanders Red Kriek, Russian River Supplication, and Jolly Pumpkin La Roja du Kriek. These beers offer alternative takes on the classic Belgian style that might intrigue your palate.