Before you start trying to read this article lets make sure you know how to say Gose correctly. Gose is pronounced GO-zuh, and now that that's out of the way, lets get started on what this German beer style actually is. According to the German Beer Institute, Gose is a 1000-year-old style that originated in Saxony, Germany, near the Gose River and town of Goslar.
Prior to 2017, this spontaneously top fermented wheat beer was in the category of German style sour ale. The beer has since been recognized as its own category in the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), which is an annual competition in Denver, Colorado that focuses on almost 100 beer style categories and the public tasting of over 4000 beers.
Of all the ingredients that go into making a Gose, salt is probably the quirkiest, but there are many other components as well. First, lets clarify where the salty character trait stems from in a Gose. Nowadays the salinity is added into the beer, but originally, the saltiness naturally came from Goslar’s mineral rich aquifers.
The next big portion of a Gose is made up of at least half malted wheat, which is common for German wheat beers, but is unlike most beers that typically use malted barely. When it comes to fermenting, the most commonly used Gose yeast is German Ale yeast, and to give the typical shot of sourness, lactobacillus bacteria is used in the fermentation process as well. The Gose hop character is very minimal, sometimes even undetectable. However, coriander is added to the mix, which provided the main spicy and lemony flavors found in good Gose beers.
Brewers have taken liberties with the ingredients, varying saltiness, sourness, spiciness, and hoppiness. The beer has since been made into a Gose sour beer, a Gose IPA, a dry hopped Gose, and many more great Gose style ales.
Americans have taken a liking to Gose, and have begun crafting their own Gose beer styles. American Gose beer uses a kettle-souring process, and flavors most of their brews with fruit. Some of America's top Gose beers are: Sierra Nevada's Otra Vez, containing grapefruit; Long Trail Brewery's Cranberry Gose; and Anderson Valley Brewing's blood orange, and watermelon Gose.
As a light bodied ale, the Gose ABV is typically under 4%, which makes it very sessionable, and enjoyable on a hot summer day. Germany's salty coriander Gose ale should be served in a tulip, stange, or chalice glass, with most people commending the chalice as the best glass for Gose beer. This category is on the rise, so if you happen to see one, give it a try, and embrace the unique, tart, tangy, salty style.
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