Our lime gose bursts with the flavours of citrusy, whole-fruit limes over top a delicious, slightly hazy base of bread, cereal and biscuit flavours. Highly carbonated and relatively acidic, this beer is a warm-weather crusher that goes spectacularly with a shot of tequila! We released this beer May 3, 2019 to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (May 5), and it really brings us back, mentally, to trips to Mexico and Cuba, where lime is a central ingredient or garnish on so may foods and drinks.
The lime gose starts with our base Gose recipe – which is a moderately sour wheat beer that is primarily made from Alberta wheat and barley malts, with lactic acid coming from German acid malts (this beer is not a kettle sour). In addition to the malts, we dose the beer with lightly toasted and cracked coriander seeds, which already give the beer a pleasing citrus-lemon foundation and subtle toasty notes in the background. Part of the gose style is a small addition of salt, which gives the beer a subtle saline character and reinforces the aromas and flavours you’d expect from a margarita or as a lime garnish on freshly toasted tortillas.
It was important to our brewmaster that this beer have the flavour of a whole-lime addition, which turned out to be more challenging than you might think. It isn’t easy to find fresh, whole limes suitable for beer making here in Calgary at this time of year, and even if we could, the fruits would be expensive and require a lot of processing to be effective at transferring their flavours into the beer. Also, our base gose beer is already relatively acidic and we didn’t need any more acidity from full lime additions. Last year with our Ginger Lime Gose, the kitchen staff spent all day zesting limes for the brewery, and while it worked quite well, we wasted a ton of expensive lime in the process because all we’d really needed were the peels.
For this lime gose, we instead opted to try out dried lime peel from the Silk Road Spice Merchant. Dried lime peel is expensive, but highly potent; we were able to achieve a very strong lime-fruit flavour, including the bitter pith, but we were still missing the ultra-citrusy aroma that we’d expect from fresh lime zest. We searched for quite some time and managed to find an extremely-concentrated pure lime-oil extract made from fresh lime zest, which is designed for food industry use. A small amount of the extract added just the right amount of fresh lime peel aroma and flavour to the beer, and combined with the dried peel and base beer flavour, gives us something that we feel is a really close approximation to what the beer would smell like if you had a fresh lime wedge on the glass and squeezed a lime right into the beer.
|Appearance:||Pale amber with some minor haze, lacy white head of fine bubbles, nice lacing on glass.|
|Aroma:||Fresh lime zest, pithy bitterness, slightly tart, bready. No yeast aromas.|
|Flavour:||Pithy (bitter), acidic lime at first impression, fades in retronasal into a really pleasant malty flavour with cereal and biscuit tones that linger into the aftertaste. No yeast or hop character obvious. Salt is present but subtle. Sweet in the finish but overall a sour beer.|
|Mouthfeel:||Slightly puckering, similar to lime juice, with a tingling character on the tongue from the high level of carbonation and acidity. Low to medium body.|
|Malts:||Alberta wheat and barley malt, specialty malt from micro-maltster Gambrinus, in Armstrong, BC.|
|Other:||We use a combination of dried lime peel and fresh lime oil extract to recreate the effect of full lime additions in the beer.|