There are a few beers that I think of immediately when I hear the name Westbrook Brewing Co.: Mexican Cake, Two Claw IPA and more recently, its Shake Series of IPAs.

However, to me, the Mt. Pleasant, S.C.-based brewery’s name will always be synonymous with one beer over all others: the aptly named Gose, which is Westbrook’s version of a traditional German-style sour wheat beer brewed with American ale yeast, CTZ hops, coriander and grey sea salt. First released in April 2012, Westbrook Gose has become a summer staple for many fans of inexpensive but high quality salty, sour beers throughout Westbrook’s distribution network.

However, that does not mean the beer could not get better, and as such, Westbrook introduced the first canned Gose variant in 2017, specifically Key Lime Gose, which is the base beer infused with cinnamon, coriander, key lime, vanilla and sea salt. More variants have been added since then, with the latest being the subject of today’s review: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Gose, a 4.5 percent ABV gose-style ale brewed with coriander, strawberry, rhubarb and vanilla. The newest version is packaged in 16-ounce cans—the first Gose variant to not be packaged in 12-ounce cans—and began shipping to retailers in August 2019.

There have now been five different versions of Westbrook’s Gose:

After opening the can, the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Gose pours a murky golden blond with a reddish tint and about one finger of thin, off white head that dissipates extremely quickly, leaving virtually nothing behind. Aroma from the glass is a combination of malty sweetness, strawberries, tart rhubarb, grass and wheat.

There is no doubt that the strawberry sweetness laced with cinnamon hits my palate first, but that note is nicely tempered with both briny sea salt and grass flavors, both of which mesh together well. A slight bitterness is present on the finish, but the big news on that front is the salt, which lingers long after each sip is finished. In addition, there is plenty of prickly carbonation present on my tongue, although it does seem to begin to dissipate a bit as the beer warms up in the glass.

As warms, the profile does an almost complete 180, with the strawberry sweetness taking a back seat to flavors of both bitter rhubarb and bready pie crust laced with cinnamon. The sea salt and grass flavors are also still present, although the former easily overtakes the later on the finish for the entirety of the rest of the time I am drinking. Interestingly, I am also picking up a surprisingly strong floral note that I have not tasted in any of the other Gose variants, although it is far from overpowering at any point and as such, has no issue integrating nicely into the overall profile.

 

Westbrook Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Gose
BREWERY: Westbrook Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
STYLE: Gose
ABV: 4 Percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $1.99
RELEASE DATE: July 2019
AVAILABLE IN: 16-Ounce Cans
BEERS POURED: 2
Since it was first introduced, Westbrook’s Gose—and its related variants—are not only some of the best American-brewed examples of a gose-style ale but also one of the most economical. As with most of the incarnations other than the Key Lime Pie, the salt is not only one of the dominant notes, but also permeates the entire profile, from the palate to the finish. While the strawberry sweetness dominates the profile when it is cold, as it warms, the rhubarb bitterness and pie crust notes become more prevalent. In addition, the floral note that I tasted was an interesting addition that I have not tasted before in other variants, although it was relegated exclusively to the beer’s profile when it warmed up. In the end, Westbrook's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Gose is an extremely enjoyable beer as well as a worthy addition to the brewery’s lineup, and I only wish I had picked up more than the eight cans I bought as summer approaches. 
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