I realized that it is all well and good to review regional Midwest beers in these Brew Reviews because they are delightfully enchanting and humorous to read. But what happens if a reader of this blog outside of the Midwestern USA has their interest in a reviewed regional beer piqued enough by my compelling writing to want to try the beer? That beer may be difficult to find, and the reader may find him or herself disappointed in both the blog post and not being able to find the beer in their locality. Sam Adams is a large brewing entity with beers available nationally, so I decided to try a Sam Adams summer beer which should be more available to our US readers.
As amazing as it sounds, we (which means I was miraculously included) were invited over to a neighbor’s house for a bonfire. A perfect excuse to buy and bring beer! As you may have seem from previous Brew Reviews, I have grown fond of gose beers. I was putting together a mix & match 6 pack when I saw Sam Adams offered this gose beer …
I love raspberries. They are definitely in my top 3 fruits. I know, I know, that’s not how I hypothetically drafted fruits in my last Brew Review, but my draft order was strategic and did not necessarily reflect my true fruit preference. So the Sam Adams Raspberry Lemon Gose grabbed a spot in my 6 pack, and I made sure to grab it as I settled in for the bonfire.
The beer was as cold as the weather was warm. I was prepared for the sour salinity of the gose, balanced with the sweetness of the raspberry and flavored with a burst of lemon. I got none of that. Bland would be a kind description of the beer. There was no sour. There was no salinity. There was no raspberry sweetness. There was no lemon flavor bursting. Nothing. I drank most of the beer, but set it aside and it was forgotten as quickly as a blind date that doesn’t show up.
As for the stats, the ABV is 5% with 15 IBUs. Stats like those make the beer even more forgettable. Gee, this a terrible Brew Review. In order to try and salvage this terrible Bew Review, I drank a Sam Adams Cherry Wheat as I wrote this which is my excuse for any misspellings and grammatical errors.
Not a gose beer this time which Sam fumbled in my opinion, but a wheat beer which should be right in Sam’s wheelhouse. It was definitely a slightly hoppier wheat beer with an IBU rating of 23. At 5.3% ABV, it was mild. It had a slight cherry aroma, and a slight cherry aftertaste, but it was definitely not crisp as the label claimed. As for being slightly sweet per the label, I prefer a bit of tartness from my cherry beers rather than sweetness. All in all, it was another forgettable beer.
I think smaller breweries are more likely to take chances in brewing, resulting in more adventurous, flavorful brews. A large brewery like Sam Adams brews large quantities of beer, so they play it safe since they want it to appeal to a large segment of the beer-drinking population. That’s probably why Sam’s gose beer is not very sour and the cherry wheat is not very cherryful. I tried going big, but I think I am headed back to small. A beer by Lagunitas, a Chicago-based brewery is next on my radar and chilling in my fridge.