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Special Ingredient: Salt

The key to a proper gose, says Fal Allen, the longtime brewmaster at Anderson Valley Brewing Company, is to go easy on the salt and don’t put too much stock in the fancy stuff.

John Holl Feb 2, 2019 - 4 min read

Special Ingredient: Salt Primary Image


Salt adds fullness and other qualities to beer, says Fal Allen, author of a new book on gose.

“Brewers used to use salt for just this reason,” he says. “As far as I can tell, the water of the Gose River region [of Germany] where [gose] was first made, wasn’t very minerally. I tasted it on my trip. But salt was probably used because there were mines in the area, and as an ingredient, it was cheaper than other things. Records are scant from back then, but adding a little salt adds more fullness and mouthfeel.” The same is true today. Anderson Valley Brewing Company (Boonville, California), where Allen works as brewmaster, is known for turning out gose of all kinds, from the traditional to the flavorful. The output from the brewery has grown in recent years as the style, once relatively obscure in the United States, has found a new audience who embraces the flavors.

So, what do you need to take into account when making gose at home? Allen has some tips.

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John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.