This week’s Canada’s Craft Beer post comes from our West Coast craft beer guy, Bryan Clegg. Today he checks out a style of beer that nearly went extinct but has made a comeback, Gose, with notes on offerings from Driftwood Brewery, Parallel 49 Brewing and Granville Island Brewing.
Originally brewed in Goslar, Germany, and later in Leipzig, Gose is a style that’s been around for a millennium, but nearly disappeared after the Second World War. However, like various other styles that nearly went extinct, Gose has been making a comeback as brewers search for new and different beers to offer their thirsty customers.
Gose is a top-fermented beer made with coriander, salt, lactic acid bacteria and at least 50 percent malted barley. In the olden days, Gose was made with saline water from the Gose River, likely made so by leakage from the local mines. Nowadays, brewers usually achieve this with the addition of sea salt. Coriander adds a distinct spice, while the lacto helps give it a tart character. The result is a crisp, spicy beer that’s a bit different from anything else out there.
The first Gose I had was a Driftwood Brewery product a few years ago, and I haven’t had a local one since. So when I heard about three different Gose beers being produced this summer, I thought I should check it out. For science.
Driftwood Brewery — Cry Me A River Gose
Made to match the traditional style, Driftwood hits all the right notes on this one. Hazy yellow with a big frothy head and an aroma of spicy coriander. The taste comes in salty, tart, and bready with a hint of spice. I can’t help but think this is exactly what a well-made Gose should taste like. But, somehow, it doesn’t knock my socks off. I remember really enjoying the first one a few years ago, but I find I’m either jaded or this is slightly different. Either way, this is a solid patio beer for the summer.
ABV: 5% Available: BC
Parallel 49 Brewing — ¡Órale! Gose
After some sophomore disappointments, P49 has slowly worked itself back into my good books with a string of solid releases. For their fourth anniversary they did the most P49 thing ever: took a traditional Gose and aged it in tequila barrels for 9 months. The result is … interesting. Gose doesn’t have a powerful nose to begin with, so the tequila completely takes over here, making it smell pretty much like a straight-up shot of tequila. The taste is kind of a mish-mash of tequila, light salt and a bit of citrus tartness. I found myself enjoying it one sip, then hating it the next, then going back to enjoying it again. If you’re a fan of tequila, this is certainly worth checking out.
ABV: 4.5% Available: BC
Granville Island Brewing — Gose with Nectarine
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to obtain a bottle of this Granville Island brew by deadline, but I’m certainly looking forward to checking it out. I’m hoping the nectarine sweetness will give a nice balance to the tart spiciness of a Gose. I’ll be sure to untap it and leave some thoughts when I do try it!
AVB: 5% Available: BC
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Bryan Clegg is the beer columnist for VanFoodies.com. Bryan has a wide and accommodating palate; whether it’s a tasty low-IBU ale or a ride on the IBU train to Hop Country, he’s happy to drink and share a story about the ride. Follow @vanfoodies on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.