We first had this year’s incarnation of Mikey’s Backpack at the Colorado Brewers Rendezvous in Salida a few weekends ago, and being that this beer isn’t packaged, you won’t see any fancy bottle shots in this post. Don’t let that dissuade you from the sheer excellence that comes from ‘the backpack.’
Phantom Canyon brews Mikey’s Backpack as a Leipziger-style Gose (goes-uh). The history behind Gose goes back 1000 years. Gose is a top-fermented beer that is now associated with the German city of Leipzig in eastern Germany. Contrary to the German Beer Purity Law, gose is traditionally brewed with coriander.
Enough history, on to Phantom’s beer. Sticking true to tradition, the guys at Phantom use coriander and hops to spice the beer, as well as 1.5 pounds of sea salt to give it the required salinity. After a yeast and lactic bacteria fermentation, Mikey’s Backpack has that slight salt and sour twinge that makes it an easy drinker during these hot summer months.
Pouring a nice golden yellow color, the beer is cloudy with a nice pillow of white foam that lasts the entire time. While this isn’t as sour as some American takes on the style, some may still feel it in their cheeks. Compared to other Gose-style beers that have made their way into the local beer scene, this one drinks like a well-made wheat beer that has hints of sour and salt. Mikey’s Backpack may be the best way to wean your Blue Moon-loving friends away from macro beer while also being complex enough to satisfy any craft lover’s fussy antics.
If you haven’t checked out Phantom Canyon after their major remodel, use Mikey’s Backpack as a reason to drop in! They still have the incredible happy hour where all beer is $2.75 a pint, and with beers as good as this one, it’s a steal of a deal.