Recently there has been a huge surge in the popularity of sour beers. Berliner Weisse, Lambic, Flanders Red, and a plethora of other styles utilizing brettanomyces and lactobacillus have become all the rage. The style is unpredictable and somewhat unexpected when you take a sip and your mouth begins to pucker, but that’s half the fun. Brewers will take that sour flavor and go crazy with it by adding fruit flavors like lime, sour apple, and cherry to make something that’s no doubt funky, but also extremely refreshing at the same time. One of my personal favorite breweries, Terrapin Beer Co. from Athens, GA., has recently released their take on the Gose, a sour beer style that’s usually brewed with salt and coriander, and made it uniquely southern in the process. When I read the words “Watermelon Gose” I knew exactly where this was going. Living in the south, a lot of people are familiar with eating watermelon with a little salt sprinkled on it, and that’s immediately where my mind went as soon as I saw it. So, I purchased a six-pack and took it home. Here are my thoughts:
The beer pours a super clean, straw yellow color with a ton of visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. It produced about a finger to a finger and a half worth of white fluffy head that doesn’t stick around for very long. The smell right off the bat has an aroma of salt, which is a good sign for the style. Sometimes I’ve has Gose beers that are lighter on the salt and heavier on the coriander. I for one prefer the salt higher and this one delivers straight from the jump. You also pick up on a lot of that watermelon pretty fast, too. Here’s a side note, brewing with watermelon is hard work. You can almost never get that watermelon flavor that people are used to, so supplementing with a bit of artificial is sometimes necessary, and I don’t look down on it for certain fruits. That being said, I can’t help but feel like there might be a touch of artificial flavoring in here, because you get a bit of that Jolly Rancher watermelon aroma. It’s very nice.

When you take that first taste, man, I was transported to my grandparent’s house, sitting on the tailgate of my grandpa’s truck eating watermelon that he’d sprinkled salt on. It’s incredible, because you get that perfect blend of salt to watermelon to sourness that blends perfectly. The beer backbone is very light with a strong presence of wheat and the saltiness adds almost like a brininess to the beer. The initial taste is that wheat flavor I mentioned that’s followed by an intense salt flavor that evolves into that watermelon flavor that’s split between artificial and natural flavor. It finishes with a bit of a citrus, maybe lemon peel, flavor on the tongue while the salt sticks to the sides of your mouth and back of your tongue. A tartness lingers as all the other flavors fade away. It’s truly magical how this all comes together.
Mouthfeel is light and with some strong carbonation, but with a style like this, I want that tingle on my tongue from the carbonation. As I mentioned before, the salt and sour create almost a brine in the beer that puckers your mouth and leaves a prickliness on your tongue that’s rather enjoyable. I imagine the sensation is similar to pickled watermelon. The beer finishes extremely dry and makes it easy to drink a lot of them.
Overall, this one is a keeper, especially in the hotter part of the summer. All of these flavors blend and create something that reminds me of my childhood. I can’t wait to go home and have another one of these on the porch while it’s still hot enough outside. If you see this one out the in wild, pick it up. You won’t be disappointed. Cheers!



About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.