Well before the high octane beers of the past twenty years, before the nascent rise of 1970’s US craft brewing, even before some of the classic European beers were first brewed, a tiny region in central Germany was brewing a beer style that would challenge the modern beer revolution.
Pronounced ‘Go-zuh’, this style is typically brewed with yeast, lactic bacteria and salt which creates a beer that some say taste like sweat. This unappealing flavour reference has cautioned others to say that Craft beer is dead.
My interest started late last year though a growing amount of international press on the style. Finally, at GABS this year, I was able to try Boatrocker Brewing’s brilliantly named ‘I ain’t afraid of no Gose’.
On tasting I wondered why a beer that has been extinct up until the end of the Second World War now seemed to be so polarising.
Sure it was a little sour and salty but it definitely wasn’t the worst beer I’ve ever drunk. The light Coriander flavour added freshness to the balance and I could see how it would be an excellent Summer thirst quencher.
That beer box ticked, I thought that would be the end of chasing Gose.
A few months on, two new interpretations of the style have caused a minor revisit.
Firstly, New Zealand brewery Kererū released a salty seaweed ale called ‘Karengose’. Coming in at 4.0% ABV, this beer delivered a similar salty, slightly sour with citrus refreshment but with a umami note that was probably derived from the seaweed adjunct.
Within a couple of weeks of this US brewery, the Anderson Valley Brewing Co.’s version arrived on Australian shelves. This was the beer that many international drinkers were commenting on and I was very keen to try it.
‘The Kimmie, the Yink and the Holy Gose’ Ale was released as part of the brewery’s Session Series. Again the tangy balance of salt, citrus edge and light lactic sourness kept pulling me in for another sip. Sure, it’s quirky but but I could definitely get through a few of these on a hot summers day.
This style will not be for everyone but with an open mind this could easily be in many fridges this Summer.