Recently I mentioned a sour and salty beer called Goosetown, a Gose-style beer from the August Schell Brewing Co. of New Ulm, Minn., and I mentioned that I had never heard of the style until I found the Goosetown at one of my local walls of beer.
A week after that discovery, I’m at my other local wall of beer and see the word “Gose” pop out from a purple-colored can.
It’s the Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s salute to the style. They give it the most peculiar name of The Kimmie, The Yink and the Holy Gose Ale (I was going to say it is the worst beer name ever, but upon further reflection that dubious honor ends in a tie between Moose Drool and Buffalo Sweat – yuk to both!).
I’m sure there is a story behind this oddly named ale from Anderson Valley, but I’m more interested in the beer itself, which might be my favorite new session beer.
The brewery in Boonville, Calif., released its Gose Ale (that’s how I will refer to it from herein) last April as part of its Highway 128 Session Series. This truly is a session beer – light in taste and alcohol content (4.2 percent), it still has enough going on to keep adventurous beer drinkers interested.
As I mentioned in the Schell Goosetown review, Gose is a style peculiar to Leipzig, which was part of the Communist Bloc. The style apparently almost disappeared under Communist rule, and was only revived in the craft beer explosion that followed the tearing down of the Iron Curtain in 1989.
It’s brewed with malted wheat and barley. Lactic acid bacteria is introduced to give the beer a pleasing citrusy tartness. There is also coriander in the mix and sea salt is added to mimic the high-saline content of the water used to brew this ancient style of beer.
I mentioned that the Goosetown was probably toned down a bit in sourness for American palates. While I have yet to try a real German Gose, I suspect Anderson Valley’s version is closer to style. It’s a little higher in tartness. I did get a much cleaner salt finish from the Goosetown, but you can also detect the salt in Anderson Valley’s Gose Ale (if you are having trouble detecting the salt, take a sip, wait for a bit, and then lick your lips – I guarantee you will taste the salt).
One other thing that I really love about Anderson Valley’s Gose Ale – it has a fantastic beery aroma.
Now I look forward to having an authentic German Gose, but in the meantime, AVBC’s Gose Ale will do.