Beer: Watermelon Gose
Brewery: Terrapin Beer Co. (Athens, Georgia)
Style: Sour – Fruited Gose
4.3% ABV / 7 IBU
After some deep consideration, I’m ready to anoint goses – specifically the Leipzig gose style – as the ultimate summer beer. Shandies and radlers were in the running, but anything that’s just half a beer will leave you wanting. Session IPAs would’ve been an obvious choice and still have more currency elsewhere in the world, but just aren’t as fashionable in an era of triple and quadruple IPAs. Meanwhile, the gose is such a classic that it has been around for a thousand years and has never gone out of style. Well, except for a thirty year period where no brewery was producing it, but it’s a remarkably consistent and exceptionally drinkable style when executed properly.
The basic gose style is a 50/50 mix of pilsner and wheat malts, which end up very muted – the gose is a wheat beer masquerading as a sour. There is often some type of hop (Terrapin’s Watermelon Gose uses Vanguard), which also ends up being pretty muted, because the hop isn’t intended as a bittering agent. The power and punchiness of the gose comes through with whatever is added to the wort, which always includes salt (typically sea salt) and coriander, plus lactic acid.
Terrapin’s Watermelon Gose is perhaps less hazy and carbonated than a typical gose, but it is light and refreshing. There isn’t much watermelon on the nose, but it’s the first thing you taste with this beer, even if it also presents a fairly muted canvas. Sourness is perfect here, too; more sourness would detract from the salt and coriander, while less sourness would probably yield something akin to 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon. Subtlety is not what I’d expect from the makers of in-your-face beers like Hopsecutioner and Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout, but Terrapin’s Watermelon Gose a perfect pairing for the dog days of summer or post-workout beer.
For more info, check out Terrapin Beer Co. here.