Beer of the Week: Please, Get Sour

When you acquire a certain level of beer, you start concocting “theme” nights and naturally you have to share these nights because otherwise you’re just drinking alone. I personally don’t mind drinking alone but there are times when it’s better to share.

My friend Don is still mostly a wine/tequila guy but he’ll drink a beer or two when the time is right (after noon on Sunday). His wife Denise has developed a taste for Goses/sours and I like to think that I’ve helped develop her palate. Last Saturday night we joined them for dinner and I was prepared.

Once you get the taste for sour beers, naturally you want more. I brought four different ones to their house that night and we had an enjoyable variety of what the sour and Gose world has to offer.

Beer one: Evil Twin’s Sanguinem Aurantiaco (Blood Orange sour)

Sanguinem Aurantiaco from Evil Twin

One of the first Goses I ever “loved” was the Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose. It’s citrusy, delicious, a bit salty, and only available for part of the year. At this time, the only Anderson Valley Gose I can find is their Briny Melon and it’s not on the same level. When I saw Evil Twin’s Sanguinem Auantiaco, I had to do a comparison, but it has to be a mental one. The beer poured out a cloudy yellow orange and tasted as advertised, sweet, sour, with just a tinge of bittnerness on the finish.

Beer two: Three Taverns’ Rapturous (Raspberry sour)

Rapturous, Three Taverns Brewing

On our infamous triple brewing adventure, stop number two was at Three Taverns, which has an actual Belgian brewmaster. The beer that stood out most from that portion of the adventure was one of their sours, a raspberry one that had the coloring of the fruit. One downside of visiting a brewery is you’ll get these beers that intrigue but don’t make it to stores. This one finally did. The can is interesting to say the least and the beer poured the same as in the actual tavern. When you have that first beer, you kind of assume that all beers taste like that. After the sour opener, the flavor of the second was more direct. This was a raspberry beer, kind of like Founders Rubaeus which disappointed me because it was exactly as advertised.

This one’s the first canned sour from Three Taverns. It’s lacto-fermented (for her pleasure), matured on raspberry puree with a wheat and pilsner malt base. Do you imagine while prepping these beers that there’s a Guy Fieri character with a giant spoon downing the raspberry puree like the nectar of the gods? Just me, then.

Beer three: Kirsch Gose (sour cherry gose)

It’s another seasonal that I’ve discussed previously. Kirsch Gose is a Pennsylvania beer that’s available in the late summer/early fall. It’s called a sour cherry gose. It’s a cherry bomb. I enjoy Ommegang’s Rosetta but that one doesn’t quite pack the punch. My wife even enjoyed a sip and she doesn’t dig beer. I don’t get as much of the coriander and salt that’s the staple of Goses, but we’re about to get there.

Beer four: Uinta’s Flamingose (pineapple gose)

Uinta's Flamingose

Uinta is one of the most underrated hard-to-spell breweries in America. It’s named after a hard-to-pronounce Utah mountain range. I saw this beer and thought great name and pineapple? To date I have tried one other pineapple beer and that was Paradox’s Pineapple Upside-Down sour which is a completely different and amazing beer. I made a steak dish with a pineapple/soy sauce that was great and thought this would pair well. This is the most Gose-like of the four beers. The coriander/salt are prominent and the pineapple’s kind of muted, and that’s a tough fruit to mute. I think this one will stay out of the rotation, but the bottle is hard to resist.

Bonus Beer: Wandering Blues (blueberry sour)

Wandering Blues, Orpheus Brewing

Here’s the story behind Wandering Blues, and isn’t it interesting that the gods are often conjured when breweries are named? “After the fateful serpent bite which killed his wife, Eurydice, Orpheus spent years wandering the earth in mourning. His sad songs eventually moved a stone and opened the entrance to the underworld, where he journeyed down to Hades in search of her. In his wandering, visions of Eurydice danced around in his head, both his curse and his solace.”

Damn, I need to drink this with some Tennessee Titans fans, because Wandering Blues describes the past eight seasons pretty well.

The “bonus content” beer is one I initially tried at a bar, found again at another bar and finally tracked down a bottle during my latest trip to Greens. I was lucky enough to be with two friends, one of whom was drinking a blueberry beer that was 100% blueberry. It was fermented blueberry all the way and that was lovely. Then I had the Wandering Blues and if I wasn’t told that it was a blueberry beer from Orpheus, I would have thought it was a grapefruit sour. It’s odd that I don’t like grapefruit in fruit form but I enjoy it in Halls Vitamin C form. That’s the form this beer had. I poured it at home in the appropriate glass and it has the color of the blueberry and that taste is up front. The grapefruit is what I get as well and this is a strong one in terms of tartness. I need to grab a few bombers before the season’s done.

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