It’s been the summer of Gose. I really could not have predicted myself saying that three months ago, much less a year or more. But something unexpected truly happened when a series of them started popping up in my festival recaps from June on into August. It was my favorite type of beer this past summer. Maybe it’s the brine or the full on acidic tartness. But whereas Hefes and Wits were my post-high noon lawnmowing session go-tos before, I’ve made some space in my fridge recently for something a bit lighter but just as refreshing. One of those beers caught my taste buds by surprise back in July, and I’ve since squirreled some away for the opportune moment. Well, there’s two days of summer left, so it’s about time I get this one out. No, you can’t get it anymore for this year at least, but hopefully it’ll make you yearn for sweltering humidity when 20″ of snow is staring at you from the driveway in a few months…
Illusion of Safety, Adroit Theory Brewing Co. (Purcellville, VA)
Passionfruit and Pink Guava Gose, 4.5% ABV, 6 IBU
Presentation: Crowler pour into a long-stemmed tulip.
Appearance: Surprisingly orange with a tad of ruby core. Roiling suds but no hint of head or lattice. Instead, there’s a graininess on the glass that bears a pattern which eventually becomes familiar.
Taste: The nose is all passionfruit, approaching sangria. It’s a beautiful, luscious effect. The body will remind you of Orangina. I don’t know where else to go with that comparison. It’s a sweeter Orangina, the European soft drink that’s essentially carbonated OJ. Thank the guava for that, even though it’s harder to pick out up front.
Mouth Feel: An interesting residue coats the tongue, somewhat akin to a V8 or another similar veggie juice. It took me a few sips to realize this same effect was occurring inside the glass. It’s in no way bothersome, almost pleasant instead, and where you get the bulk of the Guava. They may as well have not listed the IBUs.
Overall: Adroit killed it with their Goses this year. As much as I liked their raspberry version, this Illusion of Safety is the crowd pleaser with some bite to it. Their motto is “craft beer for the select few,” and when I spoke to Head Brewer Bryan Younger at the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, he was adamant that he would allow his beers to do the talking as to why. Known more for their big barrel-aged monsters, you have to usually be in a certain mindset (with a clean palate) to tackle a full tasting flight in their taproom. Illusion of Safety is a statement beer that says, “we can do more.” And in a season in which their NE IPA series EBK vaulted to the front of our year-end nominees list, that’s saying something real and powerful.