Named after a socialist village started by America’s first anarchist, Modern Times is quickly blowing up in Southern California.

Jacob McKean launched a Kickstarter campaign on May 28, 2013 to gather funds from hopeful backers. In fact, those backers posted over $20,000 dollars in the first day. By the end a total of 645 people contributed just over $65,000 to the start of what would become Modern Times Beer.

Jacob describes his philosophy behind Modern Times Beer;

We focus (non-monogamously) on aroma-driven, complex, flavorful, sessionish beers. We often brew hybrid styles, combining the features we like from established categories to create new, Island-Of-Doctor-Moreau-style mash-ups.

Modern Times Funky Lomaland bottle

Today’s beer is Funky Lomaland, an amped-up batch of Modern Times’ flagship saison, Lomaland. Amped-up in that this particular batch of Lomaland was aged in red wine oak barrels for over a year as well as an addition of two strains of brettanomyces. Those two strains are brettanomyces claussenii and brettanomyces bruxellensis trois. It should be noted that after this beer was released brettanomyces bruxellensis trois was proven through DNA testing to actually be a strain of saccharomyces. This batch consisted of 700 bottles and was released on January 22, 2015.

Poured into a Teku glass, Funky Lomaland quickly grows a massive white head with a slightly hazy amber color. In the right light a few pinkish highlights can be seen alluding to the wine character assimilated from the long rest in well used red wine oak barrels. Funky Lomaland is exuding aromas of earthy funk similar to porcini mushrooms, lemon zest, and a just barely detectable amount of vinous and oak character.

Modern Times Funky Lomaland

Upon first crossing of the palate, Funky Lomaland falls flat and boring. The complexity of the aroma had evoked high expectations but I’m left wondering just what happened. It is a bit peppery and the wine and oak are evident. One redeeming quality is the mouthfeel of the beer as it is quite effervescent and the weight is appropriately light. I realize Funky Lomaland is experimental in nature and that it was not intended to be a sour beer but a bit of acidity would really help this beer pop. Hopefully future iterations of this beer are experimented with further as I believe there is some great potential lying ahead for this up and coming brewery.

Modern Times Funky Lomaland
BREWERY: Modern Times Beer
LOCATION: San Diego, Calif.
STYLE: Saison
ABV: 6.2 percent
IBU: 30
PRICE: $18
RELEASE DATE: Jan. 22, 2015
AVAILABLE IN: 22-ounce bottles
Overall, Funky Lomaland is an easy drinking, if not boring, wine barrel-aged interpretation of the flagship saison. Some work is needed to coax out a deeper profile but I recommend keeping an eye out for future versions because I feel as though the people over at Modern Times are just starting to hit their groove.
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