I think this will work…I’m a big believer that mushrooms improve virtually every savoury dish that they are added to. And, based on two personal experiences – one on a Texas ranch and one on a beach in Southern Taiwan, I’m also a big believer in the magical power and wisdom of mushrooms. Just don’t combine this magic with too much social engagement or you might start crying when a waiter asks you what you would like to drink, which tbf is a pretty unexpected question…
The Fungtional Brew Company or Fungtn is based out of London and was founded by Zoey Henderson. She founded Fungtn after working as the Head of Operations at the now closed Vegan and alcohol-free beverage carrying restaurant Redemption Bar. With this nolo knowledge and her personal experience of the powerful health benefits of mushrooms, Zoey saw an opportunity for alcohol-free beers powered by mushrooms. It was an opportunity seen and seized.
Since its founding, Fungtn beers have been breaking necks and cashing checks and by ‘breaking necks’ I mean creating gluten-free, vegan and alcohol-free beers, and by ‘cashing checks’ I mean winning awards including winning:
- A European Beer Challenge Gold in 2022
- A World Beer Award Bronze in 2021
- An IWSC Bronze in 2022
- And being included in CAMRA’s World’s Greatest Beers
Given that resume…I can’t wait to dive into the Chaga Lager, made with real, organic Chaga mushroom.
Fungtn Chaga Lager – Initial Thoughts
You go into a forest to pick wild mushrooms and bump your head immediately on the branch of a tree. You wake up in a bar and you can’t remember how you got there but you order a beer because you’re a human being with taste. The beer is served to you in a large to-go coffee cup. You think it strange but take a sip and it is the most unique beer you’ve ever had. Chaga lager is that dream.
Fungtn Chaga Lager looks like a dark, Munich lager. The nose is deep, musky and not distinctly mushroom heavy. The smell is not offensive, it’s deep. It is more reminiscent of an herbal tea that you know is going to be good for you, even if it doesn’t taste good. Except, Chaga Lager tastes GOOD.
When it hits my lips, the deep experience continues. It’s refreshing and has an almost coffee bean bitter taste that gets slightly rich and metallic at the end. Initially, it feels like a dark beer, almost like a very light stout, but then it balances out with a smooth and simple lager finish that has pilsener-esque bubbles at the end. It has the full-bodiedness and health-effects of a tea with the dance of hops added in. I think it’s too powerful to be sessioned wildly. It is a beer that deserves appreciation in every sip. This is a special one.
Where to Buy Fungtn Chaga Lager
You can find cans of Fungtn Chaga Lager in several bars and online at the following…
Fungtn Chaga Lager Price
The price of Fungtn varies depending on where you buy it from and how many cans you buy. I bought 2 cans from Wisebartender for £2.85 per can.
Fungtn Chaga Lager Nutritional Information, Ingredients and Calories
The ingredients for Fungtn Chaga Lager are:
Water, Hops, Barley, Wheat, Malt, Chaga, Yeast. This beer is vegan and gluten-free.
|Nutritional Information||Per 100mL|
|Energy (KJ / KCal)||92.7 / 22|
|Of Which Saturates (g)||<0.1|
|Of Which Sugars (g)||<0.5|
Fungtn Chaga Lager is a dark lager infused with the power of mushrooms.
It’s brewed by the Fungtional Brew Company, who are based out of London. The brewery has won several awards including a gold in the European Beer Challenge. Chaga Lager itself is included in CAMRA’s World’s Greatest Beers. It is gluten-free, vegan and packed with sweet, sweet adaptogens. It has a deep and musky, yet pleasant smell reminiscent of dark chocolate with a bitterly high cacao percentage. It tastes refreshing and smooth and full-flavoured. It reminded me of a hybrid artisanal tea/coffee mixed with a pure Munich dark lager. It’s too full-flavoured to be sessioned. Rather, it needs to be appreciated on its own.
It is light and healthy and can be purchased in several shops/pubs and online for just under £3 per can, a bit pricey but well, well worth it. Fungtn’s Chaga Lager is a special beer which I rate 5 out of 5 stars