Advanced Cicerones compare: Gose vs. Berliner Weisse

sensory analysis Nov 18, 2022

In this sour German ale throw down episode, Advanced Cicerones Chris Cohen & Scott Fielder sit down to taste and discuss the differences between Gose & Berliner Weisse. We went with the BJCP approved Original Ritterguts Gose vs. the Professor Fritz Briem 1809 (which is no longer included as a classic example as of the 2021 BJCP because its ABV is a touch high for the style at 5% — still, it's a solid pick for a difficult-to-find beer style).

These beer styles are both pale, highly carbonated, and tart thanks to the use of Lactobacillus to add lactic sourness. There are a few differences that make these styles fairly easy to tell apart once you've had them side by side. Gose is made with salt and coriander, which really jumps out at you in the aroma and flavor. Gose is the only beer style made with salt, but it should be light, not oceanic or briny. Berliner Weisse lacks salt taste and coriander flavor. Berliner Weisse can, however, be made with Brettanomyces yeast, which depending on how long the beer has aged will lend it a touch of hay, barnyard, or leathery phenolic funk. Continuing Brett activity over a long period of time in the package can cause beer to become absurdly highly carbonated...and explosive. Maybe open this one over a sink if you suspect it's a bit older. Definitely don’t open it near expensive electronics, like a podcast mixing board! You've been warned!

The Beer Scholar "Classic Style Side-By-Side" series, we compare similar classic styles, discuss them, & provide tips for how to pick them apart in a blind tasting. This is all about helping you pass the Certified & Advanced Cicerone exams. Tasting blind is HARD, we're here to help!

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sensory analysis