Where Available: Gordon Biersch, 200 E. Middle Lane, Rockville
Acid Trip: I’ve long neglected Gordon Biersch, as I do with most chain breweries who seem to sell more potato skins than IPAs. But when I tried this beer at District Chophouse’s recent Cask Night event, I could see that brewmaster Kevin Blodger was making the most of his tight leeway for creativity. He’s revived Gose, a nearly extinct German style of lactic wheat beer spiced with coriander and brewed with—wait for it—salt water. His version is bracingly sour, with a saline twang you’d find in Gatorade or Vietnamese lemonade. Thankfully, it’s now available in a king-sized mug. So pucker up!
Loose Chains: Gordon Biersch gives its brewers some flexibility, but the beers they make must be German-style (sorry, no IPAs). Brewing at the Chicago location last year, Blodger suggested entering a gose into the Great American Beer Festival as a joke, but the execs loved it. Now he’s brought his recipe to Rockville, where he says it’s a crowd-pleaser despite its relative obscurity. Maybe us beer geeks aren’t so weird, after all.