I'll start off by saying I may have jumped the gun. I thought the summer of 2015 would be the summer of the Gose. After the extreme popularity of the Anderson Valley Gose in the summer of 2014 (and subsequent introduction of their Blood Orange Gose in the fall/winter of 2014), I thought more breweries would be fighting to get a piece of that pie this year.
Sure, we have seen the Boulevard Hibiscus Gose, and Victory's Kirsch Gose, and even locally we saw our neighborhood brewery in Carrboro do a Gose, along with a dill spiced Gose (Steel String's Picklemania). But there haven't been near the number of Gose's introduced this summer as I expected. Where is the Stone Gose, the Founder's Gose, or the Bell's Gose?
But first, for those unfamiliar with Gose - a Gose (pronounced "Go-zah")is an ancient, tart/sour and saline tasting ale, made from malted wheat and barley. The brew is fermented with both yeast and lactic bacteria (lactobacillus) and is often spiced with both coriander and hops. It is brewed with slightly salted water, producing a low-alcohol beer with a touch of salty sourness.
There have been two trends in craft beer that are colliding, resulting in the sudden popularity of the Gose:
- Session beer. Low-alcohol beer that is still full of flavor, but won't get you hammered after a couple.
- Sours. They've been around for ages, but it's become the new frontier for American craft beer
Craft brewers are bringing back the Gose because the consumer is finally realizing that all craft beer doesn't have to be 10% ABV with 100 IBUs or infused with coffee and bourbon, aged in barrels. There is such a thing as good beer that is yellow and fizzy.
It seems that when craft beer was first taking off, the goal was to get a a product that was as far away from Budweiser as possible, so we saw dark bears and extremely hoppy beers take off. I think/hope that the pendulum is starting to swing back the other way and we're beginning to see good beers that are light and refreshing and don't have to slap you in the face with hops.
Now that consumers are looking for these lower-ABV beers, and with sours on the rise, the Gose is the right beer at the right time. Additionally, as more and more people get interested in trying sours, the Gose provides a perfect start, as it is light in color, while also being dry and crisp, and it utilizes the salinity to counter the sourness, making it a very approachable sour that won't have you looking like this.
If Gose were a stock and I were a financial advisor, I would tell you to buy as much as you can. It's trending up, and the market conditions are in it's favor.
So, back to my prediction. Gose's haven't yet taken off as I expected (partially due to the HUGE explosion of session IPAs -- did you know that Founders All Day IPA now accounts for well over 30% of Founders' sales revenue now!?), but I bet around March or April of 2016, we're going to be seeing a Gose from every local craft brewery and more and more of the regional and national brewers as well. But hey, I've been wrong before!
For a counter-point (that is mainly just a rant against the Gose) you could read this.
Curious to hear thoughts on this. Have we already hit peak-Gose? Or is the Gose still going? If not Gose, what *will* be the craft beer style we're all talking about in 2016 (other than root beer, of course).