A decade or so ago, wheat beers with fruit were summer beer royalty. Blue Moon with a slice of orange, all the berry-flavored shandies, etc. Then they became the butt of jokes as all-hops-everything took over; real beer gets its fruit flavor from hops, not from fruit, bros would condescendingly explain at backyard barbecues while you fantasized about slapping their faces with a chili dog. Theirs is a junk argument and anyone who tells you not to like fruit beers if you like fruit beers can report directly to me for a generous finger-wagging.
What’s redeemed the maligned fruited wheat beers in the eyes of beer geeks are fruited goses. I suspect even beer snobs like fruited wheat beers all along and just didn’t want to admit it. Cowards! Anyway, gose—pronounced go-zuh—is a traditional German style that American craft brewers unearthed and reimagined to great commercial success. These wheat beers’ flavor hallmark is that they’re lightly tart and ever-so-slightly salty. (Some breweries take the salt thing much too far; a gose’s salinity should be barely perceptible, not a main flavor.) The beer’s inherently bright lemon base makes it an excellent candidate for fruit additions like watermelon, cherry, and peach.
Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist in particular has found a big summertime hit with its Peach Dodo gose, which it’s brewed since 2015. The beer’s yeast strain produces lactic acid, giving this beer a lemon-custard tartness that stops well short of sour. The peach sweetness helps round out the sip, which is refreshing in the same way a margarita is on a hot day, but with less of a punch. Peach Dodo is just 4.4% alcohol, a thirst-busting little number that delivers clean, sweet-tart flavor and just the right delicate salinity. I swear you can taste the sunshine in this can.
Where to get it
Rhinegeist Peach Dodo is available May through September across Ohio; Kentucky; Indiana; Massachusetts; and in Pittsburgh and Nashville.
Have a beer you think should we should consider for inclusion in an upcoming Beer Of The Week column? Email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.