What is Gose Beer? A Helpful Guide to this German Beer

gose beer pour

If you’re trying to learn about the different types of beer available, there’s a chance you may have learned about gose beer. And if you’ve done brief research about Gose, you may know that it originated somewhere in Germany. But what is a gose beer, anyway? Furthermore, what does gose beer taste like?

With that said, if you’re eager to learn more about this alcoholic drink, here’s a helpful guide that will supply you with the necessary information about gose beer below.

What is Gose Beer?

Gose Beer, pronounced as “gows-uh,” is a famous type of German unfiltered wheat beer. This beer is known for having a foggy appearance and a light yellow color, similar to that of a lightly-colored straw. Such an appearance is likely due to this beer’s fifty to sixty percent malted wheat content.

Its original version was produced without yeast, unlike other beer types. Due to that, gose beer had to be stored in vats with plenty of air circulation. In addition, the mixture would also be placed in kegs with a shive opening at the upper portion. This ensures that the mixture will be naturally exposed and undergo spontaneous fermentation.

Coriander and salt are then added to give the beer’s distinct flavor. The lactobacillus bacteria is added to ensure that the gose retains its original flavor despite its new production method. But nowadays, this German beer is now fermented using warm-fermenting yeast.

A Brief History of Gose Beer

Gose beer truly has quite an interesting history. If you’re curious to know about this drink’s origins, here’s a brief history of gose’s origins below:

The invention of gose beer dates back to the year 1000 in the tiny town of Goslar, located in the bottom portion of Saxony. This was also where the Gose River was situated, which played a prominent role in the creation of beer. After all, this is where the creators sourced their water for producing gose, leading to the alcoholic drink’s current name.

Although gose wasn’t as prevalent during its creation, this beer eventually gained huge recognition during the 1700s in Leipzig and Halle. However, Goslar gose brewers couldn’t meet the growing demand for this beer, which led Leipzig gose enjoyers to craft their own gose.

Soon enough, Leipzig’s gose overtook the fame of Goslar’s gose. By the 1800s, Leipzig was officially hailed as the City of gose beer and had more than eighty operating gose taverns. Although this German beer’s fame plummeted, it eventually rose to fame once more in the 1980s after a formerly well-known famous tavern that served gose reopened at the time.

Is Gose Considered a Sour Beer?

Is gose considered a sour beer? Well, to answer this question, gose beers are undoubtedly classified as sour beers. After all, wild yeasts are purposely added in sours in order for them to exhibit their remarkable tart flavor.

Gose beer happens to contain lactobacillus bacteria. And as previously mentioned, lactobacillus bacteria happens to be a wild yeast. Therefore, gose beer, without a doubt, is considered a sour beer.

What Does Gose Beer Taste Like?

If you’d like to taste this German beer with your eyes before purchasing a bottle, here’s everything you need to know about the flavor of gose beer. Besides, there’s a chance that gose might just not be your cup of tea (or bottle of beer, in this case). And you wouldn’t want to waste a bottle just because you dislike it.

So, what does gose beer taste like? Gose beer contains a lemon-like sourness. Furthermore, this tart taste is accompanied by a salty flavor. Hints of spice and dryness can also be tasted in this unique beer.

Lemon-like sourness

As stated above, gose undergoes spontaneous fermentation using lactobacillus bacteria. This contributes to the tart flavor you can taste from this alcoholic beverage. The sourness in some gose drinks can be described as a vegetal, almost lemon-like sourness.

Salty flavor

Back then, gose’s salty taste was linked to the water from the Gose River, which is prominent for its saltiness. Due to that, it shouldn’t be surprising to know that the original gose beers contained hints of saltiness. But nowadays, brewers would simply add salt to this beer to mimic the original version’s salty flavor. Meanwhile, others might liken this beer’s salty flavor to sweat.

Gose’s inclusion of salt in its ingredients goes against German-speaking nations’ Reinheitsgebot. The Reinheitsgebot is a set of rules they strictly follow in brewing beer. However, since gose is a regional specialty, it is exempted from following these strict rules.

Hints of dryness and spice

Aside from its tart and salty taste, gose is also famous for its hints of dryness and spice due to its addition of coriander. In addition, this ingredient is also responsible for adding an aromatic scent to this drink.

Just like salt, the addition of coriander in this drink also goes against the rules of the Reinheitsgebot. But again, this German alcoholic beverage is a regional specialty, exempting it from the said rules.

Opt for Modern-Day Gose if the Sour Taste is not to Your Liking

If you strongly dislike this beer’s sour flavor, you can go ahead and purchase a modern variant of gose. After all, modern-day gose beers tend to mix in fruity syrups to offset the drink’s strong sour flavor.

But then again, if you prefer gose’s authentic taste, you should try out plain, unflavored gose beer. That way, you can get a nearly authentic taste of Leipzig’s regional specialty.

How Much Alcohol Content Does Gose Contain?

Gose is considered a light beer. After all, this drink only comprises around four to five percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Therefore, gose has lower alcoholic content compared to other standard beers in the market.

Final Thoughts

Gose beer, particularly its original version, is definitely different compared to other beers you might learn about. Moreover, it has quite a fascinating origin story where the imitator became this drink’s famous producer. Anyway, now that you know valuable information about this drink and what does gose beer taste like, you can go ahead and purchase gose beer and enjoy its unique taste.

Dan Specht

Dan has been homebrewing beer for 8 years and holds a level 2 certifiication as a Cicerone.

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