By Wini Moranville
As local beer kingpin Jeff Bruning explains, gose has tart characteristics akin to dry styles of white wines, like pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc and dry varieties of Riesling. While gose is considered a sour beer, unlike other sours, “it’s not as vinegary or funky,” Bruning says. It’s not surprising, then, that gose pairs especially well with food.
“The tart angle comes from the same kind of lactic acid bacteria that’s used to make pickles,” he says. He added that the beer originated in Goslar, Germany (hence its name), but was most popular in Leipzig, where there were around 80 gose houses in 1900. The beer almost died out after World War II.
Walking beer encyclopedia Andy Grooms of the Cheese Bar adds another bit of lore. Back in the day, “Leipzig remained one of two German cities whose specialty became this lightly sour wheat beer, while the rest of the country obsessed over making the cleanest beer possible,” he says.
So if you’re looking for a food-friendly beer with character, go for gose. And, by the way, it’s pronounced goze-uh.
Find gose-style beers at El Bait Shop, which has Seaquench (on tap) as well as bottles or cans of Two Roads Geyser Gose, Crane Grapefruit Gose, Crane Orange Gose and Sixpoint Jammer. At the Cheese Bar, you can find Omnipollo Bianca, a Swedish beer based on the gose style. I’ve personally been very happy with the Sierra Nevada “Otra Vez” gose-style beer I’ve found in supermarkets.
El Bait Shop is at 200 S.W. Second St., 515-284-1970; elbaitshop.com.