Review: Founders Brewing Mas Agave
Drinking beer… but really wish you had a margarita? Well, the answer is here in the form of Founders’ Mas Agave, a hybrid margarita/beer if ever there was one. Allow them to describe: “We took an imperial gose brewed with agave, lime and sea salt and then aged it in tequila barrels for just the right amount of kick. Consider it a party in a bottle!”
Words almost fail me in trying to describe this beast of a beer. The palate kicks off more like a full-on sour than the typical gose, though the exceptional saltiness serves to cut through some of the heavy lime elements at the start. Developing on the palate, notes of pungent agave from the tequila barrel emerge alongside more citrus — the lime trading jabs with a more acidic and blunt lemon character later in the game — but a big mouthful of salt is never far away. There’s a malty character on the finish that at least nods toward the fact that there’s a beer in here somewhere.
I love margaritas as much as anyone (no salt, though), but I ultimately found that what Founders has put in the bottle here was just a bit too wild to get my arms around — an over-salted, over-limed monster that simply never refreshed and invigorated the palate the way every great beer ought to.
C+ / $11 per 750ml bottle / foundersbrewing.com