Urban Artifact Sliderule

When The Complete Beer Course hit shelves in 2013, author Joshua Bernstein offered up one tasting option in the gose section and remarked, “I’m not going to make you run around like a headless chicken to find a second gose.” Funny how times have changed. 

Gose has become nearly as ubiquitous as IPA, with most breweries trying their hands at one or two in the past few years. We’re even at the point where plain goses are not nearly enough and we’re exploring other flavors. Which is how I found myself grabbing a can of chocolate raspberry gose from my local bottle shop.

On first though nothing about Urban Artifact’s Sliderule seems like it should work. Chocolate and raspberries in a tart beer that typically tastes close to a margarita? I had to try it, but more out of anticipation at how weird and awful it would be.

As I cracked the can, the nose revealed a strong presence of raspberry and chocolate, with a tart note. My fears were not completely assuaged but the aroma seemed to work out alright. The first sip revealed just how wrong I was. The combination of raspberry, dark chocolate and lemon tartness made pure harmony. Lighter in mouthfeel than most beers that blend chocolate and raspberry together, the lactobacillus sourness paired perfectly with the slight tartness from the raspberries. Overall it reminded me of a lighter version of New Holland’s Raspberry Lemon Dragon’s Milk.

Pondering the combination for a bit allowed me to make sense of it all. Of course the combination would work. My previous experience with the special version of Dragon’s Milk should have been my first clue. Tart raspberries pair with sour beer, chocolate pairs with raspberries and salt, a key component of gose, does wonders to enhance the flavor of chocolate. So while on the surface it seems strange, the combination is actually perfect.

Regardless of how weird it sounds, the existence of a chocolate raspberry gose is proof the world of beer in 2017 is light years away from 2013. In four more years what strange combinations will we have to look forward to?

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