International Happy Gose Day
annually on November 17th (since 2015)
Gosenschenke "Ohne Bedenken" in 2015
Today glasses are raised for a toast, and cheers of "Goseanna!" are expressed, for it is International Happy Gose Day! Gose, pronounced GOZE-uh, is a tart wheat beer of German provenance. It is made with a warm fermentation process and usually, 50% or more of the grain bill is malted wheat. This German sour beer is customarily made with coriander, which gives it notes of flowers and citrus, and with salt, so it is usually quite salty. Lactic acid is often added, which makes it even sourer. Gose is usually around 4 to 5 percent alcohol by volume.
Gose originated in the thirteenth century in the German town of Goslar, home to the Gose River, in the Lower Saxony region of the country. According to legend, the flavors of gose came from the mineral-replete waters of the river, which were used to brew the beer. The beer spread and its center of popularity became Leipzig, just over one hundred miles to the southeast in Saxony. Many breweries sprang up there and made beer in the gose style, while much of the rest of eastern Germany turned to other beers, such as pilsners.
Gose was most popular at the end of the nineteenth century when Leipzig had dozens of gosenschänken or gose taverns. Ohne Bedenken, which translates to "Without Concern," is a gosenschenke that opened in 1899 in Gohlis, a little town that was outside of Leipzig. It was one of the most prominent of the gosenschänken at the turn of the twentieth century, but closed down in 1958. Similarly, only one German brewery was making gose by World War II, and it closed in 1945. From the late 1940s into the 1960s, a few small German breweries were brewing gose, but it was out of production by the late 1960s.
After housing a cultural center, being used by the X-ray department of a polyclinic, and often sitting empty, Ohne Bedenken was restored to the glory of its heyday and reopened by Lothar Goldhahn in the mid-1980s. Goldhahn worked to get gose on the menu, and he found a brewery to make it, which began production in 1986. Gose brewing was briefly stopped in the late 1980s, but there have been a handful of breweries in and around Leipzig making it since. Today, Ohne Bedenken is known for serving gose and gose cocktails. They started International Happy Gose Day, and the holiday is especially popular in Leipzig.
But the popularity of gose and International Happy Gose Day is not limited to Leipzig or even to Germany. The beer has been gaining in popularity in the United States in recent years. This started after Bayerischer Bahnhof's Original Leipziger Gose was imported by Connecticut's B. United International. Likewise, Shelton Brothers in Belchertown, Massachusetts, imported Ritterguts Gose. In more recent years, American breweries began replicating German gose, often putting their own twist on it, such as by adding lime juice or lemon verbena. In 2016, California's Sierra Nevada Brewing Company began selling Otra Vez, a gose-style ale with lime and agave. Some other American brewers of gose include Anderson Valley Brewing, also in California, and Martin House Brewing Company in Texas. Gose has also become popular in Australia, and numerous craft breweries make it there.
How to Observe International Happy Gose Day
Some ideas on how to observe the day include:
- Gather with friends at a pub or bar and drink some gose. Make sure to say "Goseanna!" when toasting.
- Drink some gose at Ohne Bedenken or another place in Leipzig or Germany.
- Make your own gose.
- Make a cocktail that uses gose.
- Find gose beers to try by using RateBeer, Untappd, or BeerMenus. Some gose beers you could start with are Bayerischer Bahnhof's Original Leipziger Gose, Ritterguts Gose, or Sierra Nevada's Otra Vez.
- Share gose images, reviews, recipes, and blog posts on social media with the hashtag #HappyGoseDay.