Four Brewers | Craft Beer and Homebrew Podcast (beer)
The 4B Flight: Unsung Brewing Co. - Anthia

The 4B Flight 2.0, Episode 2 – Today on The 4B Flight, an IPA from one of Anaheim, California’s newest breweries, Unsung Brewing Co.

The 4B Flight is a biannual series in which we do one standard episode of Four Brewers, followed by six mini episodes for an entire week! The 4B Flight is served up in April and October. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Autumn edition of The 4B Flight! Due to the flight’s immense popularity back in April, we decided to serve up another round of episodes!

Unsung Brewing Co. - Anthia IPAUnsung Brewing Co. – Anthia IPA

Unsung Brewing Co. is one of Anaheim’s newest breweries, recently opening to much fanfare and busting through the gate with some excellent brews and awesome comic book-style branding. Today’s beer, Anthia, is a lemony melon bomb that’s heavily late hopped with notes of weeds and grass. A truly unique beer from a great Orange County brewery that, at this point, shows a lot of promise. 

Tune in tomorrow for the next beer in The 4B Flight!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beer from today’s episode:
Unsung Brewing Co. – Anthia

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Direct download: four-brewers-4B-flight2-2.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT
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The 4B Flight: Stone Brewing Co. - 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

The 4B Flight 2.0, Episode 1 – Today on The 4B Flight, we’re going back in time with Stone Brewing’s Encore Series 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale.

The 4B Flight is a biannual series in which we do one standard episode of Four Brewers, followed by six mini episodes for an entire week! The 4B Flight is served up in April and October. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Autumn edition of The 4B Flight! Due to the flight’s immense popularity back in April, we decided to serve up another round of episodes!

Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic AleEncore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

Today, we’re going back in time to 2002 with Stone Brewing Co.’s Encore series of their Vertical Epic Ale 02.02.02. This beer was widely considered to be a whale up until about 2013, with prices for a single bottle reaching $1500+. Since many of the newer beer geeks of late never got to try the now 14 year old original brew when it was fresh, Stone decided to brew it again. What a great idea! Thanks, Stone! You’re the best!

Tune in tomorrow for the next beer in The 4B Flight!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beer from today’s episode:
Stone Brewing Co. – 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-flight2-1.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT
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[S3/E40] The Gueuze Showdown

Season 3, Episode 40 – This week, we’re blind ranking 13 different gueuze-style beers.

The gueuze showdown was inevitable, really. I mean, IPA, stout, and pilsner showdowns are all good and well, but a gueuze showdown is really hard to pull off. Since “sour beers” have been all the rage for the last ten years or so (at least from our limited perspective), it seemed natural to put on our big-boy pants and get to the real deal: gueuze-style beer and lambic.

The Gueuze ShowdownThe Gueuze Showdown

As always, this showdown is by no means a definitive list or ranking. Many beers were left out of this showdown simply because we couldn’t get them. Gueuze is a tough style to nail for many breweries and blenderies, as is evident in this showdown. Making a great gueuze is tough, and they’re equally hard to acquire. We tried to get as many quality gueuze-style beers as we could find, so don’t get butt-hurt because we didn’t include your favorite.

It should also be noted that John was the proctor for this showdown. He served up the beers and participated in the ranking, but the final scores on this showdown do not take his scores into account, since he knew what the beers were upon evaluation.

Here are the beers that we sampled in the showdown, listed in the order they were served:

Beer #1 – Brouwerij Lindemans – Oude Gueuze Cuvée René
Beer #2 – Brouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze Boon Black Label
Beer #3 – Gueuzerie Tilquin – Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L’Ancienne
Beer #4 – Brewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans – Timmermans Oude Gueuze
Beer #5 – Brasserie Cantillon – Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio
Beer #6 – Hanssens Artisanaal – Oude Gueuze
Beer #7 – The Bruery – Rueuze
Beer #8 – Brouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze
Beer #9 – Mikkeller – Hues
Beer #10 – Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen – Oude Geuze
Beer #11 – Brouwerij Girardin – Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)
Beer #12 – Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck – St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition
Beer #13 – The Lost Abbey – Duck Duck Gooze (2016)

Results and rankings:

#13 Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck – St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition
Average Score: 31.67

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck - St. Louis Gueuze Fond TraditionBrouwerij Van Honsebrouck – St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition

This is a gueuze that seems to be readily available in most mid to high-end bottle shops. For myself (John), it’s one of the first of the style that I got my hands on. Unfortunately, we thought this beer was the worst of the group, with very prominent notes of acetone. 

#12 Mikkeller – Hues
Average Score: 40.67

Mikkeller - HuesMikkeller – Hues

This beer was weird. It was the darkest of the group. It came off with really big caramel notes, similar to something like an amber ale or stout, but it was also sour. While sour stouts and amber ales are totally a thing, this beer just came off, well, gross. Overall, it was an awkward experience for all but Greg, who gave it a 70 for some reason…

#11 Brasserie Cantillon – Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio
Average Score: 41.67

Brasserie Cantillon - Gueuze 100% Lambic BioBrasserie Cantillon – Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio

It goes without saying that it’s both surprising and disappointing that Cantillon ranked so low. The acetone notes were really distracting and the beer came off as very one-note. It also displayed acetic characteristics on the nose that John picked up. We truly think that this was either a bad bottle or bad batch because Cantillon usually never fails to deliver quality gueuze.

#10 Hanssens Artisanaal – Oude Gueuze
Average Score: 61.00

Hanssens Artisanaal - Oude GueuzeHanssens Artisanaal – Oude Gueuze

This is one of the more recognizable brands of gueuze that one can find. While Hanssens hit the target with this beer’s acidic notes, the solvent-like nose and lack of a funky backbone drove this beer to the bottom half of the list. 

#9 Brewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans – Timmermans Oude Gueuze
Average Score: 64.33

Brewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans - Timmermans Oude GueuzeBrewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans – Timmermans Oude Gueuze

This beer was super-tart, and was described by Nagel as a “funky, Sour Warhead [candy]”. Notes of honey and soil were prominent, and while everyone else gave this beer lower scores, John really seemed to like it and gave it a 78.

#8 Gueuzerie Tilquin – Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L’Ancienne
Average Score: 70.67

Gueuzerie Tilquin - Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L'AncienneGueuzerie Tilquin – Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L’Ancienne

For us, Tilquin Gueuze is one of the harder to find beers of the group. While the beer was fairly complex, displaying notes of hay, grass, funk, and oak, it was also a bit aggressive in those areas. Matt noted that it smelled like acetone, and Jason though it smelled like an old log. It brought the sour and funk, but the other aspects of the beer were too distracting.

#7 Brouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze Boon Black Label
Average Score: 73.00

Brouwerij Boon - Oude Geuze Boon Black LabelBrouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze Boon Black Label

Middle of the road. That’s what this beer is. While it was a bit watery and underwhelming, it wasn’t a total let down. Jason didn’t want to take points away for its subtleness, but in the end it just didn’t hit all the right notes.

#6 The Bruery – Rueuze
Average Score: 75.67

The Bruery - RueuzeThe Bruery – Rueuze

This beer was immediately pointed out as an American interpretation of gueuze. Notes of vanilla and oak were prominent. There was a lovely sour bite to it, with fruit and citrus notes backing it up. While it wasn’t necessarily true to the gueuze style, Rueuze stood out as a unique and ambitious beer that was both delicious and interesting. 

#5 Brouwerij Lindemans – Oude Gueuze Cuvée René
Average Score: 80.00

Brouwerij Lindemans - Oude Gueuze Cuvée RenéBrouwerij Lindemans – Oude Gueuze Cuvée René

This was the first beer served in the showdown, and that was on purpose. Lindemans gueuze is a great example of the style that is widely available, even at big box stores like Total Wine and More, and BevMo. The beer had an aggressive, funky nose and a nice tart acidic flavor to back it up. It ultimately lost points for being a bit skunked, but hey, it’s in a green bottle so, it’s to be expected. Overall, it’s a great example of the style and definitely worth picking up.

#4 Brouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze
Average Score: 85.33

Brouwerij Boon - Oude GeuzeBrouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze

Overall, this beer was great. Notes of sesame seed, and funky bread were prominent, and the flavor was bright and tart with a touch of tannin. A classic gueuze and again, well worth the buy.

#3 The Lost Abbey – Duck Duck Gooze (2016)
Average Score: 88.00

The Lost Abbey - Duck Duck Gooze (2016)The Lost Abbey – Duck Duck Gooze (2016)

Duck Duck Gooze was the most pale in color of the group. Notes of fruit, hibiscus, and acidity were quite lovely on the nose, and the beer had a big fluffy head. The acidity on the palate was subdued and balanced. While we thought it may not be 100% true the style, it was definitely one of the best, even at $40+ per bottle.

#2 Brouwerij Girardin – Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)
Average Score: 90.33

Brouwerij Girardin - Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)Brouwerij Girardin – Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)

Notes of cheese (yum), funk, and earthiness were prominent in Gueuze 1882. The beer had a nice clarity, a subtle funk backbone, and a pleasant, tart bite. It was an overall well balanced and delicious beer and its high ranking was not a surprise at all.

#1 Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen – Oude Geuze
Average Score: 93.33

Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen - Oude GeuzeBrouwerij 3 Fonteinen – Oude Geuze

3 Fonteinen ranking number one in the showdown came as no surprise to any of us. Matt constantly gushes over the quality lambic blends that this blendery produces, and Oude Geuze was no exception. This was a stellar beer. The grassy, barnyard notes were balanced with a refreshing sour-citrus flavor and funky base that was nothing short of spectacular. If you see this beer, buy it.

The Rankings and ScoresThe Rankings and Scores

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e40.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:03pm PDT
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[S3/E39] Chicago Beer!

Season 3, Episode 39 – We’re back in the studio this week, and we’re drinking some excellent beers from Chicagoland breweries!

Fresh off of our epic road trip to Sacramento for the California Craft Beer Summit, Jason was greeted with a box o’ brew from Four Brewers listener and Patreon Supporter, Max Peltier. Max originally wanted to send us some brew for Cheap Beer Corner, which he did (thanks!), but decided to balance things out with what turned out to be some really, really tasty craft beers.

Beers from Chicago! [Shot with iPhone 7 Plus, 56mm]Beers from Chicago!

The beers on the show this week range from farmhouse ales to double IPA. The mix of styles made for a refreshing tasting session, and since it was the first episode of session 42, it was welcomed. We can’t thank Max enough for the brews and the support on Patreon!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beers from this week’s episode:
Central State Brewery – House Beer
Transient Artisan Ales – Ardent
Illuminated Brew Works – ED’s Legs
Off Color Brewing – Whiskers
Pipeworks Brewing Company – Mandarin Dragonet
Perrin Brewing Co. – No Rules Vietnamese Porter (2016)

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e39.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 9:28pm PDT
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[S3/E38] California Craft Beer Summit

Season 3, Episode 38 – This week, we’re on the floor of the expo at the California Craft Beer Summit in Sacramento, California, talking to some rad beer industry peeps.

This week’s post was written in collaboration with the lovely Yvonne England.

 Hey y’all! Guess that we did?! We went to Sacramento! (Have you watched our road trip video yet?)

Make Beer Clear Again...Make Beer Clear Again…

This week, we went to the California Craft Beer Summit and had the opportunity to talk to a bunch of amazing beer people on the floor of the event. There were so many great breweries and beer peeps in attendance. We couldn’t talk to them all, but we know you’ll love the folks we did get!

First on the list was Miss Franny FullPint, of The Full Pint. She’s also the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild (Get. It. Girl!). She’s badass. Just know that.

Then we dropped acid…knowledge with Jeffers Richardson, of Firestone Walker Barrelworks, and learned what the hell Titratable Acidity is. Yeah, that’s a thing, and Jeffers explains it.

We then interviewed Brandon Hernández, Chief Marketing Officer at Societe Brewing Company and Editor at Large of West Coaster Magazine, not to be confused with West Coasters Magazine, the best roller coaster review you’ll ever read!

Patrick Rue of The Bruery and Henry Nguyen of Monkish Brewing CompanyPatrick Rue of The Bruery and Henry Nguyen of Monkish Brewing Company

Next you hear us with Patrick Rue, from The Bruery. Our SoCal duders will know this fine gentleman from his tiny little start-up in the OC. Just kidding! It’s one of the fastest growing breweries around…AND our own Matt Becker used to brew there! 

Natalie Cilurzo, President of Russian River Brewing Company, also graced us with an interview. It was so dope! She was dope! Get ready for dopeness! (b-t dubs, the Russian River sour pilsner that was on tap at the festival was DOPE. SO. MUCH. DOPENESS.)

Finally, we interviewed the wonderfully brilliant and knowledgable Julia Herz, of the Brewers Association. Julia knows her shit when it comes to the brewing industry, and also knows a thing or two about pairing beer with food. She even wrote a book about it!

Beer Geeks!Beer Geeks!

We had a blast at the California Craft Beer Summit. Like, for real. The expo was great and the fest on Saturday was well run with many spectacular California breweries pouring their brews. It was also really cool being literally down the street from the California State Capitol, drinking California craft brews! It was a fun road trip, followed by fun times with awesome beer people. We hope you enjoy these interviews as much as we did.

We lived. We learned. We talked beer. We drank beer!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT, CALIFORNIA.

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Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e38.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT
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[S3/E37] Road Trip to Sacramento

Season 3, Episode 37 – This week, we’re heading up to the California Craft Beer Summit and making a few stops along the way.

The 2016 California Craft Beer Summit is upon us! But, before get into the nitty gritty of the event, we’re driving up to Sacramento and making some stops along the way to pick up some beers from California breweries that we normally wouldn’t have access to. Erin Peters from The Beer Goddess also joins us in our makeshift hotel room studio in beautiful downtown Sacramento, California.

Beers from CaliforniaBeers from California

California is the largest state in the United States of America, and is home to approximately 600 breweries. According to the Brewers Association, approximately 95% of beer brewed in California in 2015 was sold in California. That’s a lot of beer, and the Brewers Association says there’s still room for more breweries. That’s pretty exciting.

The beers on the show this week cover a pretty large swath of California. We made stops in Bakersfield at Lengthwise Brewing Company, Fresno at Tioga-Sequoia Craft Brewery, and Turlock at Dust Bowl Brewery. While these breweries are all geographically in California, the beers they brew are unique to their respective markets, making for a deliciously diverse group of beers for this week’s show.

It should be noted that we kicked off the show this week with Union Craft Brewing’s Old Pro gose, which was sent to us by Four Brewers listener Jason Evans. We meant to include it on our gose show, but it got lost in the mix. Sorry about that, Jason! The beer was great!

Also, be on the lookout on our YouTube channel for the the vlog we made documenting the trip up!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT, CALIFORNIA.

Beers from this week’s episode:
Union Craft Brewing – Old Pro
Lengthwise Brewing Company – Citra Simcoe Centennial
Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. – DDH (Double Dry Hopped) Gen. Sherman IPA
Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. – Catacomb Brew (Apricot Saison)
Dust Bowl Brewing Company – Simcoe Lager
Dust Bowl Brewing Company – Hops of Wrath IPA
Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. – Sierra Dark SKY “Barrel Aged Quad”

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e37.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 5:31pm PDT
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[S3/E36] Side Projects and 2nd Shifts

Season 3, Episode 36 – This week, beers from Side Project, 2nd Shift, New Glarus, and more!

This week on the show, we’re drinking beers from Four Brewers listener Andy Richter. Andy originally asked us for a bottle of The Bruery’s Imperial Cabinet to trade for something local to him. John, being the awesome and giving individual that he is, told Andy that he’d send him a bottle for “free” (no trade required) just because that’s how John is (Did I mentionwe, mention that John is the shiz?!). In return, Andy sent a plethora of awesome midwest beers. Now, we’re drinking ’em!

Season 3, Episode 36 BeersSeason 3, Episode 36 Beers

Big thanks to Andy for the beers! They were all pretty big gets for us, and while Side Projectand 2nd Shift Brewing were clearly on top, a standard like Spotted Cow from New Glarusalso got us pretty amped up. 

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beers from this week’s episode:
New Glarus Brewing Company – Spotted Cow
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company – Zwickel
4 Hands Brewing Co. – Constellation: Falconers Flight
4 Hands Brewing Co. – Incarnation IPA
2nd Shift Brewing – Katy
2nd Shift Brewing – Mullineaux
Side Project Brewing – Saison du Fermier (Batch 3)

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

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Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT
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[S3/E35] Jason's Awesome Session IPA

Season 3, Episode 35 – Jason’s got Mirkwood.

Another week, another awesome homebrew from Jason. We could get used to this! He’s on a bit of a roll actually, honing his skills on newly upgraded brewing setup and making his versions of New England IPA. His latest brew turned out to be a session IPA. Damn mash efficiency! But, before we get to the homebrew, we’ve got some cans fresh off the line from Almanac Beer Company, and four questions in the 4B Mailbag.

Beers from Almanac and Modern TimesBeers from Almanac and Modern Times

Yeast is THE most important component of beer. Well, fermentables for the yeast to consume are also important, but, yeast is priority one. Poor yeast health and viability can completely ruin an otherwise great beer. Three of the four questions in the mailbag pertain to yeast, two of which are specific to lager yeast. 

The topic of yeast leads right into Jason’s latest beer, his New England session (accidental) IPA called, Mirkwood. The brewday for this beer went relatively well, outside of Jason’s poor wort efficiency. We get into why that may have been, how to fix it, and how important mineral additions are to the finished brew. Jason’s mash pH was also a bit on the low side, around 4.7, (normally, most homebrewers experience pH readings that are too high, which is easy to fix in most cases) and we discuss how to raise it using said mineral additions. 

We finish up with the latest “juicy” release from Modern Times Beer, Attack Frequency. Opinions about this beer are mixed among the group, but all agree that Jason’s brew definitely killed in comparison to this beer. Jason-1, Modem Tones-0. That’s our boy!

Link from the 4B Mailbag:
Brülosophy – LAGER METHOD

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beers from this week’s episode:
Almanac Beer Company – Almanac IPA
Almanac Beer Company – Saison Dolores
Wrath Brewing (homebrew) – Mirkwood
Modern Times Beer – Attack Frequency

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e35.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 6:09pm PDT
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[S3/E34] Into The Great White North

Season 3, Episode 34 – This week, we head to Canada via Aaron Champion of Cask Ale LA and drink four excellent craft beers from The Great White North.

This week on the show, we’re joined by our good friend and fellow beer blogger, Aaron Champion, and he brought us some really interesting and delicious craft beer from his recent trip to Canada.

Up until around five or so years ago, Canadian craft beer wasn’t really anything anyone would bat an eye at. A lot of breweries were brewing what was widely thought of as “safe” beers, meaning that they stuck to brewing traditional mainstays in beer. This was obviously not the case with every brewery in Canada, but it was tough to think of more than a few Canadian breweries that were making anything really exciting, different, or even experimental. The beers on the show this week exemplify how the Canadian beer scene is evolving and creating some really awesome beers that Canadians local to these breweries can more easily find. 

Canadian Craft BeersCanadian Craft Beers

The breweries featured on the show this week are Bellwoods BreweryNickel Brook BreweryFolly Brewpub, and Halo Brewery. Halo Brewery, from Toronto, Ontario, is taking a unique approach to their business model by, in a way, open-sourcing their beer recipes. As homebrewers, this is very exciting and cool, especially if you’re a fan of Halo’s beers and want to brew them yourself. Doing something like this is great for a newly emerging scene. It encourages homebrewers to take more risk and do different things with their homebrew, while at the same time encouraging other breweries to take some cues on recipe design and brewing process. It’s a win for everyone!

Big thanks to Aaron for coming down to our neck of the woods to share these beers. His blog, Cask Ale LA, not only focuses on when and where one can find cask ale in Los Angeles, but also the craft beer scene as a whole. He’s only been in The States since 2013, but he’s already a respected member of the beer scene in Los Angeles and Southern California. 

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT, EH.

Beers from this week’s episode:
Halo Brewery – Day Star
Folly Brewpub – Imposter Syndrome
Bellwoods Brewery – Motley Cru (2016)
Nickel Brook Brewing Co. – Kentucky Bastard Imperial Stout

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Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e34.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 7:41pm PDT
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Season 3, Episode 33 – This week, we take a ride on the goser coaster and sample nine gose style beers.

Last week’s show was pretty epic. We decided the best way to recover from the incredibly awesome 24 beer pilsner showdown was to relax with some easy-drinking gose style beers from breweries around the world. Gose is a style of beer that’s usually low alcohol, a bit on the tart side, and made with salt to give it a dry, brackish feel (get into the finer details of the style here). While on paper this sounds like a disaster of a beer, it’s actually pretty damn refreshing. There’s a surprising variety of gose available to us in the southern California market, so we decided to go for it.

Gose BeerGose Beer

The thing with gose is that some breweries want to “amp up” the style and add fruit to the beer to give it an even more refreshing and easy-drinking twist. This works sometimes, but adding more stuff to an otherwise shitty base beer makes for an even shittier beer. Kettle souring has become quite popular as of late and while it’s efficient and cuts down on risking brewhouse infection, some breweries don’t put in the proper care during the process to insure a well made kettle sour. Other breweries go the more traditional route and add bacteria to sour the wort after it has been brewed, or after primary fermentation. The beers on this week’s episode pretty much cover the gamut.

We also answer a few questions from The Mailbag and reflect on life with some user-submitted 4B haikus.

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beers from this week’s episode:
Almanac Beer Company – Golden Gate Gose
Saint Archer Brewing Company – Blackberry Gose
Freigeist Bierkultur Collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal Ales – Atlantis Gose
Anderson Valley Brewing Company – Briney Melon Gose
Uinta Brewing Company – Ready Set Gose
Boulevard Brewing Co. – Hibiscus Gose
To ØL – Gose To Hollywood
Bayerischer Bahnhof Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei – Leipziger Gose
Freigeist Bierkultur – Geisterzug Gose Rhubarb

Direct audio: MP3

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e33.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 5:55pm PDT
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