One of the great things about the craft beer revolution is the many styles of beer that have been saved from obscurity—if not outright extinction—by creative brewers looking for the next “Big Thing.”
One style that’s popped up in recent years has been the gose (pronounced goes-uh). This salted, sour wheat ale originated in Leipzig, Germany, where it was ubiquitous in the city’s many Gosenschänken (gose taverns) during the 18th and 19th Century.
The beer developed its distinctive flavour, it is said, due to the high salt content in the local water. It was also flavoured with coriander, similar to the wheat ales of neighbouring Belgium.
Like so many regional European beer styles, the gose (pronounced goes-uh) was nearly wiped out due to world wars and the growing dominance of lager beers. By the 1970s there was literally no one anywhere on Earth brewing a commercial version of the beer. Thankfully, the style was revived in the 1980s by historically-minded East German brewers. Once the wall came down, American craft brewers slowly discovered this unique beer.
Lots of local craft breweries here in B.C. have tried their hands at a gose (did I mention it’s pronounced goes-uh?) in the past five years, often adding fruit or different spices to the mix, or going crazy with the acidity. But if you’re looking to dip your toe into this style, Fernie Brewing’s First Ascent Gose is a good place to start.
This well-rounded and well-balanced gose is a great take at the traditional origins of the style. The soft wheat character and minerality are contrasted by a restrained acidity. The coriander and citrus notes are present but not overpowering. The result is refreshing and endlessly drinkable—a great beginner sour ale for anyone intimidated by tart, acidic beers.
First Ascent Gose by Fernie Brewing (4.5% ABV, 10 IBU)
Appearance: Deep gold, translucent with a healthy but fleeting white head.
Aroma: Slightly sour, briny, bready, coriander.
Flavour: Tart, citrus, coriander, bready malt character, wheat, spice, refreshing.
Finish: Light bodied with a tart, minerally, dry finish.
Pairs with: Halibut tacos with mango salsa, grilled spicy pork sausages and correct pronunciation.
- The Fall 2018 issue of The Growler is out now! You can find B.C.’s favourite craft beer guide at your local brewery, select private liquor stores, and on newsstands across the province.