Tweet A couple of months ago we had the great pleasure of being visited by our fellow beer bloggers Boak & Bailey, and together with Velký Al and Evan Rail we went for a few pints to Pivovarský Klub, then U Slovanské Lipy and we finished the evening at Zlý Časy. Our British friends didn't come empty handed, they brought me and Velký Al a bottle of Gose, which they had bought while in Liepzig (they brought Evan a Espresso Stout from England)
Gose is one of those styles that I really wanted to taste, even though I really wasn't sure whether I would like it or not. But just knowing a bit of its history and, above all, the ingredients, would awake the curiosty of any serious beer geek. When Germany reunited the Reinheistgebot fundamentalist wanted to eliminate the style, something to be expected, after all, Gose beers are brewed nowadays with barley and wheat malts, hops, yeasts, salt and coriander, far from your usual brew.
The Gose in question is Ritterguts (if my understanding of Gothic typeface is right). I have abosolutely no clue about how well it is considered, but I assume Boak & Bailey didn't pick something they found at Lidl.
It pours very pale gold, it looks almost like a watered down weissbier. The head is scarce and short lasting. The bouquet is of bananas, spices and salt, something I had never felt in a beer, and, regardless of the ingredient list, I wasn't expecting to feel here. In the mouth it starts with not fully ripe bananas that slowly turn more lemony, to become something that I would say tastes like weizenbier with lime juice. The finish is short, very sour and a bit salty, but it gains in intensity and length as the glass gets emptier. The aftertaste it leaves, and what I could taste from my mustache, was something like seawater. I didn't find it easy to drink. In fact, I had to take a break halfway down because it was overwhelming me. So I started to grate cheese for a sauce for dinner. I was working on a gouda (a cheap one) when I fancied eating a little piece to try to clean that aftertaste, which didn't want to leave me. It did a good job, and I thought I would have a sip of the Gose to see how it would pair with the cheese. Wonderful! The gouda, which was mild and a bit sour, worked like a strict teacher in an unruly and messy class. Tamed the wilder aspects of the beer, without totally quieting them. By the time I finished the glass, I almost wanted to have another one.
Though I hope someday to be able to drink Gose again, I don't believe I can become a fan of the style. Anyway, I am really happy I was able to taste it. Thanks a lot to Boak & Bailey for letting me have this experience.
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