If you're in the know in the beer world you've noticed that over the last year old school styles of sour wheat beers have been popping up from just about every brewery out there. I've already expressed my undying love for Ithaca's Cayuga Cruiser and thanks to my roommate or girlfriend, whatever you want to call her, my fridge is almost never void of Lost Nation or Westbrook's Gose. They're refreshingly tart styles that are usually low in alcohol and while best paired with warm weather they're great any time of year. THREE dry hopped iterations hit the New York beer scene in the last two weeks because why not, right? The traditional style is given it's tartness with the addition of lactobacillus and then salt are corriander are also added during the brewing process.
Being that these styles have been very popular with the smaller craft breweries it wasn't long until the bigger craft players started to get into the game. Enter Sierra Nevada's Otra Vez. This is their take on the gose style of beer with the addition of prickly pear cactus and grapefruit. It pours a golden straw color with a foamy white head. It smells more like a traditional wheat beer with a touch of lemon tartness and it smells a bit sweet as well, likely coming from the prickly pear. The taste has some of the familiar tartness that comes with a gose and the grapefruit bitterness is faint and the finish is slightly sweet.
Was this a bad beer? No. If someone handed me one on the beach summer I'll gladly drink it. But it was too far from what a good gose is supposed to be and that was disappointing. There wasn't enough tartness and it not being bone dry is what really irked me. I get it though, there are still a lot of people who are very unfamiliar with sour beers and assuming Sierra is planning to make a lot it then they must appeal to the masses. My fridge will continue house beers of better caliber in this style but if you're looking to try your first gose give Otra Vez a whirl. If you enjoy it, finish that glass a quickly move on to better versions of this beer style, trust me.