What is a Gose?

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First Posted: 1/19/2015

Brief History — Pronounced “Goes-ah” the Gose style was first brewed in the early 16th century in the town of Goslar, from which its name derives. It became so popular in Leipzig that local breweries started to make it themselves. By the end of the 1800s, it was considered to be the local style of Leipzig. The style fell in and out of favor over time and around World War II it disappeared a few times from the brewing scene, and again in the late ’80s. However the style has been growing in popularity in recent years with more craft brewers turning their hands to the style with great results.

Standard Characteristics — Gose is an unfiltered wheat beer made with 50 to 60 percent malted wheat, which creates a cloudy yellow color and provides a refreshing crispness and twang. A Gose will have low hop bitterness with dryness and spice from the use of ground coriander seeds and a sharpness from the addition of salt. Gose will sometimes be laced with various flavored and colored syrups. This is to balance out the lactic acid that is added to the boil.

Nose — The aroma will have hints of tartness, salt and sweet wheat malts. The aroma will be effervescent and rejuvenating and, depending on the brewers choice of ingredients, may have a wide array of different fruit aromatics.

Body — A thin to medium-thin body is typical for the style as many tend to be lower in ABV. This thin body aids in the refreshing character of the beer with strong carbonation being made present on the pale.

Taste — The taste is invigorating with slight sour tart notes balanced against sweet wheat malts and touches of salt. The salt is not overwhelming and instead plays more of a balancing act against the tart character of the beer.

Food Pairing — Gose beers are perfect when paired with any number of seafood dishes due to the hints of salt and tart notes. Spicy foods, especially those of Thai origin also make for an excellent pairing.

Recommendations — The Gose style is one that may not appeal to everyone right away, but it is a style whose resurgence in popularity is bringing many wonderful interpretations to this historic style. These new interpretations are seemingly more approachable for many craft beer novices. It is a style that craft beer experts and novices can enjoy side by side quite easily.