Stillwater Artisan Ales & Westbrook Brewing Company | Gose Gone Wild
Goses are now a staple for bottle shops across the country as the American craft beer market has embraced their tart, refreshing taste. The style’s availability is at the point where you can breakdown what goses you will find from state-to-state. I’ve seen Victory’s Kirsch Gose and Devils Backbone’s Cran-Gose in several places but until today, Gose Gone Wild was the one elusive gose I’ve been unable to acquire. My guess is that with the name Westbrook attached, it’s very attractive to the beer sharing community as the original Westbrook Gose is.
Although most beer experts love the sharp, mouth-puckering qualities of American Goses, my favorite is the original Leipziger Gose by Bayerischer Bahnhof. I love that it’s so balanced leaving just enough salt and coriander to come through sip after sip. Westbrook Gose is tasty, but it electrifies my palate so it’s the only beer I want to drink for that night. Nevertheless, the reputation and rarity of this gose always had me interested as the #2 Rated Gose on RateBeer has shown.
Brian Strumke, the fascinating DJ-turned-beer brewer behind Stillwater, defines this “remix” between himself and Westbrook as: “Westbrook’s refreshing Gose and cranked up the volume a bit, adding a massive dose of Citra & Amarillo hops, then fermented it various strains of Brettanomyces… go Westbrook, it’s your birthday, get funky!!” (as noted on the Stillwater’s website)
Gose Gone Wild pours like hazy lemonade. The beer has an off-color yellow hue as if the dry hop pellets made the beer slightly opaque. You can smell the tart, salty base immediately enhanced by the presence of the funky Brettanomyces. Amarillo and Citra bring potent floral notes to accompany the unique sourness of the beer. If you are familiar with hopped sours in the vein of Le Terroir by New Belgium Brewery, you’d know recognize this as an intensified version of that smell.
The second Gose Gone Wild hits your tastebuds like a flood of salty, musky Lemonheads. The sharp flavors are kept in check thanks to the surprisingly balanced carbonation. The Citra and Amarillo give the gose a pleasant, floral bitterness that comes to life at the beginning and end of the beer. The beer also has a very nice mineral quality for the finish so the beer doesn’t wreck your palate. Gose Gone Wild hits the sweet spot between a Gose and a funky wild ale giving more flavor than you could imagine for 4.3%.
If you had the chance to only buy one Stillwater beer, Gose Gone Wild is one of their best experiments/collaborations to date. Strumke was working with powerful forces from the base Westbrook Gose and evolved the style like the radical brewer he is. I’m hoping more people will dry hop the style to bring out a wide range of amazing new flavors.