Goses are big in Leipzig (Germany) but are a pretty uncommon style of beer in the rest of the world, making the fact we now have one on the island super exciting. No one else in Newfoundland is making a gose, so Port Rexton Brewery’s “Gardener Gose” is the only way for most of us to sample this style of beer that is so rare it has gone extinct in the world more than once.
Its enticingly unique nature, for both locals and tourists alike, was their goal. “We really strive to offer styles and flavours that are not brewed here, to offer variety and continuously entice people to try new styles.”
“Gardener’s Gose” is a collaboration between Port Rexton Brewery and the stunning Fishers’ Loft Inn, in Port Rexton. The Inn is a 3-building facility whose 33 rooms, suites, and executive conference centre are equal parts Inn, restaurant, bar, art gallery and professional retreat space for everything from travelling yoga troupes to visual arts instruction.
The restaurant at Fisher’s Loft is “local all the way, from food sources to the people who prepare and serve it.” The Fishers’ niece, Laura Duchow, has a background working in Montreal’s bustling restaurant scene, and she’s really set the tone for place.
“We’re all about freshly prepared food and producing ingredients in our kitchen garden, and sourcing food as much as possible from the area.” And this is where Port Rexton Brewery gets their coriander for the Gardener Gose. It has “loads of fresh, handpicked and hand-cracked coriander seed from the gardens and greenhouse at Fishers’ Loft.”
Coriander is a big, defining component of a gose. It’s basically a substitute for hops as the beer’s spice (though some brewer’s heavily hop their goses, others don’t). So, when brewmaster Alicia found a solid line on a supply of locally grown coriander, she knew she wanted to introduce this relatively rare style of beer to their patrons.
“We are really excited to do a collaboration brew with Fishers’ Loft. Having their readily available coriander just adds to the local movement this province is becoming known for!”
Gose is an ale named after the German town of its origin, Goslar, or Germany’s Gose River, and it belongs to the littler known family of sour wheat beers. The distinguishing feature of a gose is saltiness, not something your tongue is accustomed to after a swig of beer, and goses are also known for their tartness.
Both the salt and sour notes come from it being fermented with not just yeast, like all beers, but also some lactic bacteria. The brewery embraced the fact we naturally have high levels of sodium in our water. “The Gose style typically has added salt, to encourage the salty profile of the style. We are attempting to replicate this style without adding (too much) salt.”
Another distinguishing feature is their use of at least 50% wheat in the malt, alongside the standard barley as its starch grain. Hot tip: It’s pronounced go-za, and rhymes with Rosa. It is not pronounced as “goes” or goss (as in rhymes with floss).