For a long time I was hesitant to try gose beers. It took me a little time to warm up to sour beers (I am still working on some of the more aggressively sour styles), and the description of a gose sounded a little strange. Gose is a kettle soured wheat ale that is traditionally brewed with salt, and occasionally other spices. The idea of a salty beer always seemed strange to me, but I’ve given a few versions of this style a shot and I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed them. The salt is usually subtle and provides a nice complement to the sour. Kind of like the mixture of lime juice and salt in a margarita (especially appropriate since it’s Cinco de Mayo). One gose I tried recently was Geyser Gose, a collaboration between Two Roads and Evil Twin. Geyser Gose is brewed with ingredients the brewers sourced on a trip to Iceland including Icelandic moss, rye, herbs, sea kelp, skyr and birch smoked sea salt. It is available on draft and in 16 oz. tallboy cans.
Two Roads/Evil Twin Geyser Gose pours golden yellow with a solid white head. The scent is a mix of acidity and some herbal aromas from the adjuncts. The beer is light bodied, crisp and very refreshing. There is some tartness from the fermentation but it isn’t a mouth-puckering sour. There is a mild malt backbone, touches of wheat bread and crackers. The salt is evident but subtle, and the herbs add some complexity mithout overwhelming the beer. Geyser Gose is solid summer beer, very easy to drink and not too boozy at 5.5% ABV. The finish is clean with a little acidic bite but minimal aftertaste. Despite some of my initial hesitation at the gose style I enjoyed this beer, I could definitely see myself sipping a few on the porch this summer. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Two Roads Reviews:
Two Roads Rye 95, Two Roads Route of All Evil, Two Roads Workers Comp Saison
Previous Evil Twin Reviews:
Evil Twin Ron and The Beast Ryan, Jack’s Abby/Evil Twin Jack’s Evil Brew
Saturday was apparently “Saison Day”. There seems to be a designated “drink this beer day” for every popular (or even not so popular) beer style now. I have no idea who decides this and I have no interest in figuring it out, it seems pretty contrived to me. That being said, I love the saison style and I need no excuse to drink a saison to celebrate the start of spring (even if it snowed in MA and feels nothing like spring yet). My “Saison Day” selection was Ron and The Beast Ryan by Evil Twin Brewing Company. Evil Twin’s lead brewer Jeppe has named a number of beers after his frequent brewing partner Ryan, and since I have a particular fondness for that name I have a tendency to pick them up. Maybe it’s a subconscious desire to have a popular beer named after myself. Ron and The Beast Ryan is a saison fermented with Brettanomyces, the wild yeast strain that adds a rustic funky flavor to many traditional ales of continental Europe. Evil Twin Ron and The Beast Ryan is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 22 oz. bombers.
Evil Twin Ron and The Beast Ryan pours a bright orange with a solid snow-white head. The smell is very funky, barnyard with a little spice. The Brett yeast comes through strongly in the flavor, notes of farmhouse, wet grass, crabapple and pepper. There is a solid malt backbone too, touches of toasted bread and just a hint of honey. Not a ton of hops here, just a touch of earthiness and some crispness at the finish. The beer is light bodied and easy to drink while still being complex, and packs a little punch at 7% ABV. Ron and The Beast Ryan really showcases the flavors produced by fermentation with Brettanomyces, while some beers use a little Brett for subtle complexity this beer hits you over the head with the flavor. If you like Brett fermented beer this is a must-try. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Evil Twin Reviews:
Jack’s Abby/Evil Twin Jack’s Evil Brew
Jack’s Abby in Framingham, MA has gained a foothold in the local craft beer market by brewing a variety of creative takes on traditional (and not-so traditional) lager styles. One of their newest releases is a collaboration beer with Evil Twin Brewing. Evil Twin has been called a gypsy brewery, it was founded in Denmark, but now much of their beer is contract brewed in the US. Instead of setting up a brick and mortar headquarters, Evil Twin has an ever changing arsenal of recipes that get brewed and distributed to a wide range of locales. Evil Twin brews tend to be innovative and push the limitations set by style. It shouldn’t be surprising that a collaboration between these two breweries would be a schwarzbier, a German style dark lager. Schwarzbiers fill the lager-only rule that Jack’s Abby sticks to, while providing lots of possibility for the innovation that drives both breweries. Jack’s Abby and Evil Twin named their collaboration Jack’s Evil Brew, and it features locally sourced dark malts from Valley Malt.
Jack’s Abby/Evil Twin Jack’s Evil Brew pours a dark brown with a mild white head. The smell is pretty mild, but you get some hints of coffee and chocolate from the dark malts. These dark malts dominate the full flavor; mocha, dark chocolate, roasted barley and brown sugar with mild touches of smokiness and nuttiness. There is a mild hop bitterness that adds some balance, but the beer is very malt forward. While the flavor profile is similar to a stout the difference is in the finish. The lager yeast and cold fermentation temperature results in a very clean finish, with just a hint of black coffee in the aftertaste. The beer is medium bodied and very easy to drink for a darker style. At 5.2% ABV Jack’s Evil Brew isn’t overly strong. If you love the flavor profile of stouts, but get burned out by the high ABV stouts that many craft brewers put out, this is a great beer for you. No surprise that two talented teams join forces and make a well crafted and delicious take on a schwarzbier. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.