Local craft beer of the week: Strawberry Lemonade Gose from Escape Brewing Company

Published June 28 2018

It’s on the outskirts of the bay area for many beer drinkers, but Trinity’s Escape Brewing Company continues to hit the must-visit list with its latest can release. The June 20 canning run included the brewery’s Trois Tropical IPA (bit.ly/2M8BmK7), The Other West Coast IPA and a new favorite, Strawberry Lemonade Gose.

Escape boasts an exotic rotating lineup of fruited sour beers, with flavors ranging from orange and pineapple to cranberry and lychee. Strawberry Lemonade Gose, which is making its limited debut in 16-ounce cans, is perhaps the best of the bunch — a sweet-and-sour summer refresher loaded with fresh strawberries and lemon zest.

Depending on your age, the combination of "strawberry lemonade" and alcoholic beverage may conjure unpleasant memories of saccharine wine coolers. Rest assured that Escape’s Strawberry Lemonade Gose shares no similarities.

The beer starts as Escape’s house gose, a moderately tart wheat beer with a hint of salinity (a callback to the beer’s saline well-water origins). An addition of 500 pounds of strawberries — about 1.6 pounds per gallon of beer — turns the brew opaque, pink and wildly fragrant.

The flavor is unmistakably strawberry, and boldly so. Strawberry beers all too often fall on either the too-subtle or too-artificial ends of the spectrum, but Strawberry Lemonade Gose has a rich, authentic flavor. That’s what happens when you bomb a beer with 500 pounds of fruit.

The lemonade portion of the mix comes partially from the addition of the zest, but most of the lemonade characteristics come from the gose base.

The beer’s lactic fermentation produces lactic acid, adding a tart, citrusy bite. It’s a great counterpoint to the sweet strawberry, making the "-ade" suffix particularly appropriate. Pick up Strawberry Lemonade Gose in four-packs while it lasts, or enjoy it on tap once the cans are gone. This is a summer sipper that’s worth the trip.

— Justin Grant

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