A gigantic bear with antlers greeted me at Anderson Valley Brewing Company, a legendary Boonville brewery that dates to 1987. Nobody else was alarmed by this seemingly impossible beast, which stood 10 feet tall. My beertender revealed, “Deer and a bear make a beer,” which explains the appearance from life-like take on the company’s logo. Anderson Valley Brewing Company still makes some of California’s best beers, even after almost three decades in business. Better yet, they operate using 40% solar power. I sidled up to their tasting room’s copper bar and ordered three beers on the savory end of the spectrum, including Featherleggy Sour Stout, Barrel Aged GT Gose, and my favorite, Briney Melon Gose.
Briney Melon Gose registers 4.2% ABV and delivers a balanced, refreshing, summery beer. Coriander and salt help accentuate the sweetness of the beer’s watermelon puree. This is undoubtedly a take on gose you would never see in at the source of the style – Goslar – and that no holds barred mentality is one of the reasons I love California craft beer.