Nick Carr on May 30, 2016 0 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery: Odell Brewing Co. Location: Fort Collins, CO Style: Gose ABV: 4.8% IBU: ? Appearance: Rosy gold with a finger of foam; Lots of carbonation; Excellent clarity. Aroma: Blackberry fruitiness with notes of dough and sourness. Flavor: Notes of citrus and blackberry tartness; Doughy sweetness with tart aftertaste. Hops: ? Malts: ? Special Ingredients: Blackberries & Coriander Shelf Life: 4 months Suggested Glass: Stange, Weizen or Flute Serving Temp: 48° – 50°F Availability: Summer Seasonal Pairs With: Arugula & Blackberry Salad, Thai Food, Raclette Cheese, Blackberry Tart Ale Tale: I don’t imagine you’ll believe my story. It’s only been a single month since I saw them, but even I’ve begun to doubt my own sanity. How can I expect someone who wasn’t there to think me sane, let alone believe. I am a biologist, though I wasn’t in that capacity at the time. I was simply camping, enjoying two weeks of vacation. Attempting to enjoy nature without questioning it. On my fourth day I was hiking a trail, following a deep-cut canyon, toward the small blue lake from which the canyon’s gurgling icy stream issued. I’d been walking a good two hours when I found myself among the most lushes blackberry patch I’d ever laid eyes on. I stopped a moment curious about its extent and quickly grasped it wasn’t so much a patch, but God’s own garden of blackberries, for it stretched clear across the canyon, climbing the other side and rolling over the top. Brambled and thick, the clear wink of plump glassy berries prominent even at some distance. On the far side I noticed two, then three shaggy brown shapes moving among the brush and bushes. Bears. They were in a small clearing, each facing outward, eating their fill of the sweet fruit. I smiled and decided to rest and watch them for a spell. I could easily make out the meandering trail of disturbed bushes marking the bears lazy afternoon foraging. At times the trail opened into a clearing of crushed bushes, where a particularly good patch of fruit had been. They were in such a clearing now. I watched, enjoying the scene of nature in its comfort. The late sun cast warming rays. I closed my eyes, reveling in the fineness of the moment. When I glanced again at the bears they had abandoned their fruit picking and seemed to be gathering in the center of the clearing. I sat straighter interested in what secret scene might be unfolding. They sat in a loose circle, seeming to consider each other, then one lifted something out of a shade patch, handed it across and repeated the movement. I suddenly stood up, gape mouthed. The bears toasted, then raised bottles to their thin lips. Drank. I was dumbfounded. My brain unwilling to believe what my eyes conspired to create as fact. It was then, after several struggling minutes, that I realized the bears had become still. My eyes refocused. They were watching me watching them. For me, the world froze. My incomprehension mixed with the sudden fear of discovery left me rooted, unable to move. Forever, caught and packaged in an instant. Then the stillness broke. One bear took a slow swig, picked up the six pack, and ambled toward me. I do not know why I didn’t run. It seemed but an instant and he was standing only a couple feet in front of me. I craned my neck to see his face. Funny how bears look like they’re smiling. He looked me over, then reached down and pulled a bottle from the six pack, flicking the cap off with the easy motion of a six inch claw. He held it out. My hand went out, bided to do so by nothing I controlled. I took the bottle and managed to stammer a thank you. He shrugged. Bent low to retrieve the cap and turned back to his companions who’d been intently watching this exchange. He reached them, sat, and whatever company beer drinking bears take part in, restarted. They did not look my way again. I inhaled and finally glanced down at the bottle. An elegant woodcut-like print of a bear decorated with wheat and berries stared back at me. The label read “Brombeere Blackberry Gose.” A careful sip brought understanding. Fruit and slight dough washed by a salt-crisp effervescence. I still have the bottle. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Brombeere Blackberry Gose. If you tasted this beer, please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. Pour and Aroma: Pours a rosey gold. Forms a finger of loosely packed bubbles which drops quickly, disappearing under a surface angry with carbonation. Clarity is excellent. Aroma is light. Blackberry fruitiness catches the attention first. A doughy character comes forth along with slight sourness. Smells a bit like a fruity bread starter. Mouthfeel and Taste: It has a highly effervescent, light, almost watery body. A low dose of saltiness and the high carbonation combine to prickle over the palate. Muted blackberry and notes of citrus in the taste with an overhanging tartness. Upfront, it shows slight dough sweetness. Then the salinity drops in, building complexity and befriending the overriding tart character, for an interesting experience in salty/sour. The sourness is not overplayed and remains well within the realm of “tart.” Very little bittering on the backend before it drops off into a tart doughy aftertaste. Finishing the Impression: This is the first Gose I’ve had in a long time. A Gose (pronounced “Goez-uh”) is a German style of wheat beer that nearly disappeared. What makes it different from other wheat beers is the addition of salt. It sounds strange, I know, but a little salt can actually enhance the body of an otherwise weak beer. Odell’s gose adds just enough blackberry presence without going over the top. This gives the beer an appreciative spritzer-like quality, augmented further by the high carbonation of the style. It is an awesome summer beer and a great reintroduction to the style for me. I’ve always been only a passing fan of wheat beers, but I’d have to say the gose style is my new found favorite. Cheers!