Gose – A New Twist on an Old Tradition

by | 11/29/2022

As a brewer, we are always trying to keep up with the newest trends while maintaining a well-balanced tap list. Lately, the “hazy craze” has taken craft beer by storm with more and more cloudy beers and New England IPAs popping up every day. But what about those beers that are a little more off the beaten path? Being a bit of an adventurous person myself, I like to try new things…more specifically, styles that are new to me. I had the pleasure of working on one of the early pilot batches of gose while I was still an assistant brewer at our Ardmore location. The idea of souring a beer in the kettle overnight and coming back the next day to finish the rest of the “brew day” seemed rather strange to me. Then we added Himalayan salt and coriander—and what a flavor! I was totally sucked in and had to know more.

First thing’s first, I needed to know how to pronounce this name. After listening to several folks and doing a little digging I do believe it is pronounced gose-uh, as in it rhymes with Rosa. A gose is a northern-German wheat ale, low in alcohol and has a tart, lactic(acid) zip to it. Originally these beers were thought to have been spontaneously fermented. This means they were stored in fermentation vessels that were open to the atmosphere. This allowed wild yeast and bacteria to enter the brew, providing that great tart taste. Some believe these beers have a close relation with lambics. They also gained a nice salt quality from the Goslar river. Thankfully, we have labs to help us nowadays that allow things to progress a little faster.

After some further investigation and picking of brains I also learned that goses almost disappeared from the beer scene entirely! At their height in the 1700’s they had become all the rage in Leipzig, Germany, finding their way into many taverns. There were even taverns that had gose on draft! Fast forwarding a little, in 1966, goses had all disappeared from production. The last brewery brewing them, Wurlzer, had closed up shop and their recipe books were accidentally destroyed. Thankfully, a gentleman by the name of Lothar Goldhahn refused to allow the style to die. He did a good deal of research and tracked down old employees from previous gose producing breweries. He eventually put together some recipes from numerous sources and convinced a berliner weisse brewery in Berlin to start brewing the beer. Before long, goses were back in the lime light! To this day, you can still visit Ohne Bedenshenke, Goldhahn’s gosenschenke – gose tavern, located in Leipzig, Germany.

Now I transport you to…TODAY! Iron Hill has taken the gose style and put our own stamp on it. Our Tropical Blast Gose has vibrant flavors of blood orange and pineapple that dance the samba together in this tropics-inspired beer. It starts off juicy, slightly sour, and totally refreshing. Then the gose style breaks out its signature move – a subtly salty finish that’ll leave you craving an encore. Starting August 9th, we will be releasing a limited run of Tropical Blast in 16oz cans—so get at them while the getting is good. Happy sour drinking!

With 14 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and South Carolina, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. Each brewpub has their own craft kitchen and scratch brewery, allowing individual chefs and brewers the creativity to pair the freshest ingredients with the highest quality grains and hops. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

This article was contributed by Marc Campolongo. Marc is the Lead Brewer at Iron Hill Chestnut Hill.