Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gose and Sours…

but were afraid to ask. Sometimes, what’s old is new again. This is the case with a class of beer called gose (pronounced GOH-zuh), which was originally brewed in the 16th century in Goslar, Germany. It’s a top-fermented beer that is brewed primarily with malted wheat and natural yeasts. Many craft breweries have rolled out their own versions due to boredom with IPAs and a desire to experiment.

GoseTypically, a gose includes coriander and salt, giving it a salty flavor. To a consumer who isn’t a beer aficionado, this characterization can be a bit daunting, but these are light beers that have a moderate ABV (4-5%). As the class has expanded, so have the breweries producing them, and the accompanying flavors.

It’s important to remember that any of these beers benefit from our “Three Sip Rule,” which posits that three sips are necessary to allow your palate to enjoy a different style of beer. Don’t judge the beer by your first sip; make sure you take a couple more to enjoy it.

Some of our favorite goses include:
Uinta Brewing Co’s Ready Set Gose is billed as a “tart and salty ale (that) smells of fresh lemon rind and coastal sea breeze,” and it’s an easy drinker that goes down smooth with a pleasant nose.

Sierra Nevada’s Otra Vez (Spanish slang for “goodbye,” literally “another time”) pairs the flavors of prickly pear cactus and grapefruit for a tasty gose. Again, this beer is made with coriander and malted wheat, but the added flavors complement the tart, refreshing gose.

Others currently in stock include the delicious Long Trail Cranberry Gose and flavorful Southern Tier Cherry Gose. The latter boasts an ABV of 8.3%, meaning that if you enjoy it on a crisp fall day it will quickly warm you from the inside.

Sours are a similar category to the gose, and are also gaining popularity. Sours are created by adding bacteria to the soured wort (like sourdough bread), and these result in fun, tasty beers. Some are made right here in New Hampshire; the seasonal Henniker Sour Flower is a favorite in these parts, as is the Kelsen Harimanna, which offers “complex characteristics of lemon and citrus fruit.”

We’ve also recently received a shipment of Weyerbacher Tarte Nouveau, which is a lower-alcohol option (3.9% ABV) that results in a fruity nose and taste. Aunt Sally from Lagunitas Brewing Company also falls into this same classification, only with a slightly higher alcohol content (5.7% ABV).

At Barley & Hops, we carry a wide range of gose and sours. When you visit us to see what’s in store, we’ll be able to help you navigate the complex varieties – but be sure to explore. This category is well worth your time and taste buds.