What Gose Round Comes Around

What Gose Round Comes Around

Beer: Here Gose Nothin' Brewery: Destihl Style: Gose ABV: 5 percent

Beer is like clothing, in a way. As tastes change, certain styles fall in and out of favor with the general public; beers that were once incredibly popular in a region may be laughed off by the modern drinker as a relic of the past. But just as big sunglasses, jumpsuits and -- shudder -- mom jeans have been resurrected, so too have several beer styles thought lost to history.

The Gose is currently experiencing such a renaissance. Pronounced GO-zuh, this ancient (read: 1000-year-old) ale is now most closely associated with the city of Leipzig, Germany. But it wasn't always so. The style gets its name from the river Gose, which flows through Goslar, a town located about 100 miles west of Leipzig. It was here in the 11th Century that this historic brew earned its reputation, and it was only here that it could've done so. The well-water in Goslar, you see, is naturally saline, and when used in brewing, each sip of a finished beer seems seasoned with a dash of salt.

See also: Stone Master of Disguise: The Green Ketchup of Beers

But as I mentioned, trends come and go. Gose brewing migrated to Leipzig in the early 1700s and quickly took hold, while the people of Goslar grew so tired of their homemade beer style that the city council decided to abolish its manufacture entirely by 1826. The beer maintained its popularity in Leipzig, becoming so beloved that the Gose style is now commonly also called Leipziger Gose. Even here, however, its reign was short-lived -- the destruction and division of Germany wrought by World War II almost eradicated Gose entirely.

Though Gose's revival has been slow in its country of origin, American brewers have picked up the style and run with it. Locally, Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. came out with a watermelon Gose in August, and California's Anderson Valley Brewing Co. recently dropped multiple pallets of a blood orange-spiced version on Valley shelves. But if you want a Gose that shuns fruit additives and focuses on classic saltiness, grab a sixer of Destihl Here Gose Nothin'. Part of the Bloomington, Illinois-based brewery's Wild Sour Series, Destihl's Gose undergoes a spontaneous fermentation by wild, lactic-acid producing bacteria, as do classic versions of the style. In a glass it casts out cloudy burnt orange hues capped with a finger of dense, white froth. The aroma is sharp and citrusy: lemon juice, orange peel, vinegar, salt, parsley and coriander -- another common Gose additive. A dollop of honey-like malts balances things out in the flavor before piquant herbs and salt roll back in for a briny finish.

Fans of sour beers, salty snacks and snappy, historic brews will enjoy this style. Grab some before it Gose way again.

Zach Fowle is a BJCP-recognized beer judge and a Certified Cicerone. He works at World of Beer in Tempe.

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