the last week of October sees the last Red October beer launch at Malthouse today (Friday) at midday.

However, this is not your average vermillion or even rufescent beer – not even close.

Our chums at Good George Brewing, bearing the burden of having to live and work in The Hamiltron (City of the Future), [1] have produced a salty and fruity red beer – because we do not currently have enough of them apparently. This Gose goes on tap today. [2]

Good George Hibiscus and Lime Red Gose (4.8% and 19 IBUs) is described by the brewers themselves as a beer that “would work well with a variety of salads.” They are probably even now being chased out of Hamilton by locals wielding pitchforks and burning torches. [3] That is not surprising apart from the fact that Hamilton has finally discovered how fire operates.

Let us talk about Gose because as the warrior/poets in the legendary hair metal band Journey famously said “it Gose On and On and On!”  Beer writer Brad Leone is certainly a Gose guy, and not such a fan of the IPA, as evidenced by his article titled “Get on the Gose Bandwagon: The Beer That Magically Goes with Everything”. [4] He writes:

“It’s the dog days of summer, your commute is brutal and the workdays are long. You’re sweating more than your beer is. What is that beer you’re drinking, anyway? Is that a heavy, bitter IPA in your hand? Trade it in for a Gose.

Now is the time for a refreshing beer that won’t make you want to chug water or take a nap after but one that has flavour and character. If you haven’t been stocking your cooler with Gose (pronounced “go-sah”), go ahead and start.

Gose is a light beer made with water, wheat, coriander, and salt, and typically should be 4-5% ABV. If you’re familiar with sour beers, it’s on the mild end of that spectrum, like the Miller Lite of sour beers. [5]

Gose tends to have a nice, sour and tart lemon flavour that finishes clean and tickles the tongue with a hint of salt. Those flavours combine to make a super refreshing beer, perfect for beach, barbecue, and sitting-in-front-of-the-nearest-fan drinking. The low alcohol content and salty finish won’t leave you sluggish and dehydrated like a double IPA. In fact, it’s almost like you’re not drinking beer at all, but beer’s younger cousin…

A German beer in origin, it’s brewed in open top tanks that allow the beer to pick up wild yeasts and get the funky, tart flavour I dig so much. And it’s making a huge comeback here in the US and in other beer-loving countries. Drink these beers with grilled food—the sharpness is refreshing and the salty tartness cuts most dishes nicely on the palate. They’re also great with spicy foods. But honestly, Gose really goes with everything. You can’t go wrong (unless you pair it with stale gum you found in your pocket or something).” [6]

What an endorsement for the style. Good George Hibiscus and Lime Red Gose has, according to the Hamiltonian brewers, “hints of mango and massive notes of lime and potpourri. It also has notes of hay, grape skin and citrus, with bready notes from the malt. The saltiness balances the malt and works well with the lime.” It is a kettle soured Gose that had 15 kilos of lime juice and zest added to the whirlpool, 3 kilos of Hibiscus flowers to the kettle, and 1.6 kilos of salt. This beer be seriously complicated!

The beer and cheese thing continues to be a thing with plans for a Malthouse beer and cheese event involving the world-famous Brooklyn Brewery. The beers will include Brooklyn Hand and Seal 750ml (13.3% Bourbon barrel aged barley wine), Brooklyn K is for Kriek 750ml (10.1% Bourbon barrel aged ale with whole cherries), [7] Brooklyn Improved Old Fashioned 750ml (12.8% Barrel aged rye ale with botanicals and bitters) and Brooklyn Intensified Coffee Porter 750ml (11.8% Barrel aged coffee porter).

Next time, we drink to the pie and pint diet – it was in the newspaper so it must be true! [8]

[1] It is a threat – not a promise.

[2] This may be the greatest pun in the 380 editions of this blog. That reflects poorly on the quality of writing for the last 379 posts.

[3] It is a little known fact that Hamilton discovered fire in 1983 when they ignited an Aucklander – on purpose.

[4] If there was an evil version of me, and we all hope there is not, it would be this guy.

[5] I do not like sour beers but that is still a terrible thing to say about them.

[6] I am pretty sure Gose does not go with cheese fondue.

[7] Apologies to the Cookie Monster on that one.

[8] There are dangers in distorting the careful procedural fabric.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine


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