Three Beers We Can’t Wait To See. And One That Made Our Eyes Sparkle.
One of the best parts of being in brewing is the overflowing creativity all around us in the industry. As much as we curate ideas, pull inspiration from elsewhere in the world, and enjoy experimenting on our own, it’s deeply exciting to see what other brewers are constantly coming up with.
Some of those innovative beers turn into legend. Some create entirely new categories and fads (look at Heady Topper, the earliest big, hazy IPA that I know of to become famous). Some leave us inspired or perplexed. All of them make American craft richer as a culture.
These thoughts on inspiration bubble up when I see a concept that seems truly new and exciting. Today, that new and exciting something was a recently announced barrel aged Gose from Braxton Labs in Covington Kentucky. Sure, in general I love barrel aged beer. And some could argue breweries are reaching too far, and barrel aging too many things. But the execution here is truly interesting.
A big part of art is combining what already exists into something new.
Barrel-aged Gose? Judging the concept on those three words, it sounds unbalanced. A little wrong. I think of barrel aged beers being darker, more malt forward. Heavy. Sweet.
Imperial Gose? It sounds a little bit wrong. But when you string some ideas together…
Chardonnay-aged Imperial Hibiscus Gose.
Nailed it. Stuck the landing, even.
Each of these techniques, ideas, deep-seeded points of inspiration have been played with by other brewers. *I’ll admit, I haven’t heard of any white wine barrel-aged beers, and the number of red-aged beers I know if is pretty small. But pumping up a Gose to stand up to a barrel aging process, twisting it with the addition of hibiscus, and elevating it with a white wine barrel that will play on the flavors you’ve already laid down in the gose? Genius
The chardonnay-aged Imperial Hibiscus Gose mentioned is the brainchild of Braxton Labs in Covington, Kentucky. They deserve a nod- and a quiet crying session, as I’ll never be able to put my hands on this. But. BUT! It got me thinking- and maybe that’s the better homage to pay Braxton Labs back.
You’ve just heard about a Gose that’s been hitting the gym, made friends in wine country, and knows how to take it easy and breezy- just like the land of hibiscus. What else are you thirsty for?
What can we create from this amazing new idea?
Here’s my list. Three beers I can’t wait to see, out in the world. Shaped by the on-paper brilliance of using white wine barrels to age a light beer
- A wintry Florida wit, with tangelo and clove. Remember making Christmas ornaments using whole clove and orange? I’m picturing a half-radler, half wit, with christmas spices. Perfect for citrus season. Almost saison
- Pina Kolschlada. Pineapple in beer is delicious, but it’s easy to push too much sugar into the final product. I want to see a Florida-worthy kolsch with truckloads of pineapple aroma and flavor, without the sweetness.
- Key lime Juicy IPA. It doesn’t even really need to use juice- I wonder about using something like peel instead, for aroma. Adding Key Lime during conditioning to a ready-to-burst juicy IPA heavy on Citra hops could be just the ticket for summertime fun.
Heard of any awesome beers recently? Tell us about them!