Breweries aren’t the only ones who get in on the collaboration game. Restaurants do too, and in Denver’s Washington Park district, Uncle has been serving up steaming hot bowls of slurpable ramen noodles in deep, rich umami-laden broth for years. And when done right, ramen is a symphony of flavor requiring little improvement beyond a standard lager or a glass of iced tea.
Therein lies the challenge for Boulder’s Finkel & Garf: Produce a beer to harmonize with Uncle’s ramen bowls while standing tall on its own.
The answer: a kettle-soured, dry-hopped sour wheat ale brewed with Pilsen malt, wheat, lulo fruit and Lemondrop hops. At 5% alcohol by volume, their dry-hopped Lulo Sour pours mango-yellow with a loose pile of foam. The nose is a bouquet of fresh tropical citrus, even a touch of green tea. The mouth follows suit: creamy with a slight sour snap to wake up the lips and gums. Citrus cleans everything up, brightening the palate up for the next bite.
You can drink it solo, on a nice warm patio, but, as with most collaborations: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.