La Vie en Gose

Lower in alcohol yet long on complex flavor, these locally brewed German-style sours are a discerning day drinker’s dream come true. Introducing Gose, the ultimate lawn-mower beer.

gose beer

Session 3: Lost Nation Gose. / Photograph by Marian Siljeholm

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.

gose beer


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.

gose beer


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.


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.

gose beer


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.

gose beer


Smuttlabs Gose

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.)


Photographs by Mariel Tenney (small bottles)