Saturday, May 20, 2017

DysfunctionAle (Columbus Craft Beer Week Collaboration Beer) Review

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If you're not familiar with it, this is Columbus Craft Beer Week (CCBW), a celebration of all things having to do with Columbus Craft Beer with events happening nightly, all ending with a beer festival called Six One Pour. The Six One Pour festival has breweries from all over this great state and is put on by the Ohio Craft Brewer's Association (visit and for more information).  

CCBW has been fun for the last 3 years. It's a time for breweries to collaborate, celebrate, and enjoy/give back to the community that supports them. The first year (2015), breweries were paired up with a 'name out of a hat' type drawing, there ended up being 7 different collaboration beers made for it (find a listing at Pat's Pint's blog) with the Six One Pour event happening at the old Brewer's Gate building. That was like a greenhouse where it was 90+ degrees in there, you had to drink beer to stay cool and quasi hydrated. There was also the tallest tap handle contest (see below picture). 2016 had a single collaboration beer, Saison 994, brewed with 16 breweries at North High's facility. The Six One Pour event was moved to Huntington Park (home of the Columbus Clippers). 

(2015 Six One Pour's tallest tap handle competition/winner)

2017 sees the Six One Pour event returning to Huntington Park, but a different take on the collaboration beer. 20 different breweries gathered at Columbus Brewing Company in early April to brew 60 barrels (31.5 gallons per barrel, barrel being a unit of measure in this instance, not the oaken vessels used to age wine/spirits) of a hoppy pale ale ( for a list of breweries, or see below). This beer is the first collaboration for CCBW to be packaged. Half of this beer was canned, while the other half was kegged off for your enjoyment at bars/growler fill locations/festivals. We had to snag a few of these cans for ourselves

Enough dicking around. It's the end of Columbus Beer Week and we'd be doing an injustice to this great industry if we didn't do something for it. We bring you our review of this collaboration beer. It's weird, I can't find any reviews on it other than Untappd and even there, there aren't that many reviews. People have written about the brew day (see Pat's Pints). This historic brew needs recognition.

This pours a very clear orange-brown color (see picture). It's been 2 hours since I poured it and snapped the picture at the top (had to research the 2015 collaborations as I couldn't remember how many were done, then my best friend/neighbor popped by for beer/talk/bourbon). The head on this is still remaining, almost like it was just poured.
Yes, I let this warm up for a while. Maybe longer than I should have, but interruptions happen, just like life. As I get back into the groove of writing, I put on some thinking music and finish my bourbon, followed by a palate cleanser of cheap American lager.

As I mentioned, this is clear. This is a picture of this blog post so far, looking through the beer glass.  

The aroma on this is stellar; citrus fruit heavy, hints of pine and sweetness. The initial sip is a whirlwind of flavors starting with a lighter bitterness that instantly goes into a wave of malty sweetness; two row graininess with lighter hints of honey. Then the malty rush dissipates as the hops start to come toward the front. Citrus, candy, lighter notes of pine (like the aroma). These drop out and leave a grassy-like flavor while light bitterness slowly builds, leaving a slight numbing sensation on the tongue. Smooth drinking, lighter body at only 5.9%, this would not suck to have in the summer months as a 'doing yard work in the sun' beer. It's a solid pale ale with a great balance of flavors. 

While you're enjoying the last little bit of Columbus Craft Beer Week, seek this out.  Go taste and enjoy the fruits of a collaboration beer that went right. Go thank a brewer/rep for this.

As a final thought before I turn this over to my partner-in-life/crime/drunken-shenanigans, here is a list of the breweries that partook in the collaboration (listed alphabetically):
The Actual Brewing Company
Barley's Brewing Company
The Brew Brothers
Buckeye Lake Brewery
Columbus Brewing Company
Combustion Brewery and Taproom
Elevator Brewery
Four String Brewery
Grove City Brewing Company 
Ill Mannered Brewing Company 
Kindred Beer
Lineage Brewing
Land Grant Brewing Company
North High Brewing
Pigskin Brewing
Platform Brewing (Columbus Branch)
The RAM Restaurant and Brewery
Seventh Son Brewing Company
Wolf's Ridge Brewing Company

If you aren't from Columbus, be sure to check these places out as they all have stellar brews. If you are from Columbus, complete your Ale Trail booklet and drink local tasty beers.



OK, so I may or may not be biased on this beer. I most definitely was not at brew day for this beer. Yet I have strong opinions about this beer. 

I fucking love it. This is one of the best collaboration beers I have had, and it's just NORMAL enough to kill your mindset on collab beers. Often they are rough. They can be really weird. Many times, they are just not that good. I am partial to a few: Dayman, which was the 2013-ish Stone Brewing homebrew competition winner and set the bar for coffee IPAs; Oak Skyhopper from the inaugural CCBW, a collaboration between Smokehouse and Zaftig, a pale ale featuring lemongrass and lemon zest and oak spirals; and Tropicalia, a delicious non-hazy IPA from Creature Comforts and Cigar City. 

I realize, as I sit here in my pajamas on a Saturday afternoon, that I have yet to have this beer in a glass. Unless I am reviewing it or it's my first time having it or I'm sharing a bottle, I tend to drink beers straight from the vessel. All you glassware nerds can mock me all you want. I have a cabinet full of proper-as-fuck glassware, but I'm also day drinking and not wearing pants, so I have that going for me. It's perfectly fine to be jealous.

I agree with Nathan's assessment of DysfunctionAle, so I won't dissect it much further. I will urge you to seek it out, if you can still find it around town. Many better bottle shops are running low on it, although it's still available if you search hard enough. If you can't find it in cans, you should be able to find it on tap. It will definitely be featured at Columbus Brewing Company's booth tonight at Six One Pour, so make sure you grab some tickets and go. Not only does Mary put on a fantastic, efficiently run beer festival, but the beer list for tonight is insanely good. And unlike Rock on the Range, there is a rain plan so that you don't have to get drenched or find something to do when they evacuate the festival. 

I will add this to Nathan's review of DysfunctionAle: I was fascinated with the aroma. Hell, I still am. There is a lovely peach/stone fruit note that I haven't found in many other beers. It's lemony, too, probably from the use of El Dorado hops or the hop formerly known as Equinox. This is an insanely good pale. It's fruity, and delightfully hoppy, and one thing that impresses me is that it's completely different from any other hoppy offering from Columbus Brewing. (And they know their way around some hops.) Tony is some sort of hop wizard. 

I am super sad that this is my last can of this delicious treat. Guess I should put on some pants and go seek out some more, because I'm not quite done loving on this beer.