San Francisco Bay Area brewery Almanac has been making inroads into Oregon this year, but I had originally picked up this bottle before they began distributing up here. This Gose is in what they’ve dubbed their “Fresh Beers” series, and they say:
Our Golden Gate Gose is inspired by the classic wheat beer hailing from Leipzig, Germany. Traditionally brewed with salt and coriander, our tart California-inspried version is brewed with San Francisco Bay sea salt, lemon verbena from Eatwell Farm in Dixon, and coriander grown and dried especially for us by Dirty Girl Produce in Santa Cruz, California. Fermented with our house saison yeast, this delicate and tart beer is a perfect summer refresher.
It’s 5% alcohol by volume.
Appearance: Golden in color, tinted orange, fizzy but minimal head. Relatively clear.
Smell: Lightly lacto-tart with a bit of raw wheat (think bread dough), and hints of the coriander and sea salt that I’m expecting—the salt is more prevalent. Pretty mellow.
Taste: Earthy, grassy tart character that’s a bit barnyard-y. There’s a salty streak that goes right down the top of the tongue to the back, tripping a bitter note at the end. A bit of lemon and the coriander is reminiscent of celery root.
Mouthfeel: Light, with a bit of a tart bite to the finish.
Overall: A decent beer, I originally wrote “All right,” but to my mind it’s not tart or salty enough.
This is not a regular offering from the North Carolina-based Fullsteam Brewery, in fact it was a special beer they brewed in conjunction with Pints for Prostates in order to help raise money for improving prostate cancer awareness and early detection. And in fact I received this bottle in my Rare Beer of the Month Club (a birthday gift from my in-laws) and boy was I pleased to get a Gose one month! This one is especially interesting, infused with spruce tips.
This final result uses North Carolina spruce tips as a piney extra facet, and involves blending two separate goses: one using a sour mash and a relatively straightforward recipe (to provide the final product’s core tartness), the other half focusing more on accentuating the non-sour elements: coriander, sea salt, spruce.
At 4% abv, this one was amazingly drinkable and my favorite of this bunch I’m reviewing.
Appearance: Hazy straw yellow, hints of gold and orange. Very carbonated ample white head, and very fizzy.
Smell: Tart and salty, reminds me a bit of seawater. Bit of spiciness but not especially coriander-like. Lactic sourness is fresh, bright, appealing. Hints of fresh evergreen?
Taste: Acidic tartness and prickly with a light saltiness and mild pine/spruce character. Summer berry sourness at the back of the tongue. Crisp and flavorful without being overpowering in any one dimension.
Mouthfeel: Light, fizzy and effervescent, prickly on the tongue, lightly acidic and salty aftertaste. The high carbonation is filling (gassy).
Overall: A good example of the style as I understand it, with an interesting profile from the spruce.
De Garde Brewing Hose, Dry-Hopped Gose
De Garde, over in Tillamook, Oregon, has been making a whole series of amazingly interesting wild ales using the local wild flora found in that region of the Oregon Coast, and I believe this version of a Gose from them, in particular a dry-hopped Gose style ale, aged in oak barrels with coriander and citrus peel, was gifted to us by beer writer Brian Yaeger. Like many of De Garde’s beers, it’s low in alcohol, at only 4% abv.
Appearance: Hazy golden-orange, very effervescent which feeds an active, off-white head.
Smell: Oaky, woody nose with a bit of woody, reedy hop character. Hints of lactic acid and maybe (bitter) orange peel, which grows more prominent as it warms.
Taste: Sour and funky—tartly sour in much more of a citric or ascorbic acid way than lactic, punctuated by hay and horsey funk. It kind of reminds me of lemon juice but not as harshly sour. Fruity in that sourness, citrus fruit definitely, maybe with some grape. Complex. I’m getting no coriander at all, maybe a bit of saltiness. Acidic is the prevailing impression.
Mouthfeel: Light body, puckeringly acidic, very effervescent so it’s gassy and I could see having heartburn, it’s so tart.
Overall: Be careful what you wish for (saying Almanac was not tart enough)! Complex and unusual, I’m a bit torn on what I think; the oaky/woody hop aromas don’t do much for me.