Maverick and Gose — Amsterdam Brewing Co and Great Lakes Brewery

You might recall a few weeks back I wrote about how Maverick and Gose was about to become the first all-Ontario collaboration to hit the LCBO.  Well, after the  usual LCBO bureaucratic hiccup, it is rolling out! If you want me to save you some time, Gose is a style you can be forgiven for not knowing about.  Considered the regional specialty of Leipzig, Germany (as a regional beer, it is allowable under the Reinheitsgebot even though it has spices and sometimes salt added to it), it is related to Berliner-Weisse, and is a sour spiced ale.  Reading up on Gose is a bit tricky (indeed, there is no reference to it in the Oxford Companion to Beer), but it seems that it originally was made with local water that had enough mineral salts in it, to give it a somewhat salty taste.  It was also lacto-fermented naturally, like other funky beers of its day. These days, the brewers generally add some salt to the water to compensate for the lack of traditional salty water, and add the lacto manually after the boil, to ensure it gets properly infected.  While it was nearly extinct, according to wikipedia there are three breweries in Germany now making Gose, two brewers in Ontario have had a stab at it (Maverick and Gose, and Boom Gose The Dynamite from Beau’s), and a search on beer advocate for “gose” returns 61 results.  Gose is sort of the Chatham Island Black Robin of the beer world.

Maverick and Gose, Amsterdam Brewing Co and Great Lakes Brewery

Maverick and Gose, Amsterdam Brewing Co and Great Lakes Brewery

From a 500ml sample bottle, Maverick and Gose pours a light hazy gold, with nice orange tones through the centre.  A fluffy 2″ head slowly dropped to a dense layer of foam.  Aroma is sharp with lemons, tart apples, green leaves, earth, something dank, and a hint of the sea.  There is sort of a spice-cupboard spiciness.  I can’t quite pick out exactly what’s in there on the nose.  On the palate, it is light, tart and refreshing.  There is a big shot of tart tree fruits, hitting on apples and pears, with some strawberries and white grapes. The lemon is still present, though it tastes almost more like a lemon candy, tart but with a bit of sweetness.  Spiciness is still present, and it’s kind of a coriander/pepper/dried ginger feel.  There is still traces of earth or soil and a dank barnyard.  The mouthfeel is very lovely, with a density from the salt, without actually being salty.  The carbonation is delicate, but present, and adds to the interest.  I don’t really get any oak from the barrel, but I’m guessing some of the tree fruit and berries and grapes come more from that than the fermentation.  Overall, it’s not aggressively sour, just nicely tart and bright, and very refreshing.  An excellent beer, though I’m not super familiar with the style.  I think it’s great, and will be getting more.

Buy Maverick and Gose

It is currently en route select LCBOs in Ontario, and is on the shelves (like I bought one yesterday) at the Amsterdam Brewery retail store at 45 Esandar Dr in Leaside, for $6.95/500ml bottle.

Drink It With

Cheese!!! Back to my usual picks, hit up the good kids at Monforte Dairy, and get their Saler, a funky sheep’s milk cheddar that will make you happy indeed.  The sort of funky dank cheese will bring out those characters in the beer, and the tartness from the beer will help cut some of the weight of the cheese.  Hella good.  I could also see this being a great beer for a dinner of Moules Frites.  Tart and complex, I think it would be a home run.

Amsterdam_logoAbout The Amsterdam Brewery

The Amsterdam Brewery is an independently owned and operated craft brewery that is deeply rooted in the city of Toronto. A pioneer of the craft beer revolution in 1986 and initially called the Amsterdam Brasserie and Brew Pub, The Amsterdam was the first of its kind in Toronto to offer patrons hand crafted lagers and ales that were brewed ‘in-house’. Today they brew over ten different beers including their flagship lager – Amsterdam Natural Blonde, the award winning Big Wheel Deluxe Amber, Boneshaker IPA and multiple year-round and seasonal brews. The Amsterdam Brewing Company uses only traditional brewing methods and their beers are made with four all natural ingredients – malt, hops, yeast, and water. All beers are GMO-free, without preservatives, and never heat pasteurized.

To learn more about the Amsterdam Brewery visit www.amsterdambeer.com
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GLB-stamp_2About The Great Lakes Brewery

A fiercely independent owned and operated brewery, Great Lakes recently celebrated 25 years in the craft beer business, making them one of the oldest craft breweries in Ontario. Great Lakes specializes in producing flavourful beers that will be sure to tickle your taste buds with each sip. From unique seasonal ales and premium lagers to our Project X and Tank Ten Series beers, we produce a variety of products to be enjoyed by everyone!
Based in Etobicoke, we invite you to visit our brewery for a taste of our award winning beers, including the Canadian Brewing Awards double Gold Medal Winner Crazy Canuck Pale Ale!

To learn more about Great Lakes, visit www.greatlakesbeer.com.
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Gose is sort of the Chatham Island Black Robin of the beer world.

2 Comments

  1. John Coates
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    +1 for a hard style to track down.

    It’s always weird when I live in Berlin but I have had more North American made Gose and Berliner Weisse beers… (I only know one Berlin based brewery that is making a proper Berliner Weisse now but they’re production is super low).

    There is an excellent Dark Gose out of Cologne called Son of A Batch aged in different woods with lava salts added. I couldn’t even find it on Beer Advocate. I didn’t get much out of the wood in the two versions I had but my roommate (not a beer drinker) loves them both.

    I do know there are two breweries in Leipzig that are brewing Gose – I can confirm that.

  2. chris
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Mmmmm, Lava salt sounds sexy…… I think for a lot of brewers in Germany, these styles are just too old and stodgey, but for North Americans, they’re sexy, like finding an old pirate’s treasure map.

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