In 2004, fans of Cigar City Brewery discovered their next obsession: Margarita Gose. The Tampa-based company concocted the small-batch brew to celebrate its fifth birthday and fans went nuts, quickly giving the tart ale a cult following.
The beer went through several limited draft and package releases over the next 15 years, but now it's widely available and ready to be enjoyed in Texas.
Here's the rundown on this refreshing beer:
Brewed with lime, orange, and salt, Margarita Gose is a low-alcohol (4.2 percent ABV), effervescent beer. Its flavor profile offers a soft, approachable tartness rather than a sharp, sour flavor, with aromas of ripe limes, lemon zest, and Valencia orange.
The Margarita Gose can art is a definite nod to the margarita cocktail; not only does the tonal, traditional line art include the margarita glass, salt shaker, and lime, but the light pink and green serve as a reminder that this is a tart, refreshing beer and embraces Cigar City's endless summer culture.
Cigar City Brewing, makers of Jai Alai IPA and Hunahpu's Imperial Stout, was founded in 2009 by Joey Redner with the goal of creating world-class beer that reflected the flavors and history of the Tampa Bay region. This unique approach has resonated with local and national markets, and the brewery has grown to produce over 140,000 barrels of beer annually. Accolades have poured in since the brewery's inception, including six appearances on ratebeer.com's Top 10 Breweries Worldwide. Cigar City Brewing is a key partner in CANarchy, a craft brewing collective that represents the largest canned craft beer supplier in the country.
Using a traditional kettle souring method of pitching lactobacillus to produce the beer's characteristic acidity, early batches of Margarita Gose would take upwards of three days longer to produce than most other Cigar City Brewing brands, and restricted the ability of CCB's brewers to brew large batches of the beer. Beginning in early 2019, CCB's brewmaster, Wayne Wambles, and production team began experimenting with a newly developed yeast, rather than lactobacillus, to produce the beer's acidity, without the need for the time- and resource-intensive kettle souring process.
"Experimentation with this yeast strain has been a game changer for Cigar City Brewing," says Wambles. "The clean sourness that this yeast strain provides is a perfect complement to the vibrant citrus character of Margarita Gose."
Next year, CCB is releasing a Paloma variation, and fans can't wait.