Who Needs Joe Francis?: Stillwater / Westbrook Gose Gone Wild

On the docket:  22 oz. bottle of Stillwater Artisanal Ales’ Gose Gone Wild

Poured into:  Innis & Gunn stemmed craft glass

S:  A fuzzy lemon-yellow body with a stark, evanescent head.  Reminiscent of pear juice.  Great bubbles.  It’s damn-near opaque.  You could not read a book through this beer.  Lacing is thin, splotchy, but consistent.

A:  This voluptuous aroma is just peachy.  A mélange of peach, brine, funk and mild citrus round out this buxom brew.  Think peach and grapefruit Jolly Rancher… but real.  for those of you that enjoy the aroma of Bier de Garde, it’s heading in that direction.  Thanks, brett.

T:  Woooooo!  I had to pull my cheeks out, man that’s tart.  However, once the initial shock (like seeing a family member on tv) wears, off, you dive right back in for more.  Doughy malt and an added tang from the wheat provide a great sweetness to the beer.  The salt keeps things in check, it’s like the black bar in “those videos.”  No hops on the palate to speak of, but that’s to be expected for a traditional gose.

F:  Light, creamy, and carbonated.  Short, crisp finish that compels you to take another sip, then another.

O:  Great session beer if you can handle the tartness.  At 4.2%, this one will let you go a little crazy and still feel safe.  Mardi Gras beads totally unnecessary.

Suggested food pairing:  funky cheese, citrus-based salads, raw oysters or clams on the half-shell, fresh fruit salad, pear soufflé

 

Gose Down Easy: Anderson Valley’s Briney Melon Gose

On the docket:  12 oz. can of Anderson Valley Brewing Co.’s Briney Melon Gose

Poured into:  Innis & Gunn stemmed craft beer glass

S:  The body pours a golden straw and sports a creamy bone head.  The cap builds, lingers, then eventually settles down to a small, tight and hugging band of bubbles.  Tiny bubbles helix their way to the top from the base of the glass.  Lacing is thin, delicate but consistent bands with each sip.  There’s a slight haze to this, but does not detract from the beauty.

A:  Subtle but luscious watermelon, the slightest hint of funk, clean briny mineral, and soft malty sweetness comprise the nose.  A strong sniff reveals the rind of the watermelon, not simply the meat.  Another long sniff pulls out a faint floral aspect, it must be the Bravo hops.

T:  Certainly the most interesting aspect of the beer, the fruit flavor is everything done right about fruit used in beer.  The melon is present, but gentle, and melds with the pale malt and malted wheat into a lovely tang.  The sea salt is there too, adding balance to the acidity and fruit.  And, while it’s certainly sour, there a nice give and take between sweet and salty, sour and fruity.

F:  Crisp, and dainty on the palate with ample carbonation, lending another element to its drinkability and and refreshing nature.  The finish is relatively short, with a small dose of bitterness in addition to the melon flavor that rides along the entire time, beginning to end.

O:  Excellent execution of a fruit-flavored gose, and less on the traditional side (no coriander for starters).  Thirst-inducing and paradoxically, thirst-quenching.  Sessionable at 4.2%, imagine this on draft after a day out hiking, biking, running, kayaking, or any other summer activity in the sun.

Suggested food pairing:  goat cheese, summer ingredient salads, grilled chicken or fish with lemon-pepper seasoning (because the beer already brings the salt)

 

Keep Your Eye on This One: Off Color’s Troublesome

Aroma:  Bright lemon citrus, notes coriander, briny sea salt, and a twang of sourness.  What’s not troublesome is the lack of hop presence in the nose.  The lactobacillus and tart wheat profile do the heavy lifting of this delicate beer.

Sight:  Hazy lemonade-like gold body.  The stark white head builds than wilts quickly.  Like most gose, the head on this one is evanescent (not to be confused with effervescent, more on that later).  All that’s left on of the head is a thin ring around the outside of the glass, and a small atoll of bubbles in the middle.  The hazy makes determining bubble activity nigh impossible.

Taste:  Tart lacto-lemon twang, salt, coriander and the fluffy wheat all play a part in making this beer taste greater than the sum of its parts.  The coriander comes through in the middle, but the salt and acidity finishes out each sip, scrubbing your palate and prepping you for the next sip.  The wheat does provide a subtle doughy, bready flavor, providing a contrast to the sweet and sour assault.

Feel:  Light and spritzy with a fine, champagne like effervescence.  The finish cuts off abruptly after each sip, just a trace of tangy lemon and wheat remain.

Overall:  Sessionable, refreshing, and a beginner’s gose.  With a 4.3% abv, this will certainly keep you OUT of mischief and screams summer barbecues and drinks by the pool.

S:  3.5  A:  3.75  T:  4.0  F:  4  O:  3.75

Food pairing suggestion:  Tossed salad with lemon or raspberry vinaigrette dressing, lightly seasoned chicken or oily/fatty fish, fruit tart, rich Triple-cream cheese

The Time Is Now: Otra Vez by Sierra Nevada

 

Sierra_Nevada_Otra_Vez

On the docket:  12 oz. bottle of Otra Vez by sierra Nevada

Quick note:  “Otra vez” is loosely translated as “again,” “anew,” “afresh” or quite literally, “another time.”

 

Aroma: Sweet graininess, a touch of briny tartness, grapefruit and a light… margarita aroma. Is that the prickly-pear?

Sight: Slightly hazy golden straw with a creamy, meringue like bone-white head. Lively carbonation of tiny bubbles zip to the top. The head dissipates quickly, but while present, is rich and smooth.

Taste: An initial sweetness from the malt is squelched by the rush of tart, sour, bracing acidity. Mouth-puckering and intense. This one ends softer, and drier, but the gose-ness remains. The “margarita” mentioned in the aroma translates into a nebulous green fruit, more evident as the beer warms. The salt here is harder to detect, but if you imagine rock salt on the outside of a glass, you’ve got it.

Feel: Medium-light and spritzy. Short finish that dries your mouth out and makes you go back for more.

Overall: Though not exactly traditional, perfectly suited for a session on a hot summer day. A great introduction into the world of sour beer. Tart, zesty, approachable.

Food pairing suggestion: Fruit salad, chicken or pork fajitas, tortilla chips and salsa, beef brisket, fruit tart, creamy, pungent cheese