Victory Brewing is a huge operation out of Downingtown, Pa. that was founded in 1996 by Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski, who had been friends since 5th grade. Barchet left his full time job to pursue brewing by getting a job at the Baltimore Brewing Co. then afterwards he then continued his education at Technische Universität München (Weihenstephan). Perhaps best known for its hoppier beers, such as Dirtwolf, a double IPA and Hop Devil, an American IPA, Victory has an impressive list of beers it has put out in the last 19 years.

Kirsch Gose is a twist on the ever-growing popular style of beer that is sweeping the craft beer seen—gose. The German wheat beer that is traditionally brewed with coriander and salt is light, refreshing and generally low in alcohol. This particular version was brewed with both lactic acid and lactobactillus and also has the addition of sour cherries.

Kirsch Gose from Victory pours an incredibly bright red color; there is very little snow-white head atop the beer that fades very quickly. There is some lacing that stays on the side, but a very thin layer. The beer is a crazy color and shines in the light like Kool-Aid, definitely a great looking beer.

The smell is much more mild than the appearance of the beer would let on. I am picking up tones of very mild sour, some earthiness, extremely light sweet and sour cherries and possibly a little funkiness.

The beer has an initial sweetness, some cherry juice, but seemingly mostly from a strong malt presence. Though the beer was brewed with lacto and lactic acid, I’m not really getting that, even more so, I am picking up some funkiness in the flavor just as I was in the nose, much like the flavor a beer brewed with brett would produce. The cherry presence in the taste really isn’t doing it for me though, it taste sort of fake, though they do say it is brewed with real cherries, I’m getting more of a cough syrup, overly malty flavor.

Victory Kirsch Gose
BREWERY: Victory Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Downington, Pa.
ABV: 4.7 percent
IBU: 15
PRICE: $2.75
RELEASE DATE: March 2015
AVAILABLE IN: 12-ounce bottles
This beer is not bad by any stretch, but I feel like there are just way too many beers being brewed in this style for it to compete. There is too much sweetness and not enough tart, salt and lactic acid to balance the beer. It is really close to being a great beer, but it needs something to help it and it’s frankly just not there. With some mild tweaking this beer really could be really special, but overall it just falls flat by not having enough of that salty sourness that makes this style so refreshing and interesting. Kirsch Gose is no doubt worth trying, but definitely did not blow me away, and as I mentioned with the growing popularity of this style there are better options out there. I do hope that this is brewed again next year with some tweaks to the recipe because it could be really good.
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