Nick Carr on July 18, 2017 0 Comments Photo courtesy of Anderson Valley Brewing Company Quick Characteristics Brewery Anderson Valley Brewing Company Location Boonville, CA Style Gose (with fruit) ABV 4.2% IBU 12 Hops Bravo Malts Pale Two-Row, Malted White Wheat Other Ingredients Watermelon Shelf Life 3 months Suggested Glass Stange Serving Temp 45-50°F Availability March thru July Food Pairings Summer Salad w/ strawberries, Grilled Halibut, Queso Fresco Cheese, Lemon Tarts Anderson Valley jumped on the Gose (go-zuh) boat basically while it was still under construction. Heck, you might even say they helped construct the boat. They brought their extremely popular first release The Kimmie, The Yink & The Holy Gose on board to work the blooming popularity of this, almost lost, style way back in 2013. This first outing was marketed on what could be considered a proverbial wing-and-a-prayer. A couple other breweries were making examples, but the style was mostly an unknown in the U.S. Maybe that’s why the name of this first example is a reference to the Trinity using words from Bootnling, who knows. But the whisper in the dark paid off. The Kimmie did so well, and raised such an avid following, that no sooner had they released it then they released the second in what would become a Gose-style line-up. Their second was a blood orange gose, followed by Briney Melon, the third in this, seemingly, ever expanding series. Briney Melon is a gose brewed with the quintessential summer time fruit, watermelon. Anderson Valley has since debuted a fourth edition in their line-up. The newest being G&T Gose, brewed with lemongrass, grains of paradise, lemon peel, and juniper. The slight tartness of the gose beer style lends itself to additions of fruit and flower, as seen by the other two examples in Anderson Valley’s lineup. You can also find examples making use of hibiscus flowers, spruce tips, mango, prickly pear fruit, blackberry, passion fruit… and just about any other fruit you can think of. Though this may be the original U.S. watermelon gose, the rising popularity of the style and its particular suitability for the hot summer months seems to have made watermelon the go-to fruit for the gose brewpot. Several other breweries have examples of watermelon gose, Goliad Brewing and Terrapin Brewing come to mind, and Founders has one called “Green Zebra” making its debut August of this year. It would be interesting to have a tasting of several of these and see how each brewery handled it, what differences there are, or if they all basically are the same beer. I’ll have to see about doing this just to satisfy my own curiosity…. Anyway enough of that let’s taste a beer! THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Anderson Valley’s Briney Melon. If you tasted this beer or you have a can sitting in front of you while you read this review, please share your thoughts with everyone about it down in the comments below. Pour and Aroma: It falls into the glass a light watery gold, like a washed out, low sun on a hot summer day. A full contingent of starkly white foam builds a towering three finger head, before plunging back to the surface, leaving nothing but cursory bubbles ringing the glass rim. A steady, forceful column of carbonation climbs to the center surface and sets it churning. Clarity is superb. Aroma is complex and refreshing. The first thing that popped into my head was salted watermelon… go figure, right. But then other notes started to emerge, complimenting, and wrapping the watermelon and salt; lemon tartness, sourdough, rind, low cereal grain, and coriander. Mouthfeel and Taste: Body is light and breezy and the mouthfeel is of lively carbonation and lactic tartness. No real sign of the hops. It’s quite tart at the front of the palate with just a bit of melony sweetness to balance. Fruitiness is subtle, but more complex than simply watermelon. There are notes of citrus and pear before the whispered malt profile sidles up mid-palate with some slight breadiness. There’s a fleeting glimpse of herbal earthiness before sliding into a rather dry tart finish. Aftertaste, once the tartness has settled, is sort of cucumberish. FINISHING THOUGHTS This is a very refreshing and lively beer. It packs more complexity than I was expecting into its light and easy drinking show. The watermelon is noticeable but constrained, never becoming the sweet obnoxious bully fruit can sometimes become in beer, and the low strains of malt play well with the whole, while the tartness gives a satisfying thirst quenching zip. I’d encourage anyone looking for a nice, low ABV, summer thirst-quencher to consider this style in general and this beer specifically. If you’ve never tried a gose, maybe see about buying it as a single first, but on a hot dry day after hard work… I can’t think of much that would be better then popping a cool one of these and sitting in some dappled shade. Cheers!