What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
– Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet
Love. Hate. Writers. People who write headlines. A match sometimes made in heaven. Sometimes in hell.
In the May/June issue of Imbibe magazine writer Josh Bernstein explains that the beer known as gose is pronounced “gose-uh.” The headline on the story reads, “So the Story Gose.”
The story is worth your time, and it’s online. For me it raises a question that I can’t answer. The dreaded You say tomato, I say tomahto question. In this case, You say goes, I say gose-uh. Is it still a gose if it is imperial-ized, if it is dunkel-ized, if it is brewed without wheat?
Bernstein writes about those sort of Americanized versions (imperial and dunkel from the Portsmouth Brewery in New Hampshire; the non-wheat version one of four seasonal goses from Cascade Brewing in Oregon), and he’s more comfortable with calling them gose then I am. (For the record, Portsmouth and Cascade both make excellent beers across the board, and I’m not suggesting they shouldn’t brew these particular ones.)
Quite honestly, this isn’t worth losing sleep over. Gose is a niche product. If you search the beer sites you’ll find plenty of examples, but mostly one-offs brewed in small batches. Still there’s a difference between reviving an interesting beer and treating it as an oddity. Eric Rose’s Tiny Bubbles is a fine example of the former.
We certainly don’t need to create more styles — Portlander Gose? Portsmouther Gose? no thank you — to make the difference clear. However it’s also not appropriate to toss in some combination of salt, coriander and lactic acid and imply the result would taste like the beer students drank in Leipzig pubs in 1900.
Once again, I’ve got a question, not an answer.
But here’s one I can answer right now. Pumpkin Gose? No.