Westbrook Gose: From Goslar to South Cackalacky.

Next up, Westbrook Gose:IMG_3122

Gose (pronounced “Go-zuh”) is a wheat beer of German origin that is brewed with coriander, salt, and lactic acid bacteria. What? Spices and bacteria in German beer!? I know. I know. Leave your jackboots in the closet, Klaus von Reinheitsgebot. Gose enjoys an exception to Germany’s beer purity laws. And if there’s anything we should welcome with German purity rules, it’s exceptions…especially in light of their newfound comfort with nationalism…

german fans

When is the next invasion of Poland planned?!

Gose originated in the town of Goslar, where the water was known for having high salinity, and the sour character was probably the result of spontaneous fermentation. As production moved to other places, such as Liepzig, salt was added in the brewing process to lend the appurtenant salinity and lactic acid bacteria to achieve the sour (although sourness can be added by a sour mash process). Interestingly, gose almost went the way of the Wooly Mammoth and the Dodo, but it always made a comeback. Currently, it is actually making a resurgence of sorts in the US, with a number of breweries brewing this curious beer.

I’ve heard that if there is a benchmark gose, it’s Leipziger Gose. It’s lightly sour, with light lemon, wheat, and salinity. It’s pretty low-key, but refreshing. Now, what about Westbrook’s crack at the style…straight from Goslar to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

It pours a hazy gold with a bubbly white head that dissipates so quickly and completely that you’ll forget it was ever there. It smells like a wheaty, lemony, and citrusy affair, and like there’s some lactic sourness up in the game. Then you taste it and it’s all BOOM, just like General Stonewall Jackson liked his lemonade.

Why yes sah. Sour as a dickens and served by a slave.

“Why yes sah. Sour as a dickens and served by a manservant.”

Whoa, whoa. OK, so maybe only halfway like General Stonewall Jackson liked his lemonade: Lemony and sour as a dickens. And this is way more sour than any other Gose I’ve ever had. It’s good though. It has a slight salinity to it, maybe a little coriander in the background. But the lemon, wheat, and lactic sour are where it’s at. It’s very refreshing on a hot, summer day. My one complaint would be that the carbonation flags a bit early…but I ain’t mad. It’s 4%, dammit. Just slug it and pour another one.

The Haybag: I may be from South Carolina and from German stock, but this beer ain’t my bag.

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4 thoughts on “Westbrook Gose: From Goslar to South Cackalacky.

  1. Here is a beer style that I have yet to try. I’m intrigued, but I’m not so sure about the salty bits (I don’t even like salt with my margarita). Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some salty meats and cheeses. And Salt and Vinegar potato chips? Bring em on! Gonna have to track down this Gose and see what the fuss is all about.

    As far as this Westbrook stuff goes, I haven’t seen it up here yet. Looks like they make some good stuff! Love the labels too.

    • The salt is definitely not pronounced, but it’s there on the tip of your tongue. They don’t distribute here yet either. My mom lives in the Charleston area and mules it up for me. They have some pretty solid beers.

      • Ah ok. Now I’m really intrigued! Perhaps a Beer Friday lunch at our local German restaurant (Brauhaus Schmitz) is warranted. They just happen to have the Leipziger on tap. Weinerschnitzel and Gose sounds like a good combo to me!

  2. Pingback: MR | Fourth Edition, July 2014 – With no apologies to Stone | Drunken Speculation

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