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Celebrate Maine Island Trail Ale's 10th Birthday with us! Saturday, April 8

November 15, 2022

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…As tart and salty goses started taking off in the mid-2010s, Nathan Sanborn felt that interpretations of the centuries-old German ale missed the historical mark. “These beers weren’t salty originally because of the addition of a ton of salt,” says Sanborn, the director of brewing operations and a founder of Rising Tide Brewing in coastal Portland, Maine. “It was because of the water’s extreme mineral content.”

Sanborn wondered about Maine seawater. What would that give a gose? He brewed test batches — one with local seawater, one with extra salt — finding that seawater imparted greater depth and complexity, perhaps owing to plankton, algae, and more microscopic critters. “Seawater is more than just salt,” says Sanborn.

Rising Tide canned Pisces in 2016, and the gose remains a summertime staple. To brew a batch, employees pilot a boat to deeper waters around Maine and harvest seawater in small kegs. During brewing, the salty water is incorporated later in the brewing process, when it’s sterilized. “I want all of the seawater’s goodness in the finished beer,” he says….

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