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Home Beer Mini trend: seaweed and oyster goses

Mini trend: seaweed and oyster goses

Night Shift, Stillwater/Freigeist and Siren/Surly brew up marine-inspired goses.
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Photo courtesy of Night Shift Brewing

Photo courtesy of Night Shift Brewing

Gose’s signature salinity can be reminiscent of the sea, and recently brewers have been doubling down on the oceanic theme by adding oysters and even seaweed to these historic beers. Think that sounds weird? Oyster stouts (subtly flavored with oyster shells) are hardly uncommon these days, and we’ve actually enjoyed the most recent kelp-infused beer we’ve tried.

But oyster and seaweed goses? Yep, we’ve noticed an uptick in these marine-inspired brews. Exhibit A: Each summer for the past two years, Everett, Massachusetts-based Night Shift Brewing has added whole, raw Island Creek oysters to the boil of its Harborside gose; the shells open up during the brewing process, contributing brininess and a harmonious lemon flavor. (Bonus: Brewers get to slurp a few raw oysters in the process.)

Photo courtesy of Night Shift Brewing

Photo courtesy of Night Shift Brewing

“We knew the oysters were going to add a bit of salt, but we didn’t realize that it would give us everything we needed flavor-wise,” says Night Shift cofounder Michael Oxton. “We were hoping to get some brininess and a small amount of oyster flavor; what you get is a supersavory, almost lemonlike flavor. Everyone who drinks it asks if we add lemon to the beer but that’s just from the oysters.” 

Exhibit B: A recent collaboration between Baltimore’s Stillwater Artisanal Ales and Germany’s Freigeist yielded Atlantis Gose, an umami-flavored beer brewed with seaweed and oyster shells that I enjoyed on draft at D.C.’s Pizzeria Paradiso.

And a tag-team brew last year between England’s Siren Craft Brew and Minneapolis-based Surly Brewing Co. created Blue Sky Blue Sea, a gose with kombo and sea spaghetti seaweed as well as cloudberries, which are edible, orange-hued berries similar to blackberries or raspberries. Why that combo? “We’ve linked the two breweries by sea and sky; our British Isles surrounded by water and Minnesota admired for its skyscapes. Seaweed provides the ocean air and salty gose depth while cloudberries represent the skies above,” Siren explained in a blog post.

Spotted any other versions of this aquatic gose trend? Tell us in the comments so we can sea-k them out.

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