Brewsday Tuesday is a feature where I talk about a craft beer I’ve had lately. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, Friek from Odell seemed pretty on theme. On fleek? On Friek? It’s official: I’m no longer a cool teen.
Friek is a “lambic style” ale blended with tart cherries and aged on oak barrels. Just before blending and bottling, Odell adds fresh raspberries for color and flavor. I’m not entirely sure why Odell labels this “lambic style.” Maybe it’s not truly spontaneously fermented? It’s considered in other places to be an “American wild ale.” I know they brew it with wild yeast, but I can’t really tell what that means.
Regardless of what they call it, it’s still a good beer. It pours a lovely deep red. You definitely get a ton of that red fruit smell up front, and it’s sour, but not overwhelming. Surprisingly drinkable, but krieks range a lot on that front – I’ve had some that taste like red jolly ranchers, and some that only taste like, well, sour.
The at-home edition
The oak barrel was the greatest surprise to me. Now, I’m hit or miss on barrel-aged beers thanks to a particularly unfortunate karaoke incident. However, the woodsy oak notes give this a hint of nuttiness and vanilla in the finish. It’s warming and lingers ever so slightly. Odell definitely found a way to set this beer apart with the oak barrel treatment, and it does not disappoint.
If you’re gonna pair this, go for super dark chocolate. I mean, this is a Valentine’s Day beer review, was I really gonna suggest anything else? Seriously though, the earthy, bitter cocoa flavors of 70% dark would be right at home with this beer, especially with that nutty vanilla note from the oak barrel. Pairing with cheese is more difficult, since kriek usually isn’t great with cheese. However, I could see this working well with a plain, super fresh chèvre. Straight up, no baguette, no cracker.
One final note: I live spitting distance from Fort Collins, so I had no trouble tracking this down. That being said, it still set me back about $20, and the further away from the Front Range you are, the harder to find and more expensive this beer will be. Just a cautionary note.
Happy Brewsday Tuesday, friends! Hope you enjoy Valentines, Galentines, Dudentines (is that a thing? it is now) and generally just celebrate love and kindness. The world can always use more of it. Cheers!