Tart, salty, herbal and dry: Together, these characteristics they set gose apart from other light beers. A well-made gose blends sea salt, coriander and lactobacillus into a low alcohol, lip-puckering, mouth-watering treat that spans seasons. During warmer months, goses are thirst-quenching and refreshing. When the cold arrives, the versatile beer complements Thanksgiving turkey and other holiday entrees.
Few breweries have stepped forward as leaders in this style, and Westbrook Brewing Co. is one of them. Located in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, the brewery opened in 2011 and quickly established itself as one of the state’s premier brands. Westbrook makes some fine IPAs, but its goses have brought it acclaim. It’s base gose is a crowd-pleaser, but the release of its Key Lime Pie variant is as much an annual gift to beer-drinkers as its anniversary beer, Mexican Cake.
Appearance and Aroma
The unfiltered brew pours translucent, with a honey-amber hue. The head starts about a finger wide before dissipating into a wispy ring around the top of the glass. When first lean over the glass, effervescent bubbles tickle your nose, accompanied by a scent similar to lemon-lime soda, but not quite as sweet. You do pick up some sourness in the nose as well, but nothing too funky. In fact, the aroma is very light and inviting.
Frankly, it’s just a delight to drink.”
I don’t judge any sour on the first sip; you have to let your palate adjust to the acidity and tartness of the beer. During the second sip, you will notice some defined citrus flavors. Lime juice and lime zest dominate the palate, with the tanginess of Lactobacillus and citric acid adding a lemony undertone. Cracker malts join party with sea salt providing the dryness. It gets tart again in tandem with the exceedingly dry finish.
With Key Lime Pie Gose, Westbrook created an an all-day drinker built for spring and summer, but it’s just as good in the fall when you find a stray can in your beer fridge. It’s a lighter-bodied beer with a fair amount of carbonated action in mouthfeel. The lime meshes well with the base beer and, at 4% ABV, the beer is highly sessionable. Frankly, it’s just a delight to drink.