Beer Style: Gose ABV: 4.5% Served: Bottled
As a fan of Sierra Nevada, I’m always excited to hear about new beers that they introduce into their lineup. As a Mexican-American, I especially like when my culture is represented in my beer, especially craft beer.
When you think of a Mexican beer, it’s all too easy to fall into the pigeon hole of the familiar lagers: Corona, Modelo, Tecate and their many brothers and sisters. Sure, I’d gladly accept a Corona at a party, but I also am not going to go out of my way to go purchase one. With the growing craft beer market comes more need and opportunity to try new styles and flavors, and to draw influence from relevant markets. Cue Sierra Nevada’s Otra Vez Gose-Style Ale.
I was immediately intrigued by the label artwork, which is show on a larger scale on the front of the six pack carrier. Nopales induce nostalgia into any Mexican’s heart, and are also quite familiar in the Southwest/Western Coast of the United States. This not only produces a picture but also an expectation as far as flavor palette goes. As the description reads, Otra Vez is “brewed with Cactus and Grapefruit,” two of my favorite things in the world. I was sold easily enough.
When I was finally able to track down a sick pack of Otra Vez, I was admittedly a little bummed that it is only a 4.5% abv beer. Really, Sierra Nevada? Upon further research, however, I learned that Gose style ales are traditionally brewed at no more than a 4.8% abv. I’ll chalk one up for tradition, I suppose.
Now for the tasting. Otra Vez is very clearly void of any distinct hoppy flavor that you might expect from an established craft brewery such as Sierra Nevada. Instead, what you taste is a powerful tartness, that is balanced out by the refreshing, citrus notes. This almost borders on a mild sour for me, and reminded me of a hefe with the lemon already squeezed into it. It closes out with a slightly sweet finish, making for quite a multi-dimensional beer for being so light (in color, depth and alcohol content).I did not taste the cactus as much as I would’ve liked, but was definitely pleased by the presence of grapefruit.
This is a nice beer to bring with you to a BBQ and switch up the monotony of the usual party beers (see Bud, Coors and aforementioned Mexican lagers), and deserves a spot in the summertime beer rotation for sure. I, personally, will hold off until the summertime to purchase another 6-er of Otra Vez.