What is all the fuss about that salty, sour beer called Gose? Let’s examine what makes Gose beer so fascinating and what is a Gose beer. This unusual style began hundreds of years ago in Germany but today has admirers worldwide.
Gose is a wheat beer type with a hint of sourness that originated in Goslar, Germany, hundreds of years ago. It looks hazy because it is made with malted wheat and occasionally oats. Gose gets its distinct flavor from traditional flavorings like coriander and salt.
In this article, we will delve into the defining characteristics of Gose beer, exploring its distinctive flavor profile marked by a delightful combination of tartness, salinity, and subtle spice. Uncover the secrets behind the brewing process and the key ingredients contributing to its refreshing and complex taste. By the end of this article, you will know everything about what is a Gose Beer. So, let us read about it all in this article.
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Table of Contents
What is a Gose Beer?
Gose beer is a unique style of beer that originated in Goslar, Germany. It has a refreshing, slightly salty Gose beer flavor profile that distinguishes it from other beer styles.
A gose gets its salty characteristic from adding coarse grains of salt in the mash and during fermentation. It is traditionally made with at least 50% wheat malt, making it hazy and cloudy. Yeast and lactic acid bacteria are also used in the fermentation to provide the beer with sour and lemony notes.
The sourness can range from mild to quite tart, depending on the brewery. Most examples have a medium to low alcohol level, between 3-5% ABV. Beyond the sour and salty flavors, Gose beers are also often herbal or coriander-like from the addition of coriander seeds in the brew.
The light, refreshing nature makes Gose a delicious summer beer that is growing in popularity as craft brewers experiment with new flavor combinations. This is what is a Gose beer.
Brief History of Gose Beer
The Gose beer style originated in the Middle Ages in Goslar, Germany. It was first brewed there in the 900s and became particularly popular in the region during the 1600s-1800s.
Gose beers were initially brewed with water from the mineral-rich River Gose, which flows through Goslar. The salinity of the river water influenced the salty flavor of the beer. Brewers would add coarse grains of salt directly to the mash and fermentation to emulate the local water.
Wheat malt became essential as the countryside grew wheat more readily than barley. Hops were not traditionally used either, with gruit (a mixture of botanicals) providing bitterness instead. Yeast and lactic acid bacteria also gave gose its characteristic sour flavor through open fermentation. So now, with this, you must know what is a Gose Sour.
By the late 1800s, the gose style declined dramatically as lager beers from Munich and Pilsen grew more popular. The last traditional brewery still producing gose, Brauhaus Urzig, closed in 1960. Thankfully, a few smaller breweries in eastern Germany kept the style alive. As craft brewing took off globally in recent decades, Gose saw a revival and experimentation by American and international brewers. This has helped Gose gain wider appreciation from beer drinkers today.
What is the Taste of Gose Beer?
After knowing what is a Gose Beer, let us know what it tastes like exactly. Gose beer tastes are unique and differ from many classic beer styles. Upfront, it has a refreshing sourness that resembles lemon or lime juice. This sour flavor comes from the lactic acid produced during fermentation.
Along with the acidity is a subtle saltiness, reminiscent of the salinity of seawater but much more mild. A good Gose should have a light salty presence, adding another layer of interest. The salinity comes from salts added by the brewer, traditionally from the local river.
There are often fruity undertones like green apple or even berry. Herbal or coriander flavors also feature prominently from the addition of coriander seeds. These flavors complement the sourness well.
The sourness can vary quite a bit between different Gose beers. Some have a gentler sourness, while others pack more of a punch. Most have a medium bitterness to balance the acidity.
The mouthfeel is usually light and refreshing with low carbonation. A good gose finishes clean and crisp, leaving a refreshing sensation that makes it a very drinkable style, especially on a hot summer day. Its one-of-a-kind flavor has attracted many craft beer fans to the once nearly-forgotten Gose beer style. So that is all about what is Gose style beer taste feels like.
Types of Gose Beer
You have learned about what is a Gose Beer so now let’s look at its different types
Classic Gose is made with wheat malt as the dominant grain. It uses salt and coriander in the boil to achieve its signature sour and slightly salty flavor. The cloudy appearance comes from a long, cool fermentation that creates wild yeast strains.
Traditional Gose has a refreshing taste suitable for warmer months.
Fruit Goses introduce fruit purees or juices into the Gose brewing process. Popular varieties include raspberry, lemon, and grapefruit gose. The fruit complements the tart complexity of the sour beer.
Depending on the fruit, additional sweetness may balance the salty profile. Experimenting with different fruits unlocks new flavor combinations.
Spiced variations take classic gose in innovative directions. Common additions include cinnamon, black licorice, or ginger to offer winter-warming aromas and senses. Brewers craft unique spice blends tailored to their tastes.
There is no limit to flavor possibilities when experimenting with alternative seasonings and herbs. Spiced Goses provides exciting alternatives for exploring food and beer pairings.
Kellerbier Goses emulates lagers through a remarkable aging period in cellars or caves. This “Keller process” fully allows wild yeast strains to develop mellow sourness through a slow secondary fermentation. The results show softer acidity and a rounder mouthfeel reminiscent of pilsners or kellerbiers.
Their balanced nature makes Kellerbier’s Goses very drinkable as a session beer. Reading these types, you can also distinguish between the Gose vs. other beer styles.
How to Make Gose Beer?
Knowing what is a Gose style beer would also make you curious about how to make it. Let us see how. Gose beer is a German style that originated in Goslar. It has a balanced sour and salty flavor. Here are the simple steps:
- Wheat malt – Makes it cloudy
- Pilsner malt – Adds crispness
- Coriander seed – Gives lemon flavor
- Sea salt – Adds saltiness
- Yeast – Like kolsch or ale yeast
- Mix grains with hot water for 1 hour (mash).
- Boil wort with hops, coriander, and salt. Hops give low bitterness.
- Cool wort and add yeast and lactobacillus. This makes it sour.
- Ferment for 1-2 weeks until done bubbling.
- Optional – Add fruit after to make it fruity.
- Bottle or keg and carbonate for 2-4 weeks.
And this is how you can make popular Gose beer brands, which would be tasty. The lactobacillus and salt create sour and salty flavors. Keeping the sourness balanced is critical. Enjoy this refreshing beer on a hot summer day with friends! So this is what is a Gose beer.
Now, if you are seeking lighter options for beer, consider the charm of 2 Percent Alcohol Beer. It’s gaining attention for its unique position between non-alcoholic and traditional beers, offering a delightful choice with a bit of a lighter touch.
What is a gose beer made of?
Gose beer contains wheat malt, pilsner malt, coriander, salt, and lactobacillus bacteria. This combination gives it a sour and salty taste.
How much salt is in a Gose?
Traditional Gose has a noticeable salt flavor, but only a little. Homebrew recipes usually call for 1/2 to 1 ounce of salt added near the end of boiling.
Does Gose have gluten?
Yes, gose contains gluten since it is made from wheat and barley malt. Those with gluten sensitivity may want to avoid gose beer.
Is Gose a lager or ale?
Even though it is warm fermented like a lager, Gose is considered an ale. It uses ale or Kolsch yeast, which ferments at warmer temperatures than lager yeast.
Gose is a distinctive German beer variety known for its refreshing sour and salty qualities. These characteristics are linked to including coriander and salt during the brewing process. Gose is distinguished by having less alcohol than other beers but maintaining a flavorful, slightly sour taste from lactobacillus fermentation. The interaction of wheat, barley, coriander spices, and a small amount of salt creates a particular character.
This brief introduction to Gose is meant to enhance your enjoyment of the beer, whether you are an experienced drinker or a novice. Gose is an excellent option on a hot summer’s day. You may be wondering what beer has the highest alcohol percentage now that you’ve read about what makes Gose unique. With this article on what is a Gose beer, let’s explore that fascinating side of the beer industry.
Kendall Jones: Seattle journalist, freelance writer, and top contributor to Washington Beer Blog. Published 5,400+ stories on beer and brewing.