Our latest Fork Brewing drop is the fun and fruity summer release, Cherry 2000 5% Cinnamon & Cherry Gose, a tart and fruity drop with a light, salty tang on the back palate, finishing with the faintest hint of cinnamon spice.
Kelly has been tinkering about with Goses as a style since early this year – in fact, 2016 was the first year he ever brewed a Gose. (If we’re keeping on theme here, you could say 2016 is the year he popped his Gose cherry.)
The name of this Gose is an homage to the sexy sci-fi flick, Cherry 2000, starring Melanie Griffith. (Remember it? No? Here, have a scout on the Interwebs.)
But the inspiration for Cherry 2000 as a beer style comes from somewhere a little more, er, innocent?
“When I was young, a range of dolls came out called Cherry Merry Muffin. My little secret was that whenever I went to a toy shop, I’d sniff them,” says Kelly, quite virtuously.
“I’d sniffed my way through the earlier Strawberry Shortcake range, and – I’ll be honest – the boys’ equivalent, Breath Blasters. They smelt like vomit, morning breath, and worse. My early scent-loving self definitely preferred the girls’ toys to the boys’ ones!”
Thankfully, Kel’s childhood predilection for smelling fruit-scented dolls tied into his adulthood predilection for remembering theme songs and jingles.
“About six months ago, the Cherry Merry Muffin song popped into my head. I love cherries and I love them in beer, with Boon Kriek being a long-standing favourite,” he says.
“I love the intensity of their flavour, how their macerated pits can exude all sorts of almondesque delights, and how in a good Kriek you get this almost, spicy, cinnamon-like character.”
So with these two thoughts in mind, along with the ghost of that jingle, he put together a brew plan.
“I’d brewed my first Gose a while back [Little Forker small batch brew, Bem & Gose] and laced it with pureed mangoes to good effect. Following that, I attempted a classic Gose using Coriander seeds and sea water, for Puns ‘n’ Goses,” he says.
“I’ve been really impressed with how this beer has gone at Fork & Brewer. The idea was to do a quarterly seasonal series of Gose-style beers, and the summer edition is this one!”
Cherry 2000 is a 5% Gose brewed with salt and cinnamon quills and fermented with sour cherry juice that Kelly sourced from Germany. Weighing in at 5%, it is superbly refreshing. A little fruit is apparent on the nose and as the Gose warms slightly, the subtle cinnamon comes through.
“I like using ingredients like spices to act as a bridge,” says Kelly.
“In this case, the cinnamon acts as an aromatic connector between the cherry aroma and the yeast-derived aromatics – the warming, alcoholic spice, in particular.
“I like aiming to get these characters just on flavour threshold so as to give other dimensions to the beer without being too overpowering.
“This works really well in Cherry 2000. It’s super-clean, thanks to some great American Ale yeast I got from the ParrotDog crew, and used for the ferment.
“I’m also amazed at the clarity of this beer, especially as I didn’t even filter it! There must be something in the juice, maybe polyphenol related, that has really helped this yeast flocculate.
“I’ve noticed this lately in a few of my beers that have used fruit… Maybe I should just use fruit in every beer? Though, I think Neil Miller would definitely have something to say about that.”
Kelly went quite subtle in his use of salt in this Gose.
“I don’t want someone to feel like they’ve sculled a glass of electolyte drink, but the cool thing about the ions from this mineral is that they add a little palate fullness to the beer,” he says.
“You get this tiny hint of saltiness that boosts drinkability and you also get enough palate weight so that you know you’re drinking a beer, not a soda.”
Kelly says sometimes people try fruited beers like this and struggle to find the malt, but doesn’t think people will have this issue with Cherry 2000.
“It’s brewed with around 42% Wheat malt, 42% Pilsener malt, and the remainder is a combination of Rye malt and Acidulated malt.
“You get a little biscuity malt character in this beer from the wheat. I liken it to a water cracker biscuit, but the key is to allow it to be as clean as possible and to let the hint of cherry be detectable.
“It’s a challenge to get this balance correct and the Lactobacillus that I use for the souring does tend to accentuate some of these flavours, but I’m pretty happy with the result!”
And because this is such a fun beer, here’s a few fun stats about the massive number of cherries that are jam-packed into each pint of Cherry 2000:
– About 150kg of sour cherries were squished to make the juice that was used in this 1,100 litre batch.
– An average sour cherry is a little smaller than a sweet one; pitted, they weigh around three grams per cherry.
– This means about 50,000 cherries were used per batch of Cherry 2000!!!
– That’s around 45 cherries per litre of beer or 20 cherries per glass here at Fork.
“I have a weird feeling that this is going to go really well for us over summer. I better brew another batch!” says Kelly.
Summer fun in a glass… How do you like them cherries?
Cherry 2000 Cinnamon & Cherry Gose Tasting Notes
Taste: Tart and fruity with a light salty tang on the back palate; finishes with the faintest hint of cinnamon spice.
Aroma: Cherries!! And cinnamon.
Look: Dazzling lipstick red, and bright as a button.
Hops: Aged Falconer’s Flight
Malt: Wheat, Rye, Pilsener and Sour Grapes.
Yeast: American Ale Yeast – thanks, ParrotDog!
Other: Salt, sour cherry juice and cinnamon quills