Video: Loki Media
On a two lane back road sits a bright green building that sticks out in the industrial landscape. It’s a sunny and crisp November day, the sky is clear as the gravel parking lot crunches beneath our feet. We slam the car doors and head up the concrete steps toward the door. A hand-written chalkboard sign greets us as we walk through the door: Welcome to Funkwerks.
“We are greeted by the familiar aroma of wet grain, that lovely smell all beer lovers know means: beer here.”
In my efforts to highlight some of the best and most interesting breweries in Colorado, I ventured north to Fort Collins, Colorado to check out Funkwerks. Yes, simply Funkwerks; where it’s all about Saisons and Sours! With a straightforward and focused concept, they are crafting award winning and delicious beer that stands out in a Fort Collins craft market with some big and well-known beer names. Home to the 2014 GABF Gold Medal Raspberry Provincial, Funkwerks has brought home 5 beer medals in the last 4 years. It is my pleasure to share my experience with you in the first of a three part series on one of Colorado’s must-visit, niche craft breweries.
As I sat down to speak with Brad Lincoln, the co-owner and the business mind behind Funkwerks, a smile quickly came across my face. His passion for beer was apparent right of the bat, which always means good beer is soon to come! The idea for a brewery had always been a discussion between Brad and his head brewer, Gordon Shuck, whom he met in 2009 at the Siebel Institute. After three days of wordplay and lively discussion (and I’m sure a few beers), they finally settled on a combination “funk”, for their sours/saisons and “werks”, German loosely translated for creation or work of art. Funkwerks was born.
More Coming Soon in Loki’s Funkwerks Series
Part 2: Funkwerks Culture (Coming December 11, 2015)
Part 3: Tasting the Funk (Coming December 18, 2015)
But a brewery with a flagship Saison? In the same town as the 4th largest craft brewery in the nation? Surely there was no room left in the market, right? Wrong! Brad was very adamant the conditions were perfect for their brainchild. Brad went to school for Belgian Sours and Gordon had won the National Homebrew competition in 2007 with his Saison recipe. This market was prime for a good niche brewery that fulfilled the already developed beer culture in Fort Collins with well-done saisons and sours. And Funkwerks has proven the idea sound since opening 5 years ago. They have been doubling production each year to a grow to 3000 barrels in 2015. And they are looking to double that next year, all bottles!
If you’ve ever seen the Funkwerks bottles at your local liquor store, you’ll recognize the simple green label with the black and white “FW”. Or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to score their dark pink label Raspberry Provincial. The catch? No six packs. All Funkwerks beer is sold in bombers or four packs. Another novel concept which this beer drinker can appreciate. 750ml bombers have always been a great way to share your favorite beer for special occasions. And the four packs, in my opinion, are a fantastic idea for those who don’t drink large enough quantities of beer and want to fit a better variety in the fridge.
“And a little insider information, 12-packs are coming!”
Stay tuned for the second article in our three-part series and find out how the town of Fort Collins influenced the uniqueness that is Funkwerks and unexpectedly led Brad to rethink his own culture of brewing. Cheers folks!
Step Into Funkwerks with our Exclusive Photo Gallery
Photos Courtesy of Brad Gustafson at Loki Media