Fearful Symmetries

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08 January, 2016

Should You Choose to Drink It: Mission Gose by Evil Twin Brewing

A few days ago I had a gose that Evil Twin conspired with Two Roads to brew. Now I have a solo effort from the Danish-American gypsy brewing concern - Mission Gose.

Mission Gose is brewed with eucalyptus. This is quite ironic because both Evil Twin's collaboration bier and a Scandinavian gose, Förgås, that I reviewed last week both had a minty herbal flavor that I described as tasting like eucalyptus. I've apparently stumbled upon a new trend in microbrewing. At least amongst northern European microbrewers.

Evil Twin is a so-called "gypsy brewery" meaning that there is no Evil Twin beer factory. Instead proprietor Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø uses the facilities of others to brew his recipes. In this case, Mission Gose was brewed in South Carolina at the Westbrook Brewing Company. The bier was released last spring although I purchased my bottle back in the autumn. I don't recall seeing it prior to that here in Madison but that could have simply been myopia on my part as opposed to preternaturally slow distribution.

Going into this endeavor, I had some idea of what a gose with eucalyptus or eucalyptus-like flavor tasted like so I was not really occupied with the novelty of this combination but rather with how well the bier was brewed. The gose is a light, sour wheat ale that is traditionally flavored with coriander and salt that sit behind the tartness and the style's generous effervescence. It's a zesty, fizzy sour delight. Or is supposed to be, anyway. Would Evil Twin adhere to tradition, more or less, or would it dismember the style ingredient by ingredient and reassemble them into a trendy Frankenstein gose-like beverage to appeal to craft drinkers who don't understand words like "balanced" and "subtle"?

I took it as a good omen that the label said that Mission is a mere 4% A.B.V. At least this was not an imperial double quad triple that could fell a horse with one sip. It poured a lovely gold hue which was much darker than I expected. It was quite clear although there was sediment at the bottom of the bottle which came out in my terminal pour. Huge was the dull white crown atop my glass. The head was frothy with fine bubbles. The action inside was no less busy as there were a lot of bubbles going up from the bottom. Very pretty.

The dull, herbal mint smell of eucalyptus was front and center in the aroma. It combined with the lemony/citrus scent of the lactic tartness and gave off this wonderfully mellow, fruity melon-like smell. I've never encountered such a thing in a beer's aroma before. Very nice.

That lemony tartness exploded out of the gate upon taking my first sip. As per normal, the puckering potential diminished a bit as my session went on and my tongue acclimatized itself to the acidity while the carbonation dried out the flavor a bit as well. The eucalyptus wasn't particularly strong but it was no slouch. Here the herbal aspect was most prominent with the mintiness being a bit dull.

Exactly how much salinity a gose should have is a matter of debate. I think I profoundly irritated someone at Next Door Brewing by suggesting their gose wasn't salty enough, amongst other sins. My impression is that there should be enough salt to accent the flavors, to boost them, but not so much that the drinker would say that the beer has been salted. My personal preference is that I should be able to taste the salt but only just. I like to taste the barest hint of salinity in my gose and Mission does just that. Very tasty.

At the finish the lemony tartness and some dryness from the carbonation lingered along with a bit of the eucalyptus. Aside from a couple spots, there wasn't much Schaumhaftvermoegen as it slid back into the bier.

Mission was a wonderful surprise for me as it just hit all the right notes for me. It had a lactic tartness quotient that was big yet never approached deadly. A nice light body was complemented by plenty of fizz for a lively, refreshing treat. While I cannot definitively say that there is no coriander, another trademark of the gose, I can tell you that I didn't taste any. Regardless, I enjoyed the eucalyptus as it works well with the light body and carbonation. And it had just the right salinity. Mission isn't a balanced beer but it gets the right flavors in the right proportions.

Junk food pairing: Pair any remaining bottles of Mission Gose you may have with something fairly light such as plain potato chips. I've read that gose was often paired with some Kümmel back in the day, also try some chivda with your glass.

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|| Palmer, 7:14 PM


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