As many of you have already gathered, I love puns...and beer. So when I saw these beers with some great names I just had to try them!
First up, to celebrate the newly-arrived pumpkin craze, I tried Flying Dogs' The Gourd Standard.
Flying Dog was originally founded in 1990 in Aspen, Colorado but, in 2008, all production moved across the country to Frederick, Maryland (however, their headquarters are still located in Colorado). Today they are available in every state East of the Mississippi River and only a few west of it - Colorado, California, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Arkansas, Hawaii, and Alaska.
The Gourd Standard, as the name suggests, is their fall seasonal IPA and is made with pumpkin puree and other seasonal spices. A six-pack of 12 ounce bottles will run you $9.99 making it a pretty affordable beer.
It pours a dark red color, almost brown, with about two fingers of head that quickly fade into a decent layer of foam atop the brew. The aroma is mostly pumpkin (obviously) and reminds me of pumpkin pie but better! This has a 6.7% ABV attached to it...and that's better than any pie!
Interestingly enough, my first taste is immediately spices with the pumpkin taking a backseat. Cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg are the main flavors I can pick out. After the spices, the pumpkin flavor comes in slowly at the backend of the sip and will linger on your tongue, making you want more.
As this is still an IPA, Flying Dog has added quite a bit of Hallertau Hersbrucker hops (a German hop similar to Mt. Hood hops from America) that gives the beer a tiny hop bite to it and an IBU rating of 60.
In the Gourd Standard, neither the spices nor the pumpkin overpower your taste buds. Instead, they work really well together to create a smooth pumpkin beer that is very easy to drink.
I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin flavored things - I never even drink pumpkin spiced lattes (don't hate me!) - but for some reason if you add booze to those gourds they suddenly taste much better.
If you're looking for a really solid beer for this Halloween (or for fall in general), check this one out. 8/10
Next up, a very interesting gose with an even more clever name.
Against the Grain brewed a collaboration with Aviary and Fountainhead and called it "There Gose the Neighborhood" I didn't even look at the price...I just put it in my cart. It turns out that it's not terribly expensive, at $6.99 for the 500 mL (16.9 ounces) bottle.
Against the Grain is located in Louisville, Kentucky and has some of my favorite beer names (like Citra Ass Down, Kentucky Ryed Chicken, and The Brown Note to name a few). This beer was made in collaboration with two of Chicago's best eateries, The Aviary and Fountainhead, to create a red pepper, cilantro, calamansi lime infused gose beer.
When pouring the hazy straw colored beer, a rush of bubbles almost immediately built up nearly three fingers of head. However, as quickly as the came, they dispersed; and within a matter of seconds there was just a thin layer topping the beer.
On the nose, this beer is all red pepper with a hint of the cilantro and the lime hiding behind it all. The aroma made me nervous, as it smelled quite spicy.
The taste, however, does not have the same bite the smell does. At first you get a slightly carbonated, fruity rush from the lime with a hint of sour (after all this is a gose still). On the back end the cilantro and red pepper are there but they are muted nicely by the lime.
The red pepper taste does linger on your tongue for a while, but it's much smoother than I thought it would be. Most gose beers are known for their sour attributes but this one isn't sour at all. You get a tad bit with the lime up front but, for the most part, there are no really sour or bitter properties to it.
There Gose the Neighborhood is hard to explain to others who have not tried it. It's good...but it's weird. It's a beer that's better to share, as a whole bottle for yourself is too much, but it's too interesting to pass up.
I say give it shot though. 7.5/10