Fearful Symmetries

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09 November, 2015

(Katzen)jammer Gose by Sixpoint Brewery



I found one of these lurking in my basement and thought it my duty to drink it (and the other lighter beers) still remaining to make way for some heartier selections to help keep the cold at bay.

Sixpoint Brewery may be located in Brooklyn but co-founder Shane Welch cut his homebrewing teeth here in Madison and worked at also Angelic Brewing Company which was over on the 300 block of West Johnson. Because of Welch's Wisconsin ties, it seems that we here in Madison are occasionally treated to the odd rarity around the time of the Great Taste or whenever Welch feels like coming back to visit his erstwhile mentor, Dean Coffey, of Ale Asylum.

Sixpoint's brews have had very limited exposure to my tongue. Being a brewery with a penchant for the hop-forward, I've mostly avoided their beers. Back in the spring I read that Welch was bringing out a gose and so I grabbed a six pack.

Jammer is described thusly at the Sixpoint website:

...the Mad Scientists continued modifying the Jammer recipe until it reached the apex of gustatory pleasure. Generations of German brewers, many of whom hung a hexagram outside their breweries, passed down the style and our friends at Jacobsen Salt provided us with the key ingredient. It's salty, it's sour, and it's stupendous. It's Mad Science.

OK. I lied. It really goes like this:

...the Mad Scientists kept tweakin' that Jammer till it rocked so hard. Bygone brewers, repping the Sixpoint star, provided the concept and our friends at Jacobsen Salt hooked us up with the key ingredient. It's salty, it's sour, and it's slammin'. It's Mad Science.

I think that, if I'd read this brotastic description before buying, I'd never have bought it. Maybe Sixpoint was trying to appeal to the Ultimate Frisbee crowd or the Greek systems around the country.

Regardless, Jammer is a gose and goses are totally crushable in the summer. Er, I mean I find goses to be eminently refreshing during the warmer months. They're light-bodied and have a nice citrus tartness complemented by salt and coriander.

Jammer is a lovely refulgent yellow. It was quite clear which I thought odd as gose is usually cloudy with wheat proteins or whatever bits from the grain that add that haze. My pour produced a big, multi-fingered head that was solid. This white crown barely budged as I moved the stange. There were a few bubbles going up in the glass.

The aroma had the expected lemony lacto, though it was rather mild. But then again, even a gallon of concentrated lemon juice would be mild in contrast to the last sour beer I had, the rather fulsome Counter Clock Weisse. There were also some crackery/grainy smells to be had here too. Lastly, I caught a little coriander. I personally like a good, stiff dose of coriander in my gose but, in an age of sour beers that are either so sour or inundated with enough fruit flavor that the defining salt/coriander combo is lost, I'll take what I can get.

I was surprised at the paucity of tartness in the taste. It was only mildly sour. I was also surprised at the near total absence of any lemony or citrusy flavor. Instead there was a soapy flavor as in it tasted rather like how you'd expect laundry detergent to taste before it was scented. Carbonation added a bit of dryness while, as with the aroma, there was some cracker-like grain flavor and a hint of coriander there in the background. I tasted some salinity as well but the salt did more to enhance the soapy flavor than to stand out in its own right.

The tartness lingered on the finish where a slight herbal hoppy flavor made itself known. (Jammer is only 16 I.B.U.s) My stange had some really nice Schaumhaftvermoegen. There was webbing around most of it.

Jammer was light and bubbly and made my glass look very pretty. Unfortunately, it tasted more like Tide Gose Laundry Detergent than beer. Where was the lemon flavor? I'd also have liked more coriander but this was no deal breaker. What a shame. Sixpoint brewed a gose that hewed to tradition insofar as they didn't hop the living fuck out of it nor was it boosted to imperial potency. Sadly, the souring part of this sour beer falls short.

Junk food pairing: I'd highly recommend drinking another gose but, if you're stuck with Jammer, then get some Fritos Scoops! and load them with a bacon-horseradish dip. I've seen Heluva Good! dip at Woodmans.

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|| Palmer, 12:56 PM

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