Gose

Fundamentals #41: North Brewing Co x Ritual Lab Triple Fruited Gose Blueberry + Apricot + Blackberry

The last time I reviewed a beer from Leeds’ North Brewing Co. I diligently – some might even say successfully – compared the New England IPA to that most visceral of musical genres, post-punk. Sometimes you just need the melancholic gratification that only racing drums and angular guitars can provide. But other times, you just wanna jam it out, endlessly. So you light up some Nag Champa (hell, feel free to light up whatever’s your preference so long as you’re sharing), stick on Can’s epic Ege Bamyasi and reach for a can of gose.

That’s right folks, gose is the Krautrock of the beer world and I’m very much here for it. Especially when your jam is triple-fruited and, well, tastes like jam.

North’s latest Triple Fruited Gose (triple fruited meaning that three different fruits have been liberally applied to this beer, in this case blueberry, apricot and blackberry) is brewed in collaboration with Italy’s Ritual Lab. The can is as striking as you’d expect from North, with their award-winning branding twisting its way around your eyeballs and into your fridge. The beer inside is no less striking, pouring cosmic purple, the foam even more vibrantly rouge than the beverage itself.

And the smell! Deep hedgerow fruits bolstered by a hint of salinity and a promise of tartness draws you in. Although sadly, this is as far as my own sensory experience of this beer was allowed to travel.

You see, I’ve decided to take a few weeks off the booze. Not because there’s anything wrong with me, but because after drinking a lot of beer in 2018 I fancied giving my body the chance to recover (and maybe shift a couple of pounds) before diving headfirst into 2019. Not wanting to let the good folks at Hop Burns & Black down, I asked my partner Dianne (who works at London brewery Signature Brew – go say hi to her at their Haggerston taproom sometime soon) to do the honours.

“Cor,” she says as effervescent layers of mauve upon violet (seriously, this beer is really purple) make their way into the glass. She’s excited that there are apricots in this beer: “Really bringing balance to the blackberry and blueberry,” she says. I am genuinely nervous for my job at this moment.

It’s fun watching her take that first sip and screwing her face up as the tart beer forces her mouth into a pucker. Sips two and three are less physically and more verbally emotive, with plenty of cooing over the beer, which, if anything, leaves Dianne wanting a little more sourness to balance the voluminous levels of fruit in this gose.

It’s a two thumbs up from her, so make sure you grab some of this one before it inevitably sells out. [ED: Sold out now, sorry! Victim of its own success.]


Matthew Curtis is a freelance writer, photographer and author of our award-winning Fundamentals column. He's written for numerous publications including BEER, Ferment, Good Beer Hunting and Original Gravity. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis.

#HBBAdvent Beer 10: Wild Beer Sleeping Limes (Somerset)

Wild Beer says: Limes + Sea Salt + Lager. Clean and crisp with refreshing tangy limes and a Moorish briny finish, this is our perfect summer beer. It originally took inspiration from Sleeping Lemons and the beautiful preserved lemons we use, but the idea developed into a cleaner beer, taking the Corona and lime wedge and stepping it up a notch. Brewing a beer around the taste of lime naturally led us to using this beautiful citrus fruit, utilising both the fresh pulp and the zest. A clean and crisp base was achieved by using a lager yeast with the lime building an addictive tang to the pallet and a gose inspired flurry of salt adding to the finish.

We say: Sleeping Limes was one of the beers of our summer, too - on its own, icy-cold, straight from the fridge, or as a top-up for Jen’s legendary Michelada mash-ups… Now that it’s well into autumn/winter, we’re so glad to see Wild Beer continuing this cracking brew. As well as a welcome dose of Vitamin C (maybe), it’s a hotline for your tastebuds, direct to those gloriously sweltering days of summer ‘18….

Fundamentals #30 — Two Roads Tanker Truck Sauvignon Blanc Gose

The worlds of wine and beer can often feel very different to one another. Beer often tries to grasp at the concept of terroir, French for “of the earth,” referring to the effect that location and climate has on a wine's eventual character. This is a much more difficult concept to express within beer, especially if your hops are imported from the US, your barley from Germany and your yeast cultured in a lab in Copenhagen.

Terroir does exist in beer, but you’re far more likely to find it in, say, the spontaneously fermented lambics of Belgium – which are fermented by harvesting wild yeast from the air surrounding the beer – than the latest IPA.

Taking this concept further, if a brewer decides to add grapes (or must, the pressed juice that is the winemaker's equivalent to a brewer's wort) to beer, by reason this adds another dimension that further reduces its sense of place. Does that matter if it makes a beer taste great? Of course not. Terroir is a fun, and often romantic thing to think about in terms of alcoholic beverages, but it is not fundamental to our enjoyment of great beer.

Both wine grapes and wine barrels effect beer in very positive ways. Barrels not only imbue beer with woody, tannic flavours – along with a wine-like character – but also provide the perfect environment for culturing up interesting yeast and bacteria for further flavour development. Grape juice, on the other hand, is going to provide you with a far cleaner, more precise flavour. It’s also going to give you some extra sugar, which yeast will turn to alcohol during fermentation, so beers with added must can, on occasion, be quite strong.

That isn’t the case with this Sauvignon Blanc Gose from Two Roads, however, which uses the Sauvignon Blanc grape to great effect. Fans of Nelson Sauvin will enjoy this light, thirst-quenching sour (the New Zealand hop takes its name from the flavour of this particularly fruity grape). Gooseberry is often its most obvious character and that’s ever present in this sour, which crams lots of effervescent, sparkling wine-like character into a beer that sits at just 4.8%.

This Gose is an uncomplicated beer, and perhaps a little one-dimensional. This, however, makes it an ideal lawnmower beer. Perfect for smashing down after a day spent in the hot sun, when a bottle of wine might be a little stronger and less thirst quenching than what you require. It also pairs excellently with barbecued chicken or fish, which means its a beer that can be easily enjoyed in the majority of summer scenarios.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis as UK editor of Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. Pick up a can of Two Roads Sauvignon Blanc Gose in store or online.

#HBBAdvent Beer 21: Two Roads Tanker Truck Sour Series - Plum Gose (US)

Two Roads says: Classic Gose sour/salty interplay with the unmistakable character of tart Italian plums (prunus cocomilia). Pinkish in color and decidedly refreshing.

We say: Plum Pudding last night, Plum Gose today - we be all about the plums. Tis the season... 

This is a well-seasoned gose (love that salt) that pours a beautiful purple. We've enjoyed all of the Two Roads releases we've had in this year, so this plummy number is a very worthy inclusion to the box. Consider it a tasty wee spritzer as we gear up for the home run to Christmas... - Jen

The Beer Lover’s Table: Summery Cured Salmon with Marble x Holy Crab LanGOSEtine Langoustine & Pineapple Gose

I like a beer that isn’t afraid of being controversial - and Marble’s LanGOSEtine is definitely polarising. For beer drinkers unused to sour beers, goses - which are distinctly tart, as well as saline - are an acquired taste. The fact that this particular gose is brewed with pineapple and langoustines makes it all the more eyebrow-raising.

But don’t be put off by its quirks. Zesty, bright, and fresh, Langosetine is summertime drinking perfection - especially considering the langoustines add subtle, briny depth rather than fishiness. (Consider, too, that oyster stouts have been made since the 1800s, so there’s a precedent for seafood-laced brews.)

Though this is the kind of easygoing beer that could get on with all kinds of dishes, seafood is a natural pick - and cured salmon works beautifully.

Making your own cured salmon is an exceptionally gratifying thing, especially given how simple the process really is (and how impressive the end results). All you need to procure is kosher salt (I used Diamond Crystal), sugar, herbs, spices, and citrus zest, plus the best cut of salmon you can get your hands on - it’s worth paying for sashimi-grade fish, as you’ll want it as fresh as can be.

Time does the rest. After 24 hours, the fish will have shed moisture and darkened to a burnt terracotta hue. Eight more hours of air-drying in the fridge, and it’s ready to be sliced.

Though this salmon is prepared similarly to a classic Swedish gravadlax, I made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it especially summery. Pineapple plays very well with basil, so I used it in place of the more traditional dill. To add a bit of tropicality, I used lemon and orange zest, as well as lime and pomelo. Served atop malty rye bread and with a swipe of tangy crème fraîche, it’s the perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Summery Cured Salmon
Serves 4-6

For the salmon:
140g Diamond Crystal kosher salt
100g light brown sugar
1 tsp red peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
Zest of 1 lime
Zest of 1 honey pomelo
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1 large bunch basil, roughly chopped
500g boneless, skin-on salmon fillet, sushi-grade

To serve:
Rye bread
Crème fraîche
Freshly grated black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon

Line a small-to- medium baking tray with foil. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the first four ingredients together, whisking to combine. In a small bowl, add the zests of the four citrus fruits (I recommend using a Microplane grater, to ensure you don’t take off any bitter pith when zesting).

Place half of the salt and sugar mix into the foil-lined baking sheet, patting until it's just slightly larger than the piece of salmon. Place 1/3 of the basil under where the salmon will lie.

Put the salmon skin-side down on the salt mix, and then sprinkle over the zest and remaining basil. Cover the fillet with the remaining half of the salt and sugar mix, or until the fish is fully covered. Add a second piece of foil on top and crimp the two pieces together so they're tightly sealed around the fish. Place in the refrigerator and cover the salmon with heavy objects to help press out any excess moisture (I used several beer bottles).

Leave the salmon to cure for a full 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove it from the parcel and dispose of the curing mixture. Rinse any excess mixture off the salmon and pat to dry.

Fit a rack over a baking sheet, and place the salmon on top of the rack and into the fridge. Leave to chill and air-dry for eight more hours. When finished, place the salmon in a sealed container and refrigerate. It should keep for 3-4 days.

To serve, toast your slices of rye bread and top each with a generous swipe of crème fraîche. Using a very sharp knife, first remove the skin from the salmon and then slice very thin slices on a bias. Top each slice of crème fraîche-covered toast with a generous heap of cured salmon slices. Finish off with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and some lemon zest.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen. Pick up a can of Marble LanGOSEtine in store or at our online shop

#HBBAdvent Beer 21: Tiny Rebel Frambuzi Raspberry Sour Framboise (Wales) / Wild Beer Sleeping Lemons Gose (Somerset)

Tiny Rebel says: Our first ever sour beer! We have a soft spot for sours, and we love the rich, tangy flavours of Framboise. Packed to the brim with the plumpest, juiciest little raspberries we could get our hands on. We've fired them into this kettle soured little vigilante like a drive-by in the fruit aisle. Splat, splat, splat!

Wild Beer says: Gose, is a traditional German-style sour wheat beer, usually brewed with coriander and salt. Once nearly extinct, this very refreshing style is making a comeback and we thought it would provide the perfect backbone to this wonderfully complex summer beer. A fabulous citrus accompaniment to fish dishes, or it could act as a sour lemon pickle to Moroccan food.

We say: Who says sours are just for summer? No one, that's who. Both of these beers went absolutely gangbusters at ours over the summer months, so we were delighted to see them pop up on the autumn beer lists too. And what better way to thumb your nose at the official first day of winter than by popping the lid on a fruity summery beverage? Cheers! - Jen

Each night, we'll reveal the day's hand-picked beer from our Big Beery Advent Calendar. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter or Instagram (#HBBAdvent). Tiny Rebel Frambuzi is now sold out,  alas, but you can get your hands on Wild Beer Sleeping Lemons' big brother, Sleeping Lemons Export, in store or via our online shop.

#HBBAdvent Beer 1: Westbrook Key Lime Pie Gose (South Carolina)

Westbrook Brewing says: You want some pie? And gose? Well here it is: Our classic gose infused with the delicious flavors of Key Lime Pie. Made extra special just for you.

We say: What a beer to kick off this year's advent calendar. Every American who visits the shop can't believe it when they see it on shelf - it's so hard to get hold of over the pond. I love sharing this sharp, salty sour with people who haven't tried it and watching them all fall in love with it. Jen and Glenn have had to stop me buying it all up. Key Lime Pie is one of my favourite beers of the year. - Jonny

Each night, we'll reveal the day's hand-picked beer from our Big Beery Advent Calendar. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter or Instagram (#HBBAdvent). Find Westbrook Key Lime Pie Gose in store or via our online shop.

Big Beery Advent Calendar - Beer 9: Siren Craft Brew Blue Sky Blue Sea Seaweed & Cloudberry Gose (Wokingham) 5%

Each night at 8pm, we'll post a blog about the day's hand-picked beer in our Big Beery Advent Calendar - why we love the brewery, why we've chosen the beer, why we think you'll love it too. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter.

Siren says: “We drew Surly Brewing in this year’s International Rainbow Project with the colour assigned to us being blue. In the spirit of the transatlantic collaboration we’ve linked the two breweries by sea and sky; our British Isles surrounded by water and Minnesota admired for its skyscapes. Seaweed provides the ocean air and salty gose depth while cloudberries represent the skies above.”

We say: We reckon the Rainbow Project - created by former Siren head brewer Ryan Witter-Merithew - is just about the most exciting event on the UK brewing calendar. If you get the chance to make it to one of the launch day venues, such as Beavertown in London or Magic Rock up north, take it - it’s a great day out with great people and, most importantly, amazing beers. For the 2016 Project, seven UK breweries have been matched with seven New Zealand breweries, something we’re naturally looking forward to very much. But we digress…

We usually have at least 10 different beers from Siren as they make great beer and love pushing the boundaries - like Pokemon, we gotta drink them all. The beer you’re opening tonight is this year’s effort from Siren and Surly in the US, and it might just split opinion. Some will love its salty tartness (we do), others may need more persuading, and for some it might even be the first sour they’ve had. Never say we don't like to keep things interesting here at HB&B...