“Now that's marketing!” A friend once told me this when he spied a bottle of Simpatico beer on my Great Wall of Beer. The sleek black painted bottle ornately festooned with gold trim and labeling certainly was an eye catcher, even if the beer inside the bottle wasn’t much out of the ordinary for the time.
Now, history seems to be repeating itself with Emergency Drinking Beer from the Wild Heaven Brewery of Avondale Estates, Georgia. A recent trip to Bullock’s liquor store in Woodstock yielded me a six-pack when the brightly colored yellow cans with plain bold face lettering stating this was “Emergency Drinking Beer” caught my attention. That’s what marketing is all about isn’t it? Getting you to buy?
Of course, that only works once for most people. The product itself has to be worth buying to get your repeat business. Seeing that the beer was made by Wild Heaven on the cans cemented my resolve to buy the beer, and before we go any further, I’ll add that I have never been let down by this brewery. Until now.
Wild Heaven says this about the beer on their website:
A one-of-a-kind session beer reminiscent of a crisp pilsner married with a traditional gose. Brightness and complexity come from additions of citrus zest, Portuguese sea salt and lemongrass.
Wild Heaven Emergency Drinking Beer has an alcohol content of 4% by volume with 10 IBUs. They call this a “Pils-style Session Ale”, whatever that is. It’s packaged for Wild Heaven by Toucan Mobile Canning. The only thing it has in common with a Gose in my opinion is the salt. I would style this as a blonde ale, at least that’s thye4 closest I can get to it.
Wild Heaven Emergency Drinking Beer pours to a pale golden color with a medium sized but short-lived spritzy head and a strikingly salty nose. Taking a sip, the beer has a soft crisp maltiness up front reminiscent of a watery pilsner brew. There’s a hint of lemon citrusy zest, but only a hint, and in the finish the saltiness is probably the only redeeming feature of this beer. It’s not enough to save it. It tries to be a pilsner and a gose at the same time, but really is neither, and does not have enough flavor for me. Keeping it real: If I want bland boring beer I’ll buy Bud and save $4 a six-pack.
Wild Heaven, don’t take offense for my honest craft beer review, but I think if you take a bland almost macro lager, make it an ale, add some salt, call it a pilsner-Gose fusion and package with a catchy name you’ll have...a foaming glass of disappointment. Wild Heaven Emergency Drinking Beer doesn’t taste bad, it just doesn’t really taste at all. And I feel ill-used for paying $9.99 for that.
Update 7/28/2016: Hey Look! I'm drinking Wild Heaven Emergency Drinking Beer again! Ya better come pound me! I know I said I probably wouldn't buy it again, and now that I have, it's still underwhelming flavorwise. It's not at all what I would call a gose. But...hey, Wild Heaven is the featured beer of the month, and I got a neat Wise Blood IPA glass with it, and it served well enough to wash down some delicious Chili Sesame Wings. Too highly priced at $6.50 if the glass didn't come with it.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.