Name: Anderson Valley Brewing Company Briney Melon Gose
Beer Description: Anderson Valley Brewing Company was founded in 1987 in Boonville, California. It looks to be a small town of about 1000 people. And they have a brew pub that makes some pretty nice craft beer. Anderson Valley isn’t a tiny brewery anymore. They have a good amount of regular beers as well as seasonal beers.
They also have three Goses to their name. The Briney Melon Gose looked interesting and enticing on the bottle shop shelf, and we had heard good things about Anderson Valley Brewing Company, so we thought we’d give it a try.
The first thought on this beer is what the hell are they thinking? Sure, the Gose style is known for being salty, and a bit of fruit in a sour beer is always welcome. But melon and brine and Gose goodness? What is this monstrosity? Will it work? The picture of a bear with antlers on the can seems appropriate.
The beer look unassuming, with a very light colour and minimal head. It almost looks like a cheap American macro-lager. We know it will be much different from that, but it just goes to show that you can’t judge a beer by its colour.
The aroma on this bear is even more subtle. There are hints of watermelon and just a little bit of saltiness. We’re assuming that this beer isn’t extremely hopped, and it only has one hop in it, Bravo. This hop tends add spice and floral notes to a beer, and it seems to be there in the very light aroma. A Gose can go a lot of ways, and this is one where the drinker really needs to wait for the first gulp until they really appreciate this beer!
That being said though, those who like a little bit of funk in their aroma won’t be disappointed. This is a Gose after all. While subtle, this beer has the mild salty and feet-y smell that Gose drinkers love. Much like how a good cheese may smell off to some, the appreciation of a good Gose is often acquired. And it’s lovely.
Sour beers are a lot of fun, plain and simple. They’re difficult to make, but, if the brewer succeeds, it’s easy to hide behind the tartness of the beer. A brewer can simply make a beer sour, be lazy, and rely on that to satisfy the sour heads out there. Sours also tend to be very refreshing and best served cold.
Anderson Valley’s Briney Melon Gose is no different. It is sour. It is extremely refreshing. And it doesn’t seem like a beer that would be enjoyable if it was any warmer than coming straight out of the fridge. Where Anderson Valley changes things up with their Melon Gose is, well, the melon. While it’s a very sour beer, the melon takes the edge off at the very end of the taste spectrum and prevents the mouth from going into a full pucker.
Melon is a very soft taste, with a little bit of sweetness. Without this, this beer would almost be unpleasantly sour and would be put into the more “extreme” category of sours. Extreme sours can be enjoyable, but only in small doses. Anderson Valley want drinkers to be having at least a whole can, and they’ve really accomplished that.
If you’re a fan a very sour beer, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re into a Gose with a lot of salt, this is a great beer, and you’ll probably enjoy it. However, it may not be your favourite. If you’re just getting into sours, perhaps try a Berliner Weisse first, as this one has a kick.
All in all, this looks to be a fairly simple beer. It has regular pale malt as well as some wheat. It also only has one hop, Bravo. These simple ingredients combined with the more complex nature of making a Gose, as well as the subtle flavours of melon and salt, make for a very well rounded beer, and an enjoyable drink.
Going further, Anderson Valley’s Briney Melon Gose gets more and more interesting and enjoyable with each sip. The tartness of the beer opens up the taste buds over time, and the drinker begins to find new and different things in this beer.
Thankfully, it looks like Anderson Valley Brewing Company has a fairly wide distribution network. We found this can in Australia. If you see this beer, give it a shot. It’s pretty tasty.
Check out other reviews of Goses.
Go to other Anderson Valley Brewing Company beers.