British Columbia is truly the land of plenty. There’s no shortage of delicious homegrown ingredients brewers can play with, and incorporating these flavours is one of the many ways they can put their own spin on classic beer styles.
Phillips’ has done just that with its Out of Fucus Rock Weed Gose. Rockweed, a.k.a. Fucus gardneri, is a super common tidal seaweed that you’ve probably seen before. It’s the one that’s attached to rocks with greenish-brown ribbons and air-filled yellowish bulbs on the end, and it’s everywhere at low tide. It’s also totally edible and has been harvested by First Nations peoples for thousands of years. Traditionally, it’s eaten raw, dipped in oil, or served with sea urchin eggs.
Rather untraditionally, Phillips Brewing has decided to use it in this delightful gose.
For those unfamiliar, gose is a salted sour wheat ale spiced with coriander, originally from Leipzig, Germany. If you think about it, it’s pretty much the most un-German German beer imaginable.
Anyways, back to the beer. Here, the briny character of the seaweed is meant to complement the minerality of the beer. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Truth be told, I can’t really pick anything out of this beer that I would necessarily call “seaweedy,” and maybe that’s the point, because Out of Fucus is exceptionally well-balanced for a gose. The acidity is tart without being puckering, while the citrus and coriander shine together. Most importantly, it’s not overly salty.
In my opinion, salted beers should never taste salty, per se, just like well-seasoned food shouldn’t—it should just taste good! The salt is there to enhance flavours without overpowering them, and that’s exactly the case with Out of Fucus, resulting in a refreshing, crushable beer.
Out of Fucus Rock Weed Gose by Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.
4.2% ABV • 473 mL tall cans
Appearance: Hazy gold with a massive—but short-lived—white head.
Aroma: Citrus, brine, wheat, spice.
Flavour: Tart acidity, citrus, coriander, wheat, briny minerality, well-balanced, very refreshing.
Body/Finish: Light bodied with a tart, dry finish.
Pairs with: Mussels, goat cheese, pickled herring and neoprene lederhosen.