We made it. The long wait is over. After eight months of drinking beer without live football in front of our faces, the Washington State Cougars and Rutgers Scarlet Knights will let us remedy that situation by taking part in a game at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night.
Baxter and I have been training all offseason, trying hundreds of different beers for your benefit. We also wanted to break the trend of doing mostly delicious Vermont beers that y'all on the West Coast can't get, so Baxter sent me down to New York to pick up a few that we know are distributed in our home state of Washington.
And since it is still summer, we decided a nice, refreshing session beverage was in order. That led us to a style that Baxter has yet to review: The-once-nearly-extinct-but-now-making-a-massive-comeback Gose. The specific beer of choice for WSU vs. Rutgers is "The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose" by Anderson Valley Brewing Company.
Not sure what a Gose is? I'll let Anderson Valley fill you in:
Originating in the town of Goslar, Germany in the early 16th century, the Gose style (pronounced "Go-zuh") was traditionally brewed using salted water and 50% malted wheat and was spiced with coriander and hops. It was fermented with both traditional yeast and lactic bacteria, giving it a slight tartness, similar to that of a Berliner Weisse. The brewing of Gose eventually migrated to Leipzig, Germany by the turn of the 18th century and became the most popular style in the region by 1900, only to virtually disappear after World War II brought destruction to the breweries and hard economic times.
It wasn't until a couple years ago that I saw Goses popping up with frequency. The style was truly brought to my attention by Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville, VT, which features a Gose as its flagship brew, even though it is surrounded by nearby highly-regarded, hop-loving breweries such as Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist and Lawson's Finest Liquids.
To be honest, the first time I had a Gose I didn't know what to think. There's a definite salt presence and a slight tartness. It doesn't taste like most beer styles, but it is refreshing and light with plenty of flavor. I typically prefer it to Berliner Weisse, the other tart session style that is rapidly growing in popularity (as referenced by Anderson Valley above).
These days, I've discovered many Goses that I enjoy and there are times when I even seek out a Gose as a refreshing pairing with dinner or for a session on the back porch.
Craig's Review: KYG has a nice sour smell, hinting at the tartness in the beer with a little spice from the coriander. This is more tart than some other Goses, with a lemon-esque and salty flavor that stops just short of making your lips pucker. Easy-drinkin' but not too light with low ABV.
Baxter's Review: Salty stuff is the best. Potato chips, cheese and peanuts! Salty beer is just as good, even though I reflexively shook my head when I tasted it, I still wanted more (I always want more people food).
That's what Baxter and I will be drinking as the Cougs face the Scarlet Knights. What is your beverage of choice?