This week’s Tasting Notes finds us fighting off Tampa’s ridiculously sudden spike in humidity with the outside help of some Gose from Reuben’s Brews (Seattle, Washington).
Offered as an incredibly popular Year-Round from this family-run brewery that was named Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year at the 2015 Washington Beer Awards, Gose (pronounced “GOES-UH”) is Reuben’s Brews’ take on a style of German Sour Ale that nearly went extinct before it experienced a recent revival in the U.S. Staying true to tradition, this Gose is brewed simply with “Lactobacillus, salt and coriander to make a refreshingly crisp brew with lemon notes and a vibrant salinity.” This classic approach to the style has paid off greatly for Reuben’s Brews as Gose has earned the brewery a Silver Medal at the 2015 World Beer Championships, a Gold Medal at the Best of Craft Beer Awards, and two Gold Medals at the Great American Beer Festival (2015 & 2016). Reuben’s Brews Gose is available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Washington and throughout the rest of the brewery’s distribution footprint in the Pacific Northwest region.
Now that all the pertinent details are out of the way, let’s jump into these Tasting Notes and get our first sip of this highly-decorated brew!
Tastings Notes for Gose from Reuben’s Brews
Appearance: Gose presents itself as a pale straw-colored brew that is wearing just under two fingers of airy white foam. Held to direct light, the color holds for the most part but does gain a touch of a lemony yellow tone. The beer is crystal clear and displays an incredibly active carbonation presence dashing throughout. The head falters rather quickly, leaving very little foam or lace behind.
Aroma: The aromatics begin with that unmistakable Lactobacillus character that quickly takes shape as a bright lemon note. Coriander reinforces that citrus quality and offers some floral tones as well. A gorgeous note of citrus zest (lemon and orange) establishes itself just before the profile closes with a clean wave of salt water.
Taste: This beer quickly grabs the attention of your tastebuds with a bright and lightly tart lemon-lime presence upfront. Surprisingly, the grains then move in with a gentle bready note that works nicely with the dominating citrus. Coriander supplies some earthiness and a floral character that blends with the other flavors to offer an almost vinous/white wine-like note at times. As the finish closes in, all of these flavors are ultimately overtaken by just the perfect amount of salinity.
Mouthfeel: Light in body with a prickly carbonation level, this beer is crisp and refreshing. Lightly tart and noticeably salty on the palate, it dries out nicely and easily coaxes you to take another sip. Coming in at 4.3%, the ABV is not at all noticeable. The aftertaste is just a touch of limeade.
Final Thoughts: Elegant in its simplicity, Reuben’s Brews Gose is proof that traditional takes on styles – when done correctly – can be just as flavorful and mind-blowing as those limited release, adjunct-laden, hybrid-style ales that always seem to get the beer trading community all in a tizzy. As soon as you take a sip of this Gose, you are reminded of why beer is so amazing. It is nothing but simple, basic ingredients coming together to work in harmony and provide sip after perfect sip. The flavors and aromas are big and attention grabbing, but not overly aggressive or obtrusive. It is simply a Gose as it should be and that is the source of its awe-inspiring beauty.
The most remarkable aspect of this beer is that the folks at Reuben’s Brews did not shy away from the salt – the ingredient that so many breweries skimp on when tackling this style – at all in their Gose. This example shows you that a proper level of salinity is integral to the style because it does so much to draw attention to the beer’s tart citrus qualities and boost its overall quenching ability. With this attribute dialed in to the degree that it is, Reuben’s Brews Gose is well on its way to becoming an American-made standard for the style.
Honestly, it is no wonder why this beer has earned such prestigious awards over the years because absolutely everything about it is just so precisely on point. We may only be five months in, but we can easily declare that this beer will make our Top 10 of 2018. Yeah, it is that damn good and it certainly deserves any and all praise that it receives. If you have the ability, do yourself a favor and get yourself some Reuben’s Brews Gose as soon as you can. It will undoubtedly come in handy this summer. Prost!