As breweries continue looking for new flavor combinations, a beloved poolside staple has begun showing up with some frequency in craft beer. We shouted out a piña colada white stout from Illuminated Brew Works as one of our favorite summer beers last year, and Variant Brewing Company’s Piña Colada Blonde Ale earned mention in Thrillist’s list of the Hottest Breweries in America this spring. The trend, naturally, showed up at the latest Great American Beer Fest, too, when Illinois institution Destihl Brewery poured what proved to be one of the festival’s most popular samples: Piña Colada Gose.
Appearance and Aroma
If you saw a pint of Piña Colada Gose without knowing what it was, you might be alarmed. This beer looks extremely light gold, almost like Keystone or Natural Light in a glass. Luckily, a pleasant aroma will soon snap any drinker back to reality. The first whiffs prove extremely alluring—coconut and pineapple stand front and center. If you’ve ever indulged in a cool piña colada near some warm sand, you’ll close your eyes and take a second sniff
Destihl has found a pairing that works as well as you could hope for, with the tartness of a standard gose mellowing out the sweetness of a piña colada.”
Destihl has a great handle on piña colada flavor for my taste buds. The brewery has managed to capture a pleasant lollipop sweetness and place it within a gose, but without artificial ingredients. (Piña Colada Gose is made with coconut puree, pineapple puree, coriander, and sea salt.) As you find yourself reaching back again and again, the beer reveals itself to be maybe ⅔ cocktail and ⅓ gose in the overall flavor—there’s a slight acidity and citrusy sour beneath that headline taste each time. And though that experience sounds potentially overwhelming, when drinking alongside some fried avocado tacos, for instance, never once did the pairing cause any dismissive lip-smacking.
Destihl has found a pairing that works as well as you could hope for, with the tartness of a standard gose mellowing out the sweetness of a piña colada. That’s likely why the brewery started canning Piña Colada Gose this year and marking each can with the brewery’s ethos: “Boycott bland.” Even if Piña Colada Gose doesn’t slightly pique your curiosity, you have to hand it to Destihl—bland, this beer ain’t.