Gunga Galunga is the second beer in The Bruery’s Provisions Series, a series of beers that they say will only be brewed once and are only available through their Reserve Society and at The Bruery Provisions store in downtown Orange. I picked this bottle up while at The Bruery Provisions last month, I’m unsure if it is still available.
Labelled a “100% Brett Black Ale”, Gunga Galunga is brewed with galanga, kaffir lime and fremented with 100% Brettanomyces. If you’re anything like me you’re probably about to look up galanga, here’s a link to the entry on Wikipedia. It’s 7.7% ABV and like all beers from The Bruery comes in a 750ml bottle. I think I paid around $10-15 for the bottle.
As expected from a ‘Black Ale’ Gunga Galunga pours a very dark brown (it appears black until held up to the light) with a big fluffy mocha colored head. It smells of a subdued sweetness and lime (but not overpoweringly so). I don’t get any hops or roasted smells in the aroma.
The first taste is exactly what you would expect from the smell, sweet and citrusy. More lime than anything, it has not hop citrus flavors, I expect this is the kaffir lime and maybe the galanga coming through. After the sweetness subsides it becomes a bit funky. Not very funky at all, just the slightest hint. Then comes some bitterness. I don’t think it’s hop bitterness, its more of a roasted or toasty bitterness, possibly due to the dark malts used to make it black. There is a herbal taste, maybe basil, that mostly comes through in the aftertaste. I’m not sure if they used basil, or if this could be the galanga.
There’s a lot going on with this beer, but it’s not a favorite of mine. It’s interesting, but I wouldn’t buy another bottle to drink right away. I would be interested in cellaring it for a while, the label says it should age well for up to three years. Being 100% Brett fermented it may get a little more funky in that time. I didn’t however buy another bottle, and with Gunga Galunga being available only at The Bruery Provisions in Orange I probably won’t get another bottle. It’s definitely and interesting and unique beer, and I love the experimentation from The Bruery lately, but in my opinion not nearly their best.