A lush, juicy burst of tart raspberry blitzes the tastebuds –like an ELECTRIC BLAST OF BERRY FLAVOR and aroma! In Super Raspy, loads of raspberries and a touch of milk sugar have their powers combined for a mouthwatering, super tasty brew.
Sixpoint is one of the great, historical northeast craft breweries. They were one of the foundational Brooklyn craft breweries. Founded 2004, they’ve been crafting hop aggressive beers which were immediately recognizable for their thinner cans. In other words, the potent hop nature, strong branding, and unique cans helped the brewery to stand out from other beers on the shelves. Fast forward to 2018 and Sixpoint was acquired by Artisanal Brewing Ventures, the family office-backed holding company formed in early 2016 via the merger of Victory Brewing and Southern Tier. Sixpoint has mostly stuck to their core beers from what I’ve seen, but the last year or two more experimental, or rather beers outside their core brews, seemed to emerge. Super Raspy is one of those beers,
Outisde of their Core beers, Sixpoint has been brewing and distributing beers in what they call the “Infinite Loop” series, which is where this beer sits in their portfolio, which is where this beer sits in Sixpoint’s line-up. What we have here is a beer that amounts to an imperial Gose. What makes it imperial? The ABV at 8.3%, whereas a Gose will typically be floating under 5%. Like many modern Goses, or interpretation of the Gose style, Sixpoint made this beer with fruit, specifically Raspberry.
There’s a tangy funky aroma to the beer, which I’ve come to expect from the Gose style. Raspberry is the most potent element of this beer on the first sip, including the tartness associated with the fruit. The funk that typically crosses my palate in a Gose is present in Super Raspy.
Where this differs from many other Goses I’ve had, especially the more traditional take on the style, is the addition of lactose, or milk sugar, which seems to be one of the most popular adjuncts in brewing. Thankfully, lagers are about the only style where I haven’t seen Lactose added. As for Super Raspy, the “touch of” lactose is a nice sweet counterbalance to the tartness of the Gose style as well as the tartness of the raspberries.
As the picture might suggest, I enjoyed this beer on a hot day next to my pool which was an ideal way to enjoy this refreshing ale.
Our heavily fruited, lightly salted, Gose returns! Fruitastic Voyage is brewed with Lactose and a touch of Fleur de Sel before being conditioned on double the amount of fruit as our Acid Blend series. For this newest batch, we conditioned this beer on an absurd amount of Mango Purée+Orange Purée+Peach Purée for a refreshing, over-the-top, fruit forward drinking experience. Come along and ride on a fruitastic voyage! // Lightly tart with notes of soft fleshy peaches, ripe mango, yellow Starbursts, and balancing salt.
Brix City in Little Ferry, NJ has gained a reputation over their last five years of being in business for brewing flavorful, fruited sour ales and Hazy IPAs. When I visited the brewery (on my Birthday in November) it was sunny and unseasonably warm in the 70s or 80s. When I saw this Gose on draft, I was very happy because the style is a great warm weather beer for enjoying outside with friends, which just so happened to describe the day exactly.
When the beer arrived, I wouldn’t have immediately pegged the beer as a Gose, it looked like an extremely hazy IPA or an unfiltered beer. When I passed the beer in front of my nose, I smelled some funk and fruit aromas from the beer, which disabused my initial notion that this is an IPA.
The first sip tells me I made the correct decision to start the day with this beer. Huge fruit flavors assert themselves off the bat. Mango is one of my favorite fruits and Mango, in my taste buds, seems to be the most dominant of the three fruits. The peach is also prominent as well, but the two stone fruits complement each other very nicely any time they are paired together. The orange is subtle, but the acidic nature of that fruit, I think, brings a good balance to the sweet mango and peach.
In the description above, Fleur de Sel is called out as a brewing component, which sounds very fancy. I only just discovered that Fleur de Sel is salt and while I don’t get the level of salinity in this beer that I’ve tasted in other Gose/Gose-style ales, I think the salt is another additional balance on the fruit. Which makes Fruitastic Voyage almost a reverse Gose since salinity in the traditional Gose as brewed in Leipzig Germany is a natural component of the region’s water. Here the salt is added and I’m going to guess it was added so that the extremely copious levels of fruit in the beer are balanced and not cloying..
However the folks at Brix City achieved the end product that is this beer, it was successful. This version of Fruitastic Voyage with Mango, Orange, and Peach, is a knockout of a beer. I’d call it a Gose turned up to eleven and since this is a series of beers, I’ll definitely be seeking out the other fruited variants of this beer. The only other thing I’ll note about this beer is the ABV at 6.5% is a little higher than most Gose I’ve had which have largely been below 5% ABV. Not a negative point against the beer, just worth noting that it follows the theme of Brix hewing to their own path while also brewing an old world style.
I’ve only had 5 total beers from Brix over the years so based on this beer (and the Get Puft IPA I had during my visit), I really need to seek out their beers more often. Fortunately, their beers are often in the refrigerator at the liquor stores near me.
Tart red raspberries are the star of this refreshing show. A first fermentation with lactobacillus gives this beer its pucker, while a second pass with our house ale yeast produces soft, fruity esters. A hint of Himalayan pink salt amplifies the flavor of tart raspberry jam, and coriander adds delicate notes of wildflowers.
We taste: tart raspberry jam, wildflowers, hint of salt
Popping open the can, I get a whiff of raspberry and some of the tartness resulting from the lactobacillus. The picture above doesn’t do justice to the reddish hue coming off the beer. Since pictures can’t convey smell, either, you can’t smell sweet and tart aroma from the raspberries.
I taste raspberries immediately, but not an overpowering assault on the senses. Sometimes raspberries can do that and dominate whatever thing they are in, be it dessert, beer, or any food. While definitely a dominant flavor component, other elements of the beer do come to the fore.
The description calls out coriander and the flavor of wildflower, maybe that sweetness balances out the tartness of the raspberries and the lactobacillus but they weren’t distinct flavor components in and of themselves.
The finish of the beer has the characteristic salinity for which Goses are known, and probably the component I liked best. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the raspberries and they are the star of the show here, but the “Himalayan Pink Sea Salt” is the ingredient that brings the beer home and gives it that pleasant Gose characteristic.
I haven’t had as many Goses as other styles that I like this much (i.e. Bocks, Stouts, etc), but this one – Raspberry Tart Ale from Tröegs – definitely ranks near the top of not just the recent Goses I’ve had, but all of them. It is a reminder that I need to go for the style more often because the style is super refreshing and has several enjoyable flavor elements – sweet, tart, salty, and beer. Tröegs has shown expertise with several styles, IPAs, of course, as well as darker beers, barrel-aged wild beers and now Gose.
Draught Diversions is the catchall label for mini-rants, think-pieces, and posts that don’t just focus on one beer here at The Tap Takeover. We hope you don’t grow too weary of the alcohol alliterative names we use…
With the official kick off of summer, Memorial Day, behind us, I may be a little tardy in putting up a Summer Six pack, but life’s been a little busy this time of year for me. Be that as it may, since a post about Summer Beers was the very first Draught Diversion I posted/published, I want to continue the tradition. There are so many light and flavorful options for Summer, I could probably do a case’s worth of Summer Six packs. Like last year, not all of these are official “summer” beers, but they are styles for me that seem to fit right into the summer. For example, I think a crisp Pilsner or Helles Lager can make for wonderful summer brews.
Summer Catch | Witbier | 5.5% ABV | Cape May Brewing Company | Cape May, NJ
Two years in a row for Cape May Brewing in my summer, six pack. I’ve since had and enjoyed the Cape May beer in my Summer Six Pack from 2018/last year. However, this one says “Summer” in the name. Witbiers, for me, are always a good option for summer/warm weather months. Light yet flavorful, works great at a barbecue or by the pool. When done well, it can be an elegant and classic style. I haven’t had this one yet, but that will likely change as I expect to have this in my cooler in the summer.
What Cape May says about the beer:
Citrusy and refreshing, notes of orange peel and tropical fruits dominate this Belgian-style Wheat Ale. Lightly dry-hopped with Citra and Amarillo hops to give it a noticeably American twist, this crushable wheat ale is complex, yet approachable, just like the Jersey Shore.
Salt and Sea | Sour – Gose | 4.3% ABV | Flying Fish Brewing Company | Somerdale, NJ
Like Cape May Brewing Company, I featured a brew from the venerable NJ brewery last year for this post, so I figured why not again? Especially since Flying Fish has continued to smartly evolve their portfolio and this beer screams summer on its label, description, and name. Salt & Sea evokes beach and a Ferris Wheel screams boardwalk, both scream summer as does the low ABV. I picked up a six pack of this and really enjoy the beer, not too tart and not as sour as a typical Gose, but quite flavorful.
What Flying Fish says about the beer:
Memories are made by the sea, and this Session Sour is inspired by evenings on the boardwalk. Enticing aromas of strawberry and lime evoke hints of salt water taffy, providing a souvenir twist to this unique style.
This is part of Jack Abby’s year-round line-up, but really works for summer. Shandy/Radlers are great for summer consumption, the lemonade/fruit addition to the beer is a natural mix to refresh and cool down after yard work or relaxing by the book. Enough flavor to satisfy, but low enough in ABV to allow for a long session of thirst quenching. This beer is a big seller for Jack’s Abby and is strongly positioned for the summer, especially those big pool and barbeque gatherings with the availability in 15 packs. Jack’s Abby has an interesting story on their blog about this beer, where they say Blood Orange Wheat combines blood orange seltzer with a wheatlager. Jack’s Abby is one of the most respected breweries focusing on German styles in New England and a Radler (the German word for bicycler or cyclist) is always a great warm weather style.
What Jack’s Abby says about the beer:
Blood Orange Wheat debuted in our Beer Hall and it quickly became a fan favorite. This German-style radler is fruit forward, juicy and bloody refreshing. Lean back and enjoy!
This is the newest year-round beer from Two Roads and one of the few lagers in their portfolio. I’ve come to trust just about everything out of the great Connecticut brewery and this beer is something of a cousin to their Ol’ Factory Pils. I haven’t had this beer yet, but I definitely see it on the road of my future.
What Two Roads says about the beer:
An effortlessly refreshing golder lager built for kicking back and taking it easy down the Road Less Traveled.
A Kölsch is a really underrepresented and underappreciated style of beer. The umlaut should tell you this is a beer with German origins and von Trapp is the other pnomiment breweries in the New England brewing German style beers. One comparison I made to a local brewer is Kölsch is an ale that drinks almost like a pilsner, he nodded in agreement. Light/easy drinking, flavorful and refreshing, this is another one I’ll be seeking out. That plus the fact that von Trapp slaps “Summer Session Ale” on the label proclaims this as von Trapp’s Summer seasonal.
What von Trapp says about the beer:
Kölsch is a style of ale that famously originated in Cologne, Germany. A true summer session ale, this Kölsch utilizes German Tettnanger and Hallertau Hops, that combine to provide a hoppy explosion packed in every can
Summer Crush | Pale Wheat Ale – American | 5.0% ABV | Yards Brewing Company | Philadelphia, PA
It isn’t too often when the venerable Philadelphia brewery releases a new beer, but Yards has done just that with Summer Crush this year. In general, the style of the Pale Wheat Ale is kind-of-sort-of an Americanized Hefeweizen. The description Yards puts out for this reminds me a bit of Samuel Adams Summer Ale or even Bell’s Oberon Ale, both classic Summer Ales. A good thing, if you ask me. Since you’re here, I suppose you are sort of asking me.
What Yards says about the beer:
JUICY, MELLOW, REFRESHING
NEW IN 2019!
The moment it hits your lips, there you are. Summer Crush is an easy drinking, flavorful Wheat Beer with a juicy citrus finish that transports you to bright summer days and hot summer nights. Brewed with orange and lime zest, this crushable delight brings the refreshment to the shore, the front stoop, the rooftop, and everywhere else you celebrate summer.
Name: B is for Blueberry Brewing Company: Evil Twin Brewing Location: Brooklyn, NY Style: Sour – Gose ABV: 4.5%
From the beer can’s label:
Let’s face it, we all like to put labels on things. It just makes us feel more comfortable. What assumptions have people made about you based on your race, gender, the way you dress, or even the beer you drink. We did in fact label this beer for your convenience. It has a fresh tartness, a twist of salt and balanced blueberry fruitiness – apparently a complete reflection of your personality. We hope you like what this label says about you?
Evil Twin Brewing has made a name for itself without having a brewery. Odd, right? Well, like Bolero Snort, whose BOVB I reviewed recently, Evil Twin is a gypsy brewery. In other words, they contract brew at brewing facilities around the nation. Although Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø’s brewery is based out of Denmark, since 2010 Jeppe has earned a great reputation for sought-after beers. This one is fairly new and part of a series of Gose ales featuring a fruit infusion. The first was “A is for Apricot.”
On to B is for Blueberry
I didn’t know what beer this was at first. Meaning, my wife occasionally gets me a mixed six pack from Wegman’s, pours the beer for me and has me guess what the beer is. The first, most noticeable element of the beer is that purplish-blueish color. Admittedly, the picture above is not the best beer picture I’ve taken.
After a whiff, I thought it might be a fruit beer, a Gose, or a Berliner Weisse as the aroma gave off hints of fruit and tart. First sip is the tartness of blueberry and a bit of saltiness. My wife picked a good one, I thought. I liked what was in the glass quite a bit.
“Is this a Gose?” I asked my wife. “Gozer the Gozerian?” she joked. She then showed me the can and confirmed my guess. As I continued enjoying the beer, the tartness of the blueberries coupled with their underlying sweetness and the salt all Gose beers have made for quite a drinkable beer. Drinkable, right? Well, by that I mean everything in the flavor profile made me want to keep drinking because of how thirst quenching the beer is.
The evening I was enjoying the beer was one of the rare warm spring days we’ve had this year. As such, the beer hit the spot perfectly. I think Goses make for great warm weather brews (a favorite is Victory’s Kirsch Gose) and B is for Blueberry most amply fits that bill. I can see enjoying this on a warm summer day; after mowing the lawn, doing some yard work, just relaxing in the hammock reading a good book, or poolside (my favorite spot to enjoy beer).
Our classic Gose infused with the delicious flavors of key lime pie.
Westbrook makes very well regarded beers and if you like the sour Gose style, then you are probably aware of their Key Lime Pie Gose. They make an outstanding Gose, but adding the Key Lime Pie notes brings the beer to an even higher level.
Gose is an older style of beer that has been growing in popularity over the last few years since it was “rediscovered.” The most striking characteristic of a Gose (pronounced GO-ZUH) is the tartness/sourness, and many breweries will add a fruit to either enhance or balance the zing. The grain used in Gose is wheat, but the other ingredients that help give it the character are coriander and salt. Into that mixture, Westbrook added Key Lime to enhance the tartness, but to also sweeten the base.
The beer pours a yellow that is slightly hazy/cloudy, but also bright yellow from the 12oz can. The aroma does give off hints of Lime, not a go-to flavor for me, but a fruit flavor I do enjoy. The lime hits initially, but the salinity is a pleasant undercurrent, too. The first can I had I was sitting in my yard on a warm late afternoon/evening while my dog lounged under a tree and barked at people walking across the street. Seems a great way to enjoy this one as the fruit flavors are really nice on a warm day. The second one I had was also a warm evening and I enjoyed it is much as I enjoyed the first can.
This beer has great character and I understand why it such a sought after variation on Westbrook’s popular Gose. I visited the liquor store where I initially purchased the beer about two weeks later and no 4-packs of the beer remain. From my understanding, this beer doesn’t stay on shelves very long.
It isn’t as sour or tart as many sour beers, so it would be worth trying almost as an “entry-level” beer if you want to get an idea of what a really well crafted Gose can taste like. Westbrook’s standard Gose is also excellent, so check that out, too.
I haven’t had very many Gose beers (only about a dozen or so unique Gose beers compared to the 200+ unique stouts) because stouts are more popular and there are more variations on the stout style. That having been said, I am growing to like the style a great deal, and this is one of the best I’ve had.
Westbrook distributes this sour, tasty beer on draught in 4-packs of 12oz cans.