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Beer drinkers are always on the search for something new, something that can redefine their definition of a good beer. Recently, one sour beer has been making waves. You might have seen gose on the menu at some of your favorite establishments but didn’t want to order it because you don’t know how to pronounce it. Having recently come into the spotlight, gose beer is one style you don’t want to pass up.
But what is gose? How do you make it? And more importantly, how do you pronounce gose?
We’re going to answer those questions and others right now.
What is Gose Beer?
Unfiltered light wheat beer—that’s gose. In the past, gose was brewed with open-air vats for spontaneous fermentation, but these days warm-fermenting yeast is used. Lactobacillus bacteria is incorporated to give the beer it’s trademark sourness. Malted wheat, coriander, and yeast make this German beer a rule breaker of the Purity Laws, but being that it’s considered a specialty, German has made it an exception.
The History of Gose Beer
You’ll often hear gose called an oddity, due to its existence always being on the brink of oblivion and the way in which it’s made. Gose was first crafted along the River Gose in the German village of Goslar, which was originally founded during the 10th century. Goslar developed as more people arrived, attracted by the silver, copper, lead, zinc, and salt deposits throughout the area. This also meant that the groundwater was rich in minerals.
The German Beer Institute claims that the gose style of beer is around 1,000 years old. In the beginning, gose was brewed using the saline-rich waters of the river, giving a distinctly salty edge to an otherwise malty beer. Around the mid-1700s, gose-brewing migrated to Leipzig, and the style grew more and more popular.
However, the World Wars and Germany’s division ended up hindering the spread of gose, and it nearly became an extinct beer style. Thankfully, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, and the art of craft beer—and gose—was able to be practiced once again.
Seeing how interesting the history of Gose is, you should check out this in-depth (and comical) video:
How Do You Pronounce Gose?
Having learned a bit more about this black sheep of the beer family, let’s learn how to pronounce its name. Gose is, as you know by now, German. You can pronounce the word as if it rhymes with “Rosa,” meaning you put emphasis on the “oh.” Finish out the word with an “uh.”
So it sounds like “go-SUH” or “goes-UH.” Whichever is easier for you to remember. Alternatively, you can learn how to pronounce Gose from a pro:
So next time you go to the bar or the store in search of this beer, don’t ask for a “goose.” Say it’s real name!
Gose Style and Characteristics
The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Committee has outlined exactly what a gose should taste and look like. Unless you want the flavor, aroma, and color of gose to be kept a surprise until you get your hands on one, check out the profile below:
Since gose is unfiltered, you can expect a medium yellow or deep gold beer with slight haze. The carbonation is decent, and the head is composed of dense bubbles that last a long while.
Gose has a light and crisp mouthfeel that is made all the more refreshing by the carbonation.
The sourness that makes gose a gose should be tart but not too sharp. You will taste notes of grapefruit, lemon, and other stone fruits. The malt flavor is often light or moderate and lends a doughy quality to the brew. Hops are going to be hidden, faintly adding to the bitterness of the beer, while the salt does most of the work. The malt sweetness is balanced by acidity, which also makes this beer extremely refreshing.
One whiff of gose beer, and you’ll be thinking about fresh baked sourdough bread. You also get an aroma of apples, pears, and coriander. If you smell salt in the beer, it’s going to be refreshing, like smelling ocean air.
Looking for a way to enjoy gose with a meal? This sour beer goes well with seafood—crab, lobster, and grilled fish—as well as omelets, blueberries, arugula, and goat cheese.
Gose, pronounced goes-UH, is one of the most interesting beers when you consider its history and comeback. Low in ABV, wine-like tartness, and crispness, Gose is super appealing throughout the year. You should definitely pick up a few craft bottles of Gose and see how varied this sweet and salty beer can be!