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As spring brings us to longer, warmer days, bar menus and liquor store shelves are making way for summertime drinking. An increasingly visible new option among warm weather favorites like shandies, spritzers, and rosés is gose-style beer.
Light and dry with a low alcohol content and an inviting effervescence, gose (pronounced go-zuh) is a wheat beer that originated in Germany. What sets a gose apart from a typical wheat, however, is a unique, salty tang that enlivens its sour and often fruity flavor. That tang derives from the actual addition of salt along with the wheat, barley, yeast, and hops. A bit of coriander adds an additional, spicy character. It’s like a michelada made out with a cider to create a muscled, German take on a margarita.
“They can play with all the senses,” says Tommy Paszkiewicz, sales advisor at Joy Wine and Spirits in Denver, which carries a number of gose beers. “Salty and sweet and the acidity and tartness all kind of come together.”
Colorado-made goses have been populating a number of taps around town. In Denver, they’ve appeared at breweries including Cerebral Brewing, Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company, Ratio Beerworks, and Trve Brewing Company. Right now, Spangalang Brewery has one called Protocrat, a crowd pleaser with crisp, quick tartness that spreads quickly and softly across the palate.
Other local breweries are packaging their goses. Fate Brewing Company’s (Boulder) Uror gose, which you can find on shelves at Trader Joe’s, has a milder bite than the Protocrat and a pleasant, approachable flavor. Verboten Brewing’s (Loveland) Roll in Ze Hay is more salt-forward and less fruity than others, with a bit more bitterness and obvious wheat flavor. Greeley-based Wiley Roots Brewing Company’s Blood Orange Carousel packs a citrusy punch, followed quickly by a salty aftershock. You can get both Roll in Ze Hay and the Carousel in bombers for about nine bucks apiece at Small Batch Liquors in Denver. Odell Brewing Company also has a seasonal gose called Brombeere, which is flavored with blackberries. Others are sure to follow.
Goses also pair well with food, says Paszkiewicz. “They were definitely designed to be low ABV,” he explains, “because they’re a very food-friendly beer with not a lot of hops. Even an unflavored gose can go with shellfish, salmon, or crispy fried foods.” With or without food, goses make for perfect porch pounders. Pucker up!