Hello Sour Beer Friends!
Today I bring you a review on something you don’t see everyday: Sour beer in a can! Over the past few months, I have seen the instagram world buzzing with activity around Westbrook Gose, so I was very excited to find a can included as an extra in a recent beer trade. Cale and I tried this beer last Saturday night after tasting Cascade Noyaux and we were both thoroughly impressed with its quality. Gose is a light sessionable style of sour beer from Germany. Closely related to Berliner Weisse, Gose is made predominantly with malted wheat and is soured with Lactobacillus. Additionally this style adds some complexity to the flavor profile with a light addition of salt and coriander.
Westbrook Brewing Company, of Mount Pleasant SC, was founded in 2010 by husband and wife Edward and Morgan Westbrook. Drawing on Edward’s experience as a mixologist, the brewery focuses on unique and uncommon recipes as well as a number of sour and Brettanomyces aged styles.
When we poured Westbrook Gose, the beer formed a thin white head on top of a hazy light golden beer. Strong aromas of wheat were present along with some lactic acid and a light mustiness indicating the presence of Lactobacillus. Additionally we could lightly detect citrus-like aromas that reminded us of wheatgrass, which was likely from the coriander in the recipe.
When tasting this Gose, we were greeted with bright crisp flavors of pilsner malt and wheat along with a light saltiness and a light clean sourness. The light mustiness from Lactobacillus is also present in the flavor. The salt flavor is present but just barely so, increasing the savory (umami) flavors of the malt. The combination of pilsner malt and salt reminded us both of tortilla chips in a good way. The sour profile in the beer is entirely of lactic acid and is just strong enough to balance the malt sweetness, this isn’t one to make you pucker.
The coriander in Westbrook Gose is largely present in the aroma. We could detect a little bit in the flavor but it was very light, about a quarter the strength of that found in a Blue Moon or less. There was little to no hop presence save maybe a slight touch of noble hops. The beer had medium carbonation and a medium body. There is no Brettanomyces presence in Westbrook Gose but the beer does have a nice dry finish and high attenuation.
This is a terrifically refreshing beer with all of its flavors in balance. The pilsner and wheat are made even more satisfying by the light saltiness and the souring is just right to balance out the sweetness. I was initially skeptical over whether I would enjoy a beer with salt, but everything here is complimentary. More complex than many session beers, this is definitely a beer nerd’s beach beer. The low alcohol content (4% ABV) makes Westbrook Gose a great sour beer to enjoy in the summer sun. I definitely recommend picking up a few of these before the nice weather ends!