Beer Wednesday: Le Freak by Green Flash Brewing

Green Flash is yet another good brewery in San Diego. They are best known for their Green Flash IPA. We reviewed their Le Freak in a tag-team effort between Aaron and myself. The Le Freak is a fusion of styles, it is alternately described as a Belgian IPA, an Abbey Trippel, a blond, and as Green Flash's own combo description described below. (Feedback on the format is appreciated; this is our first time experimenting.)

It is $7.49 for a 22oz bottle and has 9.2% ABV. Below is the discussion Aaron and I had in which we reviewed the beer.

Aaron: I'm drinking out of a UCLA Bruins pint glass...of course
6:57 PM first of two pours from a 22oz. bottle (that's right, i'm definitely finishing the bottle tonight) really sucked.
I'm going to take the blame for this one as I allowed WAY too much head
Royce: hahaha nice
hang on pouring mine
Aaron: but as I take some of the foam just to prevent it from overflowing, I am already really intrigued
Royce: im using a guinness glass
7:00 PM Aaron: so the taste of the foam got me all excited...a little hops, a little coffee, a little fruitiness
7:01 PM but the first really strong inhale confused me
Royce: no wow
Aaron: it smells almost like a overripe fruit
Royce: this is super carbonated
i got half the glass head, pouring carefully
7:02 PM Aaron: ok, so maybe I didn't screw up the pour
I got something very similar
I'm almost worried that it gets flat too soon
7:03 PM I'm getting totally conflicting smells and tastes
kind of bad, sour fruity smell
Royce: smells super fruity and kinda ipa like to me
i get a little sour
7:04 PM Aaron: reminds me of the Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic, which no one likes
but I really like the taste
tastes like a black lager plus a pale ale
7:05 PM not super hoppy like an IPA, but a heavier hopped pale ale
Royce: you like THIS taste?
or the cranberry lambic taste?
this tastes too dysfunctional to me
i kinda like, but i kinda dont
Aaron: hate the Cranberry Lambic taste, love the taste of Le Freak
Royce: ohh ok
7:06 PM Aaron: dysfunctional is a good word...close but not perfect
I'd rather use Yin and Yang to describe it
7:08 PM do you like the taste?
Royce: hm
7:09 PM its slightly too bitter for me, but other than that yes
i love the actual flavor profile, but not the extra bite i get
Aaron: i definitely understand what you mean by being too bitter
7:10 PM like it can't handle the bitterness
I will definitely finish the 22, but I don't think I could pour myself a third glass
7:12 PM lots of coffee aftertaste
coffee + bitter
7:14 PM it almost feels like the coffee taste is contributing to the bitterness
Royce: hmmm
you think coffee?
7:15 PM but i agree with what you're saying, it's coffee like in texture and acidity, if not flavor
Aaron: actually I'd say it's the coffee flavor you get from a black lager
7:16 PM and the bitterness, more so than actual coffee
I guess it could be a dark chocolate or a licorice
7:18 PM ok...first glass done
7:19 PM let's try a gentler pour of an open bottle that's been sitting in the fridge
7:20 PM Royce: lol ok, lets try
7:21 PM Aaron: better
only an inch and a half of head instead of half the glass
7:22 PM Royce: yeah
7:23 PM now that is a much happier pour
Aaron: i almost feel like the head smells and tastes better than the beer
7:24 PM Royce: hm i could see that
the beer is pretty good though
its interesting
its like, not quite an ipa
Aaron: I agree completely
Royce: but has some weird characteristics that i enjoy
7:25 PM Aaron: I might like it more than the El Camino (Un)real Black Lager
did I get that name righht?
7:28 PM Royce: yes
its very different
but whats similar is that its weird and different and combines characteristics you dont normally find together
am i getting that right?
7:29 PM Aaron: exactly
oooh...considering I had a late lunch a few hours ago, I can feel a little buzz
the 9.2% ABV is kicking in
Royce: lol ya, i need to eat something
i like this beer
i think one glass is the perfect amount
7:30 PM you get the uniqueness of flavor, the new experience
but the bitterness and kinda disjointed-ness doesnt start to bother you yet
Aaron: I don't want to take away from the 22oz. bottle, but I can see splitting it with a friend then moving on to something else.
Royce: exactly
perfect summary
Aaron: I feel like this might be a beer that fits right in between our tastes
7:31 PM Royce: haha i agree
Aaron: We can both move away towards other tastes we enjoy, but while I move towards the hops and pale ale flavors, you move towards the black coffee/licorice tastes
Royce: so they call this "a san diego-style IPA mixed with a belgian trippel"
do you agree with that?
7:32 PM yeah, and the smoothness
Aaron: Yeah. I was going to say that I need to try more San Diego-style imperial pale ales and you need to find out what a Belgian-style trippel is.
7:33 PM Royce: LOL
i totally agree with that
Aaron: Here's a start
Royce: i think san diego-style ipa is a self-made designation
but i imagine they are thinking of their green flash IPA right?
7:34 PM Aaron: I would disagree. We have discussed San Diego style IPAs, I think this is just a little less IPA than that
7:35 PM being a San Diego brewery is a big reason why I chose this beer
7:39 PM after a quick read through that Wikipedia article, I wonder if the black flavors come from the Imperial part of the pale ale rather than the trippel
7:46 PM Royce: hmmm
7:47 PM Aaron: I think it's time to have some chips
7:48 PM Royce: lol
so we done? whats your verdict?
recommend to others? to certain demographics?
7:49 PM (thats my version of a rating usually, if you havent noticed)
Aaron: I think it's something everyone should try at least once
I think there may only be a small percentage of the population that enjoys it
7:51 PM How about this? Anyone open to trying new and different microbrews would be intrigued by this beer
I feel am very confident in that statement
correction I am very confident in that statement.
7:52 PM 1) It took me just a little too long to find the asterisk and 2) I didn't know that two asterisks bolds the text in Gchat
7:53 PM and 3) did Google actually name this Gchat, or just include a Chat function within Gmail?
7:54 PM you need an asterisk before and after the text you want to bold
Royce: hahaha yeah, thats how gchat rolls
anyway i agree with your assessment

PS - There are lot of reviews of this beer around, including the Houston Press Brew Blog review. Reactions range from positive to very positive to absolutely in love, like Daily Beer Review felt.


  1. I channeled my inner Scott and went to town with links in this post. Hopefully that makes it a little easier to read.

    I am strongly resisting the urge to dissect our chat in detail as if it were the Zapruder film. Let's just say you notice your annoying gchat habits a little more when forced to re-read them. Apparently this beer made me really pensive, because I said "hmm" about every four lines.

  2. I love the links. But after reading the transcript I think that either 1) we aren't as funny as we think we are, 2) we didn't try hard enough to be funny or interesting or 3) You need to type faster and keep up with me. I'll give four lines and you follow with "hmmm, interesting."

  3. Just to be clear, we are definitely not funny or interesting. Hopefully the beer itself was interesting enough for others to care about it.

    And I'm drinking a beer and contemplating it at the same time, what do you want from me. You can't analyze it all at once - you've got to give it time to simmer.

  4. This review format looks strangely familiar. :)


  5. Indeed it does Lost... we stole it from you and didn't even give credit! Mwahahaha

    No but seriously, this is harder than it looks. You guys made it look easy and entertaining, ours is torturous and lame.