Funkwerks' Nelson Sauvign
The Fort Collins based Funkwerks landed on the brewing world's radar by taking a gold medal for their flagship saison at the Great American Beer Festival in 2012 and walking out with the title of Best Small Brewing Company to boot. Their saison is an authentic take on the style in the tradition of Saison Dupont and we'd have placed it on this list if we hadn't tasted their even bolder saison Nelson Sauvign.
Nelson Sauvign takes its name after the variety of New Zealand hops that Funkwerks utilizes in the beer for flavor and aroma. The Nelson Sauvign hop is a classic love-it-or-hate-it ingredient that inspires passionate arguments among beer drinkers. It imparts bold and pungent aromas and flavors that are reminiscent of white wine. The funky aroma overwhelms most beer styles, but Funkwerks has found a perfect home for it in the saison style which is often already subtly vinuous with a gentle acidity. Funkwerks plays into the strength of these attributes by doubling down with an addition of grape must for extra fermentability and a dry finish. It's not for every palette, but it's a tremendous accomplishment