Fearful Symmetries

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04 January, 2016

From the Land of Ice and Snow: Geyser Gose by Evil Twin and Two Roads Brewing Companies



I must admit to being familiar with neither Evil Twin Brewing nor the Two Roads Brewing Company. While I've certainly seen the former's beers on store shelves, I am not sure that I've ever tasted their beer. Evil Twin is a gypsy brewery. Proprietor Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø doesn't own a brewing facility and instead formulates beers and then has someone else brew them to his specifications. In researching the company I discovered that Jeppe is the identical twin brother of Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, the owner of Mikkeller, the renowned Danish microbrewery, which is also a gypsy outfit.

From what I have gathered, Geyser Gose is a collaboration between Evil Twin and Two Roads and not simply the latter following the recipe of the former. Indeed, the can features the likenesses of both Bjergsø and Two Roads' brewmaster Phil Markowski. Well, half a likeness each, anyway. This being the case, Geyser Gose served as an intro for me to both breweries and a rare chance to try a Two Roads brew as the Connecticut brewery only distributes in New England.

Geyser Gose pours a hazy yet brilliant yellow color. I got a big, foamy white head that took an average amount of time to dissipate. I spied a few bubbles making their way up inside the beer.

The Two Roads website notes that the beer was brewed with "Icelandic moss, rye, herbs, sea kelp, skyr (Icelandic yogurt) and birch-smoked sea salt". I have to admit to being a tad leery of such everything-including-the-kitchen-sink kind of ingredient lists for beers. These lists sound gimmicky plus, if you put just one crystal of birch-smoked sea salt in your batch, then you can list it as an ingredient. I don't mean to impugn the reputations of the breweries at hand but I look at that list and ask myself, "Well, what kind of moss? Surely there's more than one type of moss in Iceland. What does moss taste like?"

Most of those ingredients will mean exactly nothing for the vast majority of people who drink this beer. While I don't doubt the accuracy of this list, it comes across more as some opaque braggadocio rather than helpful description.

Going in with the expectation that I'd be smelling something akin to Icelandic curry, I caught a crackery grain smell, some lemony tartness (Was this from the skyr?), and a nice herbal bouquet that was dull and minty - like eucalyptus, if I may reuse a description from my previous post. Geyser Gose has a fairly simple aroma yet it was decidedly pleasant. It was alluring in a rather conventional gose manner and not one of olfactory overload that made me want to find out just what the hell is going on with the beer.

Considering all of the ingredients used to make this beer, it was a bit surprising to me just how little I could taste of what I would think was moss or kelp. There were a couple different tart flavors. First was a moderate lemony/citrus one followed by a flavor that was like green apple and verjuice. The light body yielded a restrained cracker/graininess. I couldn't taste any salinity nor could I detect any smokiness. The closest thing to kelp and moss I tasted was the return of the herbal from the aroma. On my tongue it was a nice grassy mint flavor. Geyser Gose's carbonation plus the variety of tart flavors gave the beer a rather sharp, fizzy acidulousness that surrounded the rest of the flavors.

For the finish, the tartness flared up and then lingered with salt coming in at the very end. There was little Schaumhaftvermoegento be had with just a few spots and streaks to be had.

I will admit to being slightly disappointed that all of those exotic Arctic ingredients added up to a mere bit of herbal flavor. On the other hand, I thought that that minty herbal flavor made a nice departure from the traditional coriander. The variety of tart flavors was a real treat and they imbued the beer with some zestiness which was curiously invigorating on an overcast winter day.

Junk food pairing: Pair you Geyser Gose with some mild salt & vinegar potato chips as these will boost the tartness quotient. On the other hand, some rye chips will add salt and a spiciness that will both boost and provide contrast to the herbal flavors in the beer.

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|| Palmer, 6:17 AM

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