Brauhaus Goslar: Gose Das Harzer Urbier Hell (Germany: Gose: 4.8% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow. Some small bubbled carbonation. An inch of loose bubbles head that leaves suds.

Nose: Small amounts of soft lemon. Carrot. Coriander. Orange peel.

Body: Slight honey. Barley biscuits. Slight salt. Lemon. Vanilla touch. Slightly cloying touch. Mild coriander.

Finish: Slight sea salt. Salty vinegar. Tangy – gherkins. Slight soft lemon and lime. Vanilla. Light orange. Slightly wheaty. Slight hop bitterness.

Conclusion: So, an actual gose, in actual Goslar. Time to try a beer from where was born! Softer and more gentle that I expected. Though I had been warned, it still was a mild surprise that it doesn’t have the sourness associated with the gose name, more just a gentle kind of clotting style. Instead it comes in showing light citrus notes, closer to what I would expect from a Belgian wit, matching it with soft vanilla notes backing it.

The saltiness expected is more of a thing, though even with this in the main body it is fairly gentle. The finish is where the full effect comes out. Kind of sea salt in style, with mild vinegar notes, akin to what you get on crisps , and with a low level bitterness. Not harsh, but quite the thirst inducer, and not an unpleasant end to the beer, for all it may sound otherwise. A very nice unusual note.

It is refreshing and thirst inducing at the same time – smooth to drink, and subtly backed by the more expected wheat beer characteristics. It worked very well in the sunny environment I was in and was far easier to drink than I imagined it would be. Without the salt and such it would be a very solid, middle of the road wit style beer – it is definitely the salt that makes it distinctive, adding a tang, while not having much overall sourness – more sough dough and sour cream mild notes coming it lightly at the tail end as the cloying notes rise a bit.

Very glad to have tried this – very far from the horrid “sweaty sock” reputation that some recent gose clones have gained – I can see what great promise the style has and it is a solid beer in itself.

Fascinating.

Background: A gose in Germany! In Goslar itself, birthplace of the style. The gose style, a slightly salted, often slightly sour wheat beer has had a resurgence in popularity over the last year or so. Considering only Goslar and Leipzig made it for many years,and the style had nearly died out- it is pretty cool to see it back. However, every gose beer I have tried from craft brewers have been quite different – from quite horrid sweaty sock tasting beers, to tart fruity beers, to quite well hopped or spiced beers. So, I was very interested to try one of the originals to see what the base of the beer style was like. I had been informed by the staff of Craft Beer Kontor that Goslar breweries hold that the beer should not be that sour – that the Leipzig version is only sour as it is based on the Goslar exports which had gone off slightly by the time it had reached them. Because of that I was braced for this to be less sour than I would have otherwise expected. Anyway, drank at the Brauhaus Goslar itself – the staff were very helpful as well when we had a very minor injury that needed napkins to stop blood flow. Many thanks to them! This is listed as 30 IBU – higher than I would have expected, if not overly high in general.

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