An old world beer is being born anew in the ever-evolving craft beer scene. This one will go perfectly with your beach towel and snorkel this summer. And so that you can be ahead of the game, gose is pronounced /go-zah/.
According to the German Beer Institute, gose is a 1,000-year-old style originally from Goslar, Germany. The original source of this “sour and saline tasting” beer was most likely the naturally saline water that rose from the mineral rich aquifers in and around Goslar.
The most succinct description, and possibly the only one needed, is found on Fort Worth’s Martin House Brewing Co. website about their very own gose, The Salty Lady: “(It) is a bit like drinking lemon-lime Gatorade – if lemon-line Gatorade had depth, complexity, nuance and alcohol.”
(Thanks, Scooter Hendon at Martin House.)
“This summer has been great for Salty Lady,” says founder, brewer and engineer Cody Martin of Martin House. “It’s become our best seller this summer. It was originally meant to be a summer seasonal, but we sold so much last year that we had to keep it around, and now it’s part of the year-round line up.”
“We use a kettle souring procedure to get the tartness in the beer,” Martin says of the brewing process. “This means leaving the wort in the boil kettle for several days with lactobacillus bacteria to naturally create sourness. When we get the appropriate level of sourness, we boil the wort to kill the bacteria so that it doesn't run wild and start souring things that aren't supposed to be sour.”
Unable to even find an example locally, Martin said he had his heart set on making a gose for some time. “The first test batch we made of Salty Lady got infected during the kettle souring and did not taste good.
“However, I had so much confidence in the style and the recipe that I could taste through the off-flavors and knew it would be a winner, so we took it straight to big batch and have loved it ever since.”
Martin feels like this salty-sour is a great introduction to the sour beer genre, which he says is also skyrocketing.
The die-hard Toadies’ fans have also created a new beer using the same procedure, called Stars Above, which will launch on June 26. “It’s a similar brew, but instead of salt and coriander, we add lots of raspberries to add some nice fruit flavor.”
The Salty Lady is available at more than 200 bars around the area, in either cans or on tap, but taps rotate quickly so you might want to call ahead. It’s also sold at Spec’s.
Martin House isn’t the only purveyor of the gose specialty these days. Division Brewing in Arlington, with an already-sour-heavy line-up, also has a gose, Uncle Morty, which is available on tap at the brewery (4-10 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 6-10 p.m. Saturdays).
Anderson Valley Brewing Co. also has a couple available (their blood orange is hoarded by some) that can be found at Total Wine and More. You can get also Otra Vez by Sierra Nevada at Spec’s and some local grocery stores.