What sets this style apart from a witbier are the adjuncts. Coriander and salt are added during (or after) the boil in order to create a fuller mouthfeel and added complexity. (This tradition may have arisen from salty springs that provided early brewers their water.) Typically brewed below 5.0% ABV, these session beers are ideal to crack open on a warm spring day.
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Since Sam Adams launched its Single Batch Series last year, it's been a bit of a mad scientist's lab for craft beer crossbreeds, producing one-off creations like blonde barleywine, Baltic IPA, and rauch bock. They grabbed our attention with their latest releases in the series by dusting off a couple of seriously old and almost-forgotten styles: Gose and Sahti. Sam Adams isn't the only brewery to produce modern versions of these obscure ales, but they're certainly the largest.
Even among the craft beer cognoscenti, sour beers were something of a rarity just a few years ago; the New York Times noted that less than a decade ago, sour beers of all sorts could only muster up 15 entries at the Great American Beer Festival. Last year, there were 149, in four separate categories—certainly an indication of growth. While it's true that the majority of sour beers available today are of Belgian origin, (and there is much variety among those) there is plenty of historical precedent elsewhere for sour styles of beer.