Barb Attacks | Dutchbag Beer Co.
I think it has finally happened. Summer may just have arrived in Chicago. At least the temperatures did! For me that means putting away the barrel-aged things and reaching for something light, flavorful, and refreshing. (Not that I still won’t reach for those barrel-aged things; it will just be less frequent.) Things like goses, lagers, and pale ales. Let’s get this new season started with Barb Attacks, a double gose courtesy of Dutchbag Brew Company!
We’ve had Dutchbag on the show a few times now, most recently on our Bocks of Spring show. They brew out of the Duneyrr space right now after leaving Pilot Project. Their stuff usually hits the mark, but the beer that stands out for me is their Summer Kings, a double gose with strawberries. A nice, simple, refreshing beer with a nice punch of strawberry tartness, Summer Kings looks like Dutchbag’s flagship. Obviously that double gose recipe works, so they brought it back for Barb Attacks. But this time they added much more than strawberry; Barb Attacks uses lemon balm, kiwi, and rhubarb.
Barb Attacks pours a very pale golden color. It never gets to the saison-level of straw color but it does remind me of what a gose should look like. A boisterous finger and a half of white head forms then slowly goes away. Light gets through it, but I can’t see my finger clearly through the other side. It could be the chill haze effect.
The nose flavors certainly match at least some of the ingredients in Barb Attacks. Lemon attacks first and most fiercely, followed by a big hit of salinity. A possible hint of tart kiwi whafts in but that might be can persuasion. Rhubarb does not show up at all. Some cereal grain/THP joins the mix but nothing too overwhelming. Nothing too complicated going on here, but that’s what you’re hoping for in a beer like this!
Things kind of switch places on the palate. Kiwi stars here, providing a lovely tartness that never goes so far. Lemon shifts to a supporting role, providing a nice spritz of tart undercurrent. Barb Attacks finishes dry like a gose should but never to the point of needing a chug of water after each sip. As a double gose at 6.4% ABV, some of the alcohol heft for this style shows up in the finish but again never so much as to prohibit finishing the can.
Rhubarb never really shows up on the palate either in Barb Attacks. Maybe it contributes to a fuller mouthfeel? It’s in the beer, but I have no idea what if it’s doing anything. The beer moves across the palate fast and doesn’t linger too much, leaving only some tartness behind. Despite some of the booze showing up at the finish, you’ll still crush this can in no time flat.
Barb Attacks does what it sets out to do – a refreshing gose with some nice fruit flavors. It doesn’t do anything flashy or overfruited; it stays drinkable. There might be a little booze burn on the end, but it’s manageable and fine. The fruit supports the base double gose nicely and doesn’t overpower things. Barb Attacks is a perfect fine and competent beer.
Unless you’re having an outdoor party in the summer. Barb Attacks is the definition of a cooler beer. A refreshing and slightly tart beer that doesn’t hang around too long on the tongue? Sign me up. Barb Attacks comes off as a fancy, boozy kiwi-lemonade style beer. It’s not breaking any new ground or knocking it out of the park with new flavor combinations. But hot damn, if there’s a cooler full of this at a party over the summer, I’ll be grabbing my fair share.