In time we had the craft beer revolution on our hands. And it was a glorious revolution. And now it’s over. It ended last Thursday when I walked into a popular Brooklyn brewpub and blindly ordered something off the menu. It came highly recommended by the bartender, though he couldn’t seem to actually explain what it was. A minute or so later it arrived and I took it up with relish, having looked forward to this drink all day, and drank it. I made a face and tried it again. It tasted like it had been squeegeed off the back of a German day laborer toiling in a coriander processing plant. As I frantically attempted to wipe it off my tongue like a cartoon child, the bartender pointed to a beer menu he had found, which identified the beer thusly: “Gose.”
Gose. You’ve heard of Gose. It’s German, a sour beer. Pronounced "Go-zuh," like the thing that wrecked New York in Ghostbusters. Reported to be between 200 and 1,000 years old, it’s sour and salty, amber, a low-ABV session beer (which means it both tastes bad and won’t get you sauced). Over the last year, it has turned up in most of the stories forecasting beer trends, and so far, those stories appear to have been correct. I had drank Gose in the past, but I went to three craft beer stores today in search of more varieties to cement (or rebut) my opinion, and the first two were completely sold out. The third had two left. I bought them, I drank them. Served warmer, they tasted like spicy sweat. Served cold, they tasted like cold sweat. One, the vaunted Original Ritterguts Gose, which got a BeerAdvocate score of 90, left an aftertaste that simply could not be effaced. Not by wine, or stout, or, in the trough of my desperation, sausage.