Sea Shanty Gose


A Gose (pronounced Go-SA) is a traditional German beer-style from the Leipzig region of Eastern Germany. One of the only exceptions to be grandfathered in under the German purity laws allowing only malt, water and hops (and yeast, it turns out) into beer, this unique light bodied sour has a dosing of sea salt and coriander to give the beer another unique and refreshing character. Made in collaboration with our friends at Beautiful Briny Sea in Grant Park, the salt gives great minerality and salinity to the beer. It complements the wheat body and sourness of the beer, achieved from kettle souring with Lactobacillus Brevis, Delbrueckii and Plantarum. This quenching light bodied brew is different.

Tap Date 7/14 OG 1.044 IBU 3 ABV 4.7%

Overall Impression: A highly-carbonated, tart and fruity wheat ale with a restrained coriander and salt character and low bitterness. Very refreshing, with bright flavors and high attenuation. Aroma: Light to moderately fruity aroma of pome fruit. Light sourness, slightly sharp. Noticeable coriander, which can have an aromatic lemony quality, and an intensity up to moderate. Light bready, doughy, yeasty character like uncooked sourdough bread. The acidity and coriander can give a bright, lively impression. The salt may be perceived as a very light, clean sea breeze character or just a general freshness, if noticeable at all.

Appearance: Unfiltered, with a moderate to full haze. Moderate to tall sized white head with tight bubbles and good retention. Effervescent. Medium yellow color.

Flavor: Moderate to restrained but noticeable sourness, like a squeeze of lemon in iced tea. Moderate bready/doughy malt flavor. Light to moderate fruity character of pome fruit, stone fruit, or lemons. Light to moderate salt character, up to the threshold of taste; the salt should be noticeable (particularly in the initial taste) but not taste overtly salty. Low bitterness, no hop flavor. Dry, fully-attenuated finish, with acidity not hops balancing the malt. Acidity can be more noticeable in the finish, and enhance the refreshing quality of the beer. The acidity should be balanced, not forward (although historical versions could be very sour).

Mouthfeel: High to very high carbonation, effervescent. Medium-light to medium-full body. Salt may give a slightly tingly, mouthwatering quality, if perceived at all. The yeast and wheat can give it a little body, but it shouldn’t have a heavy feel.

Comments: Served in traditional cylindrical glasses. Historical versions may have been more sour than modern examples due to spontaneous fermentation, and may be blended with syrups as is done with Berliner Weisse, or Kümmel, a liqueur flavored with caraway, cumin, and fennel. Modern examples are inoculated with lactobacillus, and are more balanced and generally don’t need sweetening. Pronounced GOH-zeh.

History: Minor style associated with Leipzig but originating in the Middle Ages in the town of Goslar on the Gose River. Documented to have been in Leipzig by 1740. Leipzig was said to have 80 Gose houses in 1900. Production declined significantly after WWII, and ceased entirely in 1966. Modern production was revived in the 1980s, but the beer is not widely available. Characteristic Ingredients: Pilsner and wheat malt, restrained use of salt and coriander seed, lactobacillus. The coriander should have a fresh, citrusy (lemon or bitter orange), bright note, and not be vegetal, celery-like, or ham-like. The salt should have a sea salt or fresh salt character, not a metallic, iodine note.

Style Comparison: Perceived acidity is not as intense as Berliner Weisse or Gueuze. Restrained use of salt, coriander, BJCP Beer Style Guidelines – 2015 Edition 55 and lactobacillus – should not taste overtly salty. Coriander aroma can be similar to a witbier. Haziness similar to a Weissbier.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.036 – 1.056
IBUs: 5 – 12
FG: 1.006 – 1.010
SRM: 3 – 4
ABV: 4.2 – 4.8%

Commercial Examples: Anderson Valley Gose, Bayerisch Bahnhof Leipziger Gose, Döllnitzer Ritterguts