Today I'm getting back amongst the bottled beers of Wexford Town's YellowBelly Brewery. There's a broadly sour and farmhouse theme to this set which arrived simultaneously a couple of months ago.
The aroma is a sweaty mix of seawater and alcohol with just a very mild herbal component. The texture is thick and kind of greasy, leaving a film in the mouth. As expected it tastes quite boozy, with a similar heat to strong pale lager. Beyond this there's an interesting apple fruit character, a dry wheaty crunch and then a tip-of-the-tongue saltiness which helps clean things up. I'm used to gose as a refreshing quaffer but this one is definitely for sipping, and while it's certainly one of the more flexible styles, that's normally because of the added flavourings brewers insist on putting in. I'm not quite sure what to make of this plain but ramped-up one. I don't think it quite works because of that heavy heat.
Overall it's a rather jolly beer, refreshing if a little overcarbonated. A few saison purists might get upset but it does the job for me. Certainly a lot more accessible than the gose.
This really hits the refreshment target that the gose missed: that gum-scrubbing acidity makes for very easy drinking and is a wake-up call to the palate. The strawberries are a little unnecessary but I appreciate they're a big part of what the beer is designed to be. Drink local and all that.
Three fascinating beers here. Great for the Town is probably the best of the bunch but the muscular gose engaged my interest more than the rest. I'm sure it's high time I went looking for the next set of bottles.
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