By now, many of you have probably had an oyster beer. Putting those mollusks into a batch of stout is becoming almost commonplace in the craft beer world and is not exactly considered weird anymore. Rightfully so, as they add a nice depth of character to a beer. Clams, however, have not found themselves a friendly and accepted place in the world of beer. While great with butter or in Italian food, their initial foray into craft beer has been less than pleasant, appearing in the AB portfolio as Budweiser Chelada. But do people really want to drink a clammy beer?
Known for putting out their unusual Pilot system series of beers, New Jersey based Carton Brewing Company decided to pay homage to the local clamming community. Carton Digger Ale, is their unique take on the gose style. The local fishing community is mostly comprised of clamming, so in tribute to that, their gose is brewed with fresh little neck clams sourced from the same bay that the brewery calls home. To balance out the clam, they also added lemongrass to what is otherwise a pretty straightforward gose recipe. The hop portfolio is compromised of Apollo and Summit on the bittering end and Green Bullet and Sorachi Ace for aromatics.
The result is a very drinkable (and non-clammy tasting), traditional, low ABV gose. It may seem a bit weird, but when you get past that there are clams in the beer, you really have an ideal beer for drinking on the Jersey Shore. Unfortunately, it’s a limited offering, as it’s part of their series of monthly releases brewed on the pilot system and draft only, so it won’t be the easiest to find.