Verloren (translates to “lost”) is a limited release from Samuel Adams–the Boston Beer Company in Boston, Massachusetts. The style of beer is an ancient one, called gose, possibly dating back some 1,000 years to its namesake, the town of Goslar, Germany.* You didn’t know you were in for a history lesson?
It is quite an apropos name, Verloren, as the style was twice nearly driven to the point of extinction, first, as the city of Goslar’s economy began to dwindle in the eighteenth century, and once again in the latter half of the twentieth century. There are different theories as to gose’s decline, ranging from the advent of Reinheitsgebot** to the more recent rise of pale lagers, which overshadowed many more local and traditional styles of beer.
- 6% ABV
- 15 IBUs
- malts – two-row pale, Munich, malted and unmalted wheat (50 to 60%)
- hops – Saaz
- calories – 188 (per 12 ounces)
- an addition of lactic acid
- spices – salt and coriander
The addition of salt is to emulate the mineral-rich water found in gose’s area of origin, a characteristic that is thought to have originally set the local brew apart.
Verloren pours a hazy orange. The aroma is slight, but there are mineral traces and maybe some tart, spicy citrus way off yonder. The things which immediately register with the first sip are a bite of carbonation and, more importantly, the salt as it hits the tip of tongue and then washes over with a nice, smooth medium body. These sensations ride the palate throughout, but next is a dab pepperiness from the coriander. It finishes off with some dried coriander and a nagging bitterness from the dry spice and noble hops–a flavor akin to citrus peel.
There are not a huge bursts of flavor here, but that is not the aim of the style, which is to be a quenching beer, and it is unique one, to be sure.
Sam Adams’s Veloren is available in Winston-Salem at City Beverage and Total Wine & More, but this particular bottle was purchased at The Brewer’s Kettle (cheers to you, High Point!). At all locations it comes in 22 ounce bottles for around six dollars and some change. For more information on Verloren and Sam Adams, click here. Bottoms up!
*Gose is to Goslar as “kölsch is to Köln or pilsner is to Plzeň, at least in an historical sense.” (thanks be to K. Florian Klemp and All About Beer Magazine!) In 1738–during the beer’s first decline–some of the local brewers from Goslar established a brewery in the nearby city of Leipzig where gose enjoyed a resurgence in popularity; hence, this style of beer is also known as “Leipziger Gose.”
**The German Beer Purity Law, or the Bavarian Purity Law, adopted in 1516; it dictates that beer contain only three ingredients: barley, hops, and water (as yeast was not yet known). Gose contains others, such as salt and coriander, which may account for some of its decline in popularity.