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Jim Koebel's picture

Judge's Review: 90 Rating - Gear Me by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co.

April, 2023

Gear Me

Gear Me

United States
Gear Me, Gnarly Barley Brewing

An exceptionally sessionable American Light Lager brewed with pale malts and flaked rice for a light body and refreshing snap. Incredibly smooth and drinkable, coming in at 4% it’s a real day drinker.

Beverage Profile
Two-Row, Flaked Rice



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Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Gear Me by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. is being judged as a BJCP Category 1A American Light Lager. As I've probably written before, from a beer judge's perspective, an American Light Lager is more about what isn't there versus what is. In other words, these little ones are so delicate they can't mask any flaws. A Belgian dubbel might be able to smother an errant yeast characteristic with its malt richness, but the same flaw would ruin a light lager. Another feature is their neutrality; light lagers let you taste your burger or chicken wings but do not become a feature of the meal. 

This beer has a bright, husky aroma that is mildly sweet. As is often the case with light lagers, the CO2 being expelled from the foam is also an aroma component. It pours with a full, tall, white head that dissipates quickly into just a trace. Otherwise, it's harvest gold in color and crystal clear. Typical of style, the grainy flavors here are mild but clean. It is lightly bitter and well attenuated, with a crispness that suggests an adjunct addition (but I can't be sure!). This beer has a medium-light body and moderately high carbonation. Overall, it's a lot like all the other good light lagers out there, but at least it comes in a 16-ounce can.