Gose: salty beer is trending

By on July 29, 2015

Those of us who grew up around hard working, blue collar grandfathers may remember something quite odd about those men who drank beers of yesteryear like Goebel, Schlitz, and Stroh’s. Salt. As a youngster, I remember sitting and watching a friend’s grandfather add salt to every draft he poured. In college a friend of mine did this in order to quickly diminish the head of his PBR, but I now realize the old school drinkers may have been in search of something a bit more than a foam reducer.

One of the hottest styles of beer being reintroduced into our beernacular is “gose.” Named after the Gose River in eastern Germany, the beer picked up a truly unique flavor from the saline water used in the brewing process. Driven to near extinction by World War II and The Cold War, gose — and all of its citrusy, salty goodness — is now making a comeback through creative craft brewers. The beer, not quite sour enough to melt the inside of your cheeks, presents a perfect, refreshing tartness and usually carries an invigorating effervescence.

I heard Bulls Head Public House had a gose on tap, so I quickly made my way in before the keg kicked. Sitting outside on a beautiful, sunny day, I knew immediately the gose will be my new go to style for summer. In my hand I had a 10-ounce pour of Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s (Boonville, Calif.) The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose — yes, that’s the name of the beer. I just ordered it by asking for the Anderson Valley gose (pronounced gose-uh). I won’t go into much detail about this specific brew; by press time it is likely to be gone. Don’t fret; Bulls Head Manager Carson Kegerreis assured me he would have Dock Street Brewing Company’s Sea Salt Gose on tap this week for thirsty readers.

Locally, Jeff Harless is developing a recipe for a gose at JoBoy’s Brew Pub and Jim Ament at Sturgis Haus Brewery is contemplating making a test batch in the future. (Speaking of Sturgis Haus, the operation is changing its focus by becoming a more beercentric taproom with new hours and a light menu.) Over in Downingtown, the folks at Victory Brewing Company introduced their Kirsch Gose earlier this year. The sour cherry, spring seasonal is available on draft and in 12 ounce bottles. Brewery representatives are not yet sure the gose will return next year, but said it is extremely popular. In Ardmore, Tired Hands Brewing Company (who make some awesome saisons) have been known to switch things up with a gose here and there; however, even though their Ghost gose met with great reviews, it hasn’t seen the light of day in several years.

The popularity of the scarcely known gose seems to be on the rise, so I expect to try my fair share here in the near future. Cheers!

Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s The Kimmie, The Yink & The Holy Gose is currently on tap at Bulls Head, but it won’t be there for long now that Michael Upton has discovered it. (Photo by Michael Upton)

Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s The Kimmie, The Yink & The Holy Gose is currently on tap at Bulls Head, but it won’t be there for long now that Michael Upton has discovered it. (Photo by Michael Upton)

Michael C. Upton works as a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure, covering subjects ranging from funk punk to fine wine. He invites your comments and suggestions at facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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