5/30/19: Urban Artifact's Salted Rye Gose

3:59 PM

It's odd to me that this is only the second Urban Artifact post to grace the blog. I'm a big fan of the brewery and their take on sours (especially their own addition to the beer style canon: the Midwest Fruit Tart). I was a huge fan of their Milkman (I rang 2018 in with it), but it seems like I'm the only fan that beer had--it's since become a sad punchline in the Cincinnati beer scene.

Can't even take a beer picture without the kitten ruining it.
Today, I'm reviewing something special. No, it's not a Midwest Fruit Tart, although I promise I'll get to one eventually. Instead, we have latest release in the brewery's Epicurean line: the retail-only Salted Rye Gose.

But first, before we get into the beer, let's look at Urban Artifact's About page, because it's been so long. The brewery opened in an old church back in 2015. Since then, they've hosted plenty of musical acts and have brewed a ton of wild ales since. What's a wild ale? It's an ale brewed with a locally caught, wild bacteria and/or yeast strain. And oh yeah, and most of their beers are sour, tart, and fruity.

Salted Rye Gose doesn't have a spot on UA's website, but there is this Facebook post announcing the beer. It has rye, caraway, salt, and sesame, bringing to mind a Jewish delicatessen. My can mirrors those sentiments, but also mentions poppy seeds and showcases the gose's 6.8% ABV. The label art features a deli counter so, you know, I'm all here for this.

There's not much at play in the ale's bouquet. I get pickle, a little saltiness, and some of the sesame and caraway. It's the most deli-aromaed beer I've ever encountered (granted, this is the only deli-aromaed beer I've encountered, so take that statement as you will), but it's not as over-the-top as I was expecting. Purrl gave my can twelve whiffs, meaning she's as here for this gose as I am.

The flavor, though. The flavor is everything I want and more. It's salty, it's pickley, it's cheesy (but not in a gross way), it's rye, it's peppery, it's mustardy, it's like seasoned deli meat. This is off-the-wall and exactly as over-the-top as I'd wanted it to be. It's like lunch, but in a delicious liquid form. I'm flabbergasted that Urban Artifact actually managed to nail the flavors they promised with that Facebook post (linked above). There's also even a slight sourness to the whole affair. You've done a fantastic job, guys at Urban Artifact!

Salted Rye's mouthfeel is exactly what you want from a gose: bright and crisp, with a healthy amount of bubbly carbonation.

I'm pretty sure that I've talked about my deli experience around these parts. Just in case: the summer between my bachelor's and master's at Ohio University, I worked at our local chain grocer as a deli clerk. Sure, the job sucked. Yeah, there was a lady who got mad at me for being unable to slice her liverwurst paper-thin. Definitely, there were people who I worked with who just got so fed up at the job and it's demands that they quit on the spot. What I'm trying to say is it was most decidedly not a small and charming jewish delicatessen.

It was, regardless, an experience I'm glad to have. Not only did it teach me how to exercise good customer service, it exposed me to a bunch of different meats and cheeses that I had never before been exposed to. Prosciutto, the thinly sliced cured ham? I'd've never had it were it not for that job. Sandwich-sliced smoked gouda, with its mouth-wateringly savory flavor? Yeah, that was a big find for me. I bring this up because Salted Rye reminds me of all those phenomenally delicious deli discoveries I made that summer.

There's a lot I don't know about Urban Artifact's Salted Rye Gose. I don't know the exact stores that carry it. I don't know how wide its distribution range is. I have no clue how long it'll be around. But I do know that it is unlike anything I've ever found before through beer. I know that it's something everyone should at least try. I'm giving it a 10/10 and, if I could, I'd give it a higher score.

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