Thursday, April 16, 2015

So It Gose

If you would have told me five years ago that you could take your pick among Gose-style beers in Oshkosh I wouldn’t have believed you. Until very recently Gose (pronounced Go-zuh) was a style of beer virtually impossible to get your hands on around here unless you brewed it yourself. How that has changed. Today, there’s Gose popping up all over town.

Gose is a German style of wheat ale that dates back to at least the early 1700s. Pale and tart and sometimes outright sour, a Gose is usually spiced with coriander and salt. It’s typically low in alcohol and exceedingly refreshing.

The style was popular in Germany into the early 1900s, but by the late 1960s, Gose had all but vanished. The beer’s slow return began in the mid-1980s in Berlin, but it wasn’t until American craft brewers latched onto Gose in recent years that the style was truly revived.

Here’s a great example of an American craft brewers idiosyncratic take on an idiosyncratic beer.

When The Light Gose Out
This Gose is a collaboration brew dreamed up by England’s Siren Brewery and Stillwater Artisanal Brewing of Baltimore. They’ve played roughly with the basic Gose framework for this beer. Instead of it being straw colored, it’s black. And I mean pitch black with a lively brown foam that would look more appropriate on a Stout. And instead of coriander, they went with hibiscus flowers and then used volcanic black salt for the brine. The tart fruit and toasted malt scents that come up in the aroma reminded me strongly of some Flanders Red Ales I’ve tried. The flavor is bright and tart with sour cherries and green apples coming to mind. There’s a decent amount of toasted malt flavor here, as well, lending the beer a pie-like aspect as the malt notes blend with those tart fruit flavors. It’s a light-bodied, effervescent beer that slides down effortlessly. A slight twang of salt in the finish makes it wonderfully quenching. At just 4.3% ABV you could drink this stuff all day. The only place around town where I’ve seen When The Light Gose Out is at Gardina’s where I picked up a 17-ounce bottle for $10.00.

More Gose
Here are a few other Gose beers recently spotted around Oshkosh that are worth tucking into.

California’s Anderson Valley Brewing has put out a series of Gose’s recently that have found their way to Oshkosh. Their Blood Orange Gose and The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose hue closer to the style than the Stillwater beer and are worth seeking out.  Both these beers are 4.2% ABV. I’ve seen Anderson Valley brewed Gose at Ski’s where they sell them in six packs of cans. Dublin’s currently has The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose on draft. I had one yesterday. It was fantastic!

Schell's Goosetown Gose is another excellent example of Gose. This one leans a bit heavier on the salt and features a zesty lemon flavor that makes it ridiculously drinkable. Beats the hell out of a Shandy. This is often available at Festival in Oshkosh. At 5.2% ABV, it carries a bit more heft than the average Gose.

If you’ve yet to try a Gose, this would be a good weekend to indulge. It’s the sort of beer that goes just right with spring yard work. Prost!

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