If you recall the scene in Oceans 11 where Don Cheadle’s character sets off an electromagnetic pulse in the back of a Vegas van to make the power go out, this is exactly what I thought seeing how Gunwhale Ales makes beer. Beer is brewed at an Anaheim brewhouse, pumped into an EMP-compliant stainless steel vessel in the back of a van, then trucked over to their Costa Mesa location where it’s fermented, packaged, and served.
Turns out, the beer they make is just as lights out as an EMP device, and when I cracked their first farmhouse beer release called Mission Statement, I damn near covered my crotch while opening the bottle…Cheadle-style.
Mission Statement is a love letter to French oak and peaches. The beer looks like peach-juice from foggy fruit pectins…the head dissipating into thin air as its poured. On the nose is a two-lane street of oaky-vanilla and fuzzy peach skin with bits of tropical funk from the Brettanomyces yeast. When sipped, more peaches hit your face, which finishes dry, fruity, and just a kiss of tart on the finish. It’s kind of like a peach beermosa.
The beer was produced shortly after opening and aged in red wine barrels nearly eighteen months before being bottled and conditioned. As fruit in beer tends to fade over time, this beer is juicy and ready to be picked up and enjoyed now. Stop by their Costa Mesa tasting room and pick up a bottle for $14!
Gunwhale Ales is at 2960 Randolph Ave A, Costa Mesa, (949) 239-9074; gunwhaleales.com
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest.