The year is almost a quarter over and I'm not one for lists and rankings and much prefer to just drink good beer and share my experiences but in this particular case I wanted to declare what I believe to be the best beer of 2016 thus far. I should also start by saying that this year has begun with me drinking a lot of great beer, I had my first taste of Pieces of Eight from Foley Brothers, Make it Rain from Other Half and Barrier, Mo' Shuggie Soulbender was bottled again. I also spent the entire month of February with a full fridge of great beers including a few from Treehouse Brewing, Hoof Hearted and Fat Heads Brewing. I always found it difficult to respond to the question of, "What's your favorite beer?" but looking back at this past month I'm humbled by all of the great beer I was able to drink and couldn't even imagine trying to answer that questions.
This last week I got a chance to try a passion from gose called I Feel The Universe from Finback Brewing in Queens It was a beer that I was eager to try after receiving releases notices from the brewery and was nervous that I wouldn't get a chance to taste it. They were canning this particular beer and depending on demand sometimes their cans don't leave the brewery and while it's a great place to visit, it's a bit of a long commute as a Manhattan resident without a car. Luckily enough for me a case landed in one of my local bottle shops and I was able to pick up a few cans. Goses have become a very popular style in the past 12-18 months and while I enjoy trying anything new it's gotten to the point where I've become disappointed by some of what is being produced. As soon as I cracked upon my first can of this beer I knew I was going to taste something that was different from the recent flops I had tried.
Upon pouring the beer into a tulip glass it is a beautiful straw yellow with a bright white head with a bit of cloudiness but still translucent. The first thing you smell on this beer is funk, oh the funk and in the best way possible. To quote my future wife who is a big fan of all beers sour, "It smells like a fucking barn but it tastes really good." There was still some lemon on the nose and through the funk you knew you were going to taste something tart but it was some much more complex than a typical gose. The first sip yields the expected lemon and yogurt tartness from a gose and it induces a slight pucker but the faint sweetness from the passion fruit brings this whole beer together. It finishes dry and refreshing and makes you immediately think of yourself sitting on a tropical beach sipping (chugging) this beer. I want more of this beer, a lot more of it and hopefully we can expect to see some more beers of this same genre from Finback as summer rolls around.