Summer and wheat beers pretty much go hand in hand. The reliably citrus and floral taste of a good wheat beer such as Hefeweizen are perfect for a hot day at the beach or an evening barbecue. A unique wheat beer from Germany that’s recently found its way into stores such as Liquor Barn is Gose (pronounced like the word “goes”). If you’ve never heard of it, now’s the time to learn!
Gose is a beer that originated in the German city of Goslar, Lower Saxony. It was first brewed in the early 16th century. This tart wheat ale is brewed with a minimum of 50% malted wheat. The other half is open to interpretation. Commonly, it is brewed with coriander and salt, with the subtle salinity balancing out an acidic bite. A major factor in the sourness of Gose is method used for brewing it. Casks of the beer are left open to allow active yeast to escape as well as mingle with natural bacteria in the air. Once that phase of fermentation is achieved, bottling happens. But it’s not a normal process. Top fermentation, where a plug of yeast is stopped into the top of freshly-bottled Gose, allows the beer to continue producing more and more alcohol.
Normally, Gose is brewed with fruit of some sort. This varies depending on the place where it’s made: everything from grapes to peaches to grapefruits and lemons can be brewed with Gose. Typically though, it’s a summer fruit that predominates.Gose is fairly unhopped, with the focus on the maltiness and acidic, fruity character.
When you pour a Gose, you should expect a medium frothy head, with a semi-filtered body that is only partly translucent. Since fruit is such an integral part of brewing this beer, the color of Gose is usually one of the most delightful parts of drinking it. The color spectrum is anywhere between amber-pink and a dark burnt orange depending on the type of fruit.
Sounds like a delicious beer, right? Crazy as it sounds, it went out of popularity after WWII. Only in the mid-1980s did a brewery in East Berlin start making it again, and now you can find breweries all over Europe and the USA that make this delicious beer.