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Belt's Beer Garden: hangover edition

Hopefully you all had a safe and fun New Years Eve!

If you're like most people you probably celebrated a little too hard last night. Well, if you're still feeling the effects today there's really only one solution: a little hair of the dog. And I've got two great beers to help you with that.

These brews might be low on alcohol but there is no better solution to stop that throbbing in your head.

First up Anderson Valley's Briney Melon Gose.

briney melon

Anderson Valley might be making it's first appearance on Belt's Beer Garden, but they have been around for quite some time. They were founded in Booneville, California (just over 100 miles north of San Francisco) way back in 1987. Today they are available in most states, including the MAC states of Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and New York. To see if they're near you, here's their beer finder.

This may be the first time I'm reviewing Anderson Valley, but it's actually the third gose beer I've had by them. The first two - their Blood Orange (8/10) and The Kimmie, The Yink, and the Holy Gose (6/10) - split my judgment. So their Briney Melon Gose is pretty much the rubber match of Anderson Valley goses.

Briney Melon pours a golden color with very little head. In fact, after about 20 seconds after pouring the beer there was nothing left atop the beer except for a single, small cloud of bubbles...which eventually fizzed out as well.

On the nose, this beer isn't too tart at all. There are hints of lemon, melon (naturally), and some wheat. I was a bit surprised at how little of the sourness I picked up in the aroma.

However, I spoke too soon. The tartness does show up in the taste...with a vengeance! Upon my first sip, the beer is mostly, if not all, watermelon with a sharp sour twang that lasts but a moment. I like the jagged sting this gose delivers - it doesn't last too long on the backend, just enough to shock you with every sip.

If you've ever had the Watermelon Sour Patch Kids candy, that's what this is like. It's almost as if Anderson Valley liquefied those and then added alcohol (at 4.2% ABV it's not too high)...so, yeah. It's good.

I wish there was more to say about this brew, but I think I summed it up nicely: Briney Melon is a sour, yet tasty beer that reminds me of Watermelon Sour Patch Kids. It's that good! The 22-ounce bomber will set you back $7.99, so it's not the cheapest...but, if you're a fan of watermelon and/or gose beers, it's worth it. 8/10

8 beers

Next we have a Berliner Weissbier from St. Louis:

passion fruit prussia

We're no strangers to 4 Hands Brewery here at BBG. This brewery has been growing and growing in St. Louis, Missouri since 2011. They now have a huge new room dedicated to barrel-aging beers and are now available in three states: Missouri, Illinois, and Pennsylvania (hopefully more to come shortly).

Passion Fruit Prussia is a Berliner Weissbier (which usually tend to be on the sourer side of things) made with copious amounts of passion fruit. It pours a hazy straw color with nearly no head topping the beer...just a thin line around the edge of the glass.

There is a very nice, but very tart, aroma to this brew. You can definitely make out the passion fruit behind all the sour notes to this beer.

When I first tried it though, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. For as sour as the beer smelled, the tartness didn't follow through to the taste. Up front there is a little carbonated fizz on your tongue followed by a nice fruity flavor. The passion fruit is there, as are tastes of plum, grapes, and lemons.

Passion Fruit Prussia has a crisp finish, with a lighter body, and, incredibly, has no aftertaste - no sour notes left on your palate as some can do.

At just 4% ABV, it's not the strongest beer out there by any means. But it is a great tasting beer. With its low ABV and awesome flavor profile, Passion Fruit Prussia is a very sessionable beer but there is one drawback to it. You only get four 12-ounce cans in a pack instead of six! The four-pack will run you around $9.99 so it's priced pretty affordable.

Don't let the aroma scare you; this is actually a really smooth, really well balanced beer with a nice taste to it. Sure, it'd probably be better in the summer as you're lying next to the pool basking in the heat. But why not try to remind yourself of those good ol' days during the uninhabitable winter months by trying this beer yourself. 8.5/10

8.5