Boulevard Brewing Co. brewed its Hibiscus Gose earlier this year and put it on shelves from August to October.

The Kansas City Brewing is known for its Love Child series of sours that are brewed with brettanomyces and lactobacillus and aged in oak barrels. Other than the four Love Child series beer and its Za’Tart, Boulevard doesn’t do any other sour style beers. Its particular version of gose has Hibiscus flowers added at the end of the boil giving the beer a distinct pink hue.

Boulevard Hibiscus Gose Pack

The beer is also part of the brewery’s Backroads Beer series, described on the Boulevard website as, “With this spirit in mind, our Backroads beers often feature unusual combinations of ingredients or non-traditional brewing methods. The results are subtly complex and often surprisingly sessionable, but always enjoyable.”

Along with Hibiscus Gose, there are two other beers in the series:

  • Entwined Ale, American Blond Ale – 4.1% ABV
  • Last Splash, Wet Hop Pale Ale – 7% ABV

Boulevard Hibiscus Gose bottle

Boulevard’s Hibiscus Gose pours almost like pink lemonade or a rose wine. The head retention on my particular bottle was non-existent, however, I have seen elwhere that other pours produced a lot of retention. While it was initially present, the very light pinkish head disappears quickly and also leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is crystal clear, no haziness present, just a really nice looking pale pink beer.

The nose on the beer is mildly sour and leans towards the acidic side of the sour taste spectrum. There is the slightest hint of a soy sauce aroma as well, but I had to nose the glass very deeply to pick up on it. It’s not too strong of an aroma and the it fades somewhat quickly, there are traces of herbs from what I believe was the coriander, florals and fruit as well, which I suspect stem from the Hibiscus flowers.

Boulevard Hibiscus Gose

The taste is very crisp; it’s sweet up front and then gives way to a lactic sour. What I noticed immediately though, which caught me off guard, is that the mouth feel on this beer was surprisingly big for a 4.2 percent beer. It’s maltier than I would have figured, but that might be due to the lack of carbonation. There is a lot of complexity in this gose, throughout drinking it I could taste; salt, lemon, grapefruit, a mild wheat flavor, floral notes and what is like a very tangy orange.

Boulevard Hibiscus Gose
BREWERY: Boulevard Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Kansas City, Mo.
STYLE: Gose
ABV: 4.2 percent
IBU: 11
PRICE: $1.99
RELEASE DATE: August 2014
AVAILABLE IN: 12-ounce bottles
BEERS POURED: Two
This was really a beautifully done beer by Boulevard. It was impressively complex for the style and low alcohol content. Compared to other styles of goses, this one had a lot going on. Hibiscus Gose didn’t rely on just the sour and salty flavors to keep the beer interesting. The addition of a sweet component along with some of the floral flavors from the Hibiscus flowers made this beer exciting and one that I hope they continue to brew. It makes an excellent session beer because it makes you use a lot of your senses due to the amount of flavors and aromas, which keeps you engaged in the beer.
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