La Vie en Gose
When it comes to the long game, most beer lovers occasionally compromise taste for expediency, forgoing the beverage they want for the one that will allow them to remain upright and alert throughout the day. A noble gesture. But with the resurgence of sour ales, particularly the low-ABV Gose (rhymes with Rosa), sessionable doesn’t have to mean insipid. A centuries-old German style, the Gose gets lots of love these days from top brewers, who are crafting compelling, terroir-driven quaffs that are light enough to sip all day. Herewith, a session-by-session pairing guide for doing exactly that.
SESSION 1: BRUNCH
Night Shift Brewing
While Goses typically get their floral-savory notes from the addition of coriander and salt, this Everett brewer skips the latter for the natural brininess of unshucked Island Creek oysters. Vaguely kombucha-like, with a beguiling bivalve salinity, this zippy summer offering cuts through everything from fatty bacon and buttery hollandaise to the haze of noonday fatigue. nightshiftbrewing.com.
SESSION 2: MOWING THE LAWN
Rising Tide Gose
Wouldn’t a crisp lager or a golden Kölsch be perfect right about now? Well, sure it would. But that’s a hammock nap waiting to happen. For the sake of the weekend to-do list, try this wheat-driven selection from Portland’s Rising Tide. Bursting with notes of lime and melon, the locavore-approved beauty—brewed with seawater from nearby Cape Elizabeth—has a mellow, creamy finish that won’t leave you in the weeds. risingtidebrewing.com.
SESSION 3: BEACH CHILLING
Lost Nation Gose
Cofounders Allen Van Anda and James Griffith were early champions for the revival of this once-defunct style. Not only was an easy-drinking Gose the first beer they ever produced at their brewery in Morrisville, Vermont, it has since become the centerpiece of their new lineup of 16-ounce cans. The mango-peach nose and chuggable, just-barely-carbonated body make it the perfect foil to sun-soaked activities—particularly anything involving a lounge chair. lostnationbrewing.com.
SESSION 4: DINNER AL FRESCO
Oxbow Saison Dell’Aragosta
Leave it to those crafty Mainers to find a decapod recipe you can drink. Brewed in Newcastle in collaboration with Italian craft brewery Birrificio del Ducato, Oxbow’s small-batch “Gose-inspired saison” boasts tart lychee notes, a touch of saltiness, and a subtle hint of ocean funk, owing to the live local lobsters tossed right into the kettle. Pairs well with seafood. oxbowbeer.com.
SESSION 5: THE LATE SHOW
The irreverent Smuttynose crew describe their Smuttlabs spinoff—the brewery’s off-site Portsmouth playground for the rare and experimental—as “eccentric.” Which is exactly what you’ll get with Smuttlabs’ tropical Gose, brewed with a hefeweizen yeast strain and a dose of Lactobacillus. With pronounced aromas of banana and passion fruit, it’s like a boozy sorbet and palate-cleansing nightcap, all in one. (Sweet dreams.) smuttynose.com.
Photographs by Mariel Tenney (small bottles)