Westbrook Brewing Co.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Throw around terms like “stout” or “IPA” and it’s likely even people who are major beer geeks will have a general idea of what the particular style is like. But when it comes to Gose, you’ll have to find a more seasoned drinker to really discuss the style.
Gose (prounounced gose-uh) is a top-fermented German style of beer that dates back to the 18th century. It nearly went extinct during World War II but managed to survive and has a bit of a resurgence as of late. Gose beers are usually made with at least half malted wheat and brewed with coriander and salt. Lactic acid added is added after the boil to give it a sour taste.
Westbrook is one of the latest American breweries to try their hand at the style. When I first had a Gose, my palate was still pretty weak, so I found it a bit off-putting. But since then, I’ve grown to love sours and find Gose to be a great well-balanced style. While not as extreme as traditional brews, Westbrook’s attempt is a good gateway for people looking to pucker up.
The pour is a very dirty hazy deep yellow, almost like lemonade or, more appropriately, salt water. There’s very little head to speak of and what is there dissipates rather quickly. It’s a very light beer, so there’s no lacing or alcohol legs to speak of.
The salt is the first thing that hits your nose when you smell it. Behind that is the sourness, again with a sort of lemonade quality. Very tart lemons are pretty present. There’s a slight touch of a bready sweetness from the wheat and what seems like some astringency, but is probably just the lactic acid.
That sourness from the acid kicks the hell out of your tongue on first sip. There’s a huge wash of sour throughout the mouth that drops off into a tart saltiness that sticks to the back of your throat. That salt water/sour lemonade taste is very present. There’s kind of a creaminess to it too, which I would guess comes from the wheat.
If you like sours, this is an incredibly easy drinking beer. It’s sour and tart but not overpoweringly harsh, and overall is very well balanced. It’s a limited batch, and at only a few bucks a bottle, it’s one worth picking up.