Just a few years ago, many people would have described “Gose” as a relatively rare style of German wheat beer that can be a little bit sour, a little bit spicy and a little bit salty, especially on the finish. In fact, beer rating website BeerAdvocate still hasn’t updated their listing on the style that says it’s seen “a mini-revival with a handful of breweries.” But the past couple years, that small revival has exploded into a full-blown renaissance, possibly capped off today as Sierra Nevada – America’s third largest craft brewery – has announced they’re adding a Gose to their year-round nationwide lineup.
Sierra Nevada’s new beer – called Otra Vez and brewed not only with the traditional ingredient of coriander, but also prickly pear cactus and grapefruit – isn’t set to be released until January of next year, but it still hammers home what an amazing run the formerly little-known style has had in 2015.
As recently as this past February, you could find sites like Eater declaring Gose “an ancient lost beer style” that is “making a comeback.” But by August, in an article discussing “What’s the next IPA?”, Bart Watson of the Brewer’s Association, suggested that recent Google Trends data projected Gose as a possible heir to the craft beer throne. And though no awards were presented specifically for Gose at the Great American Beer Festival this year, the Brewers Association did add “Contemporary Gose” to its beer style guidelines. Over the past two years, it’s seemed like brewers have been rolling out Goses left and right.
Although this style of easy drinking, low ABV beer certainly hasn’t been hard to find, Sierra Nevada deciding it’s worthy of adding to their fulltime beer lineup is probably the biggest sign that it’s truly gone mainstream until we see a Shock Top Spiced Banana Gose. It’s an amazing comeback for a style once thought of as strange. (Salty beer? Really?) Now we just have to see how long it can last – though those Germans are known for putting up a good fight.