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What is a Gose?

By Joe Katchever a.k.a. BrewMaster
– the younger years, pre-awesome beard.

A thousand year old beer.

It might seem kind of weird that Lower Saxony is actually located North and West of Saxony-Anhalt and even further Northwest of Saxony. Looks weird on a map but it makes sense because Lower Saxony makes up much of Germany’s Northern Lowlands, downhill from the Harz and Teutoburg Mountains. The Elbe River makes up the Northern border of Lower Saxony as it flows North/Northwest from the hilly and mountainous Hamburg, picking up watershed along the way to its mouth on the North Sea.

The Saxons are a Pagan germanic tribe that dates back to prehistoric times. In the 5th Century, 400 years before the Vikings invaded the British Isles, the Medieval Saxons joined up with their Northern neighbors the Angles and Jutes and sailed across the North Sea to plunder the English and ultimately protect their land from the Picts and Gaels, the Medieval ancestors to the Scotts and the Irish. The Saxons intertwined with their brothers-in-arms to form the Anglo-Saxon people and populated England with Anglo-Saxons over the next 600 years. The Englishman, or lowlander became known as a Saxon, to distinguish him from a Welshman, Irishman, or Highlander.

Lower Saxony was once the Kingdom of Hanover and part of the German Confederation, an economic union run by Austrian Empire, yet remained personally united with England for 123 years. In 1837 they decided that they their Salic Laws forbade them from being ruled by a female, namely, Queen Victoria,who was taking over the British Throne that year.

Twenty years later, Hanover backed the losing side in the Austro-Prussian War and was subsequently conquered by Prussia in 1866. Oopsie. Austria lost all official influence over member states of the former German Confederation. So, the Kingdom of Hanover became the Province of Hanover and was a province of Prussia for the next eight decades.

After the fallout of World War II, the Allied Forces occupied and had military control of the area and in 1946, The State of Lower Saxony and its capital, Hanover were established, followed by the Federal Republic of Germany and the dissolution of Prussia.

Goslar is a district in Lower Saxony that is nestled in the hillier side of the State, right next to the mountainous Harz district of Saxony-Anhalt. Over a thousand years ago, where the waters of the Abzucht and the Gose meet, Gose beer was born. The steady, maritime climate of the North Sea Coast brings much precipitation and agriculture to the lowlands, and gives way to the snowy mountains to the East, where ore mining is the major source of revenue. The mountains there, where the headwaters of the Gose River form, are rich with salt,. Hardly a river, the Gose River is only about five miles long but it became infamous as the water source for one of the World’s weirdest beers.

Gose Today

Gose, the beer, (GO-suh) starts with briney water so, when I started brewing Gose’s a few years ago, I had to add salt to my water to emulate the water of the River Gose. Undoubtedly there were more minerals present in the water than salt so I chose unrefined, unprocessed and ancient sea salt with sixty other trace minerals and no additives. Gose’s are brewed with malted wheat and barley about half and half, giving them a light color and turbidity and making complex sugars and carbs available for a bottle refermentation. This ancient beer style predates microbiology and was fermented with wild, airborne microbes, so I brewed mine the same way, with wild, spontaneous fermentation. Salty, light, sour, effervescent with a bready nose, this historical ale was often flavored with coriander, the seed of the cilantro. The tartness lends itself to other fruits and spices.

Usually, I first design a recipe, then brew the beer and it ends up with a name conjured by the imbibing ritual. The first Gose I brewed was brewed to match a name. Pearl Street Brewery’s 17th anniversary was coming up and, as those who party with us know, we release five brand-new beers every year at our anniversary party, which we call, “The Winter Ball.” Somebody suggest a beer be named “17Up” to celebrate the big 17. I thought the name was cool, so I decided to brew a beer that was tangy and lemon-limey so, I brewed it with lemon and lime zest and my first commercial Gose was born over a thousand years after the originals were brewed from the Gose River brine. 17Up was truly a delicious, thirst-quenching beer, if I don’t say so myself. Fresh citrus nose, prominent tanginess and a slightly salty backbone. The mid-February release was good but this was destined to be a Summer beer. I re-brewed it and bottled in the summer of 2017 and to be honest, it took awhile for people to catch on. Local popularity was good but sales around our distribution footprint really didn’t take off until later in the year.

I decided that I would brew more Goses and create different versions seasonally. I have friends in Juneau, Alaska that always brings me fresh, Spring spruce tips to brew experimental beers with. I brewed a Wintery version with spruce and the essential oil of the bergamot orange, the Italian orange famous for flavoring Earl Grey teas. That winter, Sour Winter Gose was the highest-ranked Gose of the year, earning a Gold Medal from the World Beer Championships. This was followed by Pop Gose, a bright, Spring-time beer with hibiscus flowers, lavender flowers and cucumber extract. The Autumn version is the newest one: Gosecopia. In this version I wanted to explore tropical fruit and used guava and mango along with some cranberries from a local Wisconsin farmer friend.

All of these Goses received high praise and went on to win medals except Gosecopia, but then I haven’t entered that one in any competitions yet ;).

Watch Pearl Street Brewery on the the new Discover Wisconsin.

What is Pale Ale?

By Joe Katchever a.k.a. BrewMaster

The beer that started a revolution.

I brewed Pale Ale back in the 90’s when I was working in breweries out in Colorado. Pale Ale was one of the most popular brews and the hands-down favorite of the employees.

When I moved to La Crosse to start Pearl Street Brewery in 1999, Pearl Street Pale was one of the first beers I brewed. I still brew it today with the same recipe, although now I buy my hops and malt from local, Wisconsin farmers.

Pale Ale is a special beer to American brewers because it was the genesis of the American Craft Beer Revolution. I remember trying a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale back in high school and thinking “Wow!” It was stronger, darker and more bitter than anything I’d tried.

The History 

American Pale Ale is a variation of an old English beer style named because it was paler in color than beer brewed previously. Sometime around the mid 1700’s, brewers found that using a type of coal instead of a wood fire as a heat source when kilning malt resulted in steadier, more even heating and more consistent malt production. An additional benefit was a lighter, cleaner and less smoky malt. When they brewed with this malt the result was beer that was lighter in color and had a cleaner malt profile.

In the early 1700’s, these pale beers began to gain popularity in England. They were referred to as “bitters” because they were more bitter than normal. It is unclear to me whether the bitterness was actually increased, or if it was the lack of competing flavors that made them seem more bitter. Take away the smokiness and the malt-derived astringency and it is easier to taste underlying flavors. Different brewing practices and hop levels have resulted in a range of tastes and strengths within the pale ale family over the next century.

Meanwhile in America, a series of political events including several major wars, prohibition and the Great Depression, led to beer becoming heavily industrialized. Throughout most of the 20th century, American beer was a bland and lifeless staple; void of any significant character, nutritional value or artistry.


Circa 1980, Pale Ale was reborn on America’s Western shores. Pale Ale became the beer that started the American Craft Beer Revolution, becoming the most popular craft beer style in North America.

American Pale Ale, or APA differed from its English cousins in that was lighter and hoppier. The new APAs were brewed with North American 2-row barley varieties and American hops, most notably, Cascades. Cascade hops were one of America’s signature hops; named after the Cascade mountain range where they are grown. APA’s are usually brewed with yeast that ferments cleaner, with less estery notes than English Pale Ales, giving a lighter, cleaner-tasting flavor profile.

Since then, the American beer revolution has resulted in America developing and being recognized around the world for dozens of uniquely American beer styles, including seven different variants on the beloved pale ale.

Big Time!

It is an American thing to do just about everything bigger, better or more extreme than is done in other parts of the world. We’ve got bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger stores, super-size fries, extreme sports and the list goes on. American beer is no exception. America took the two things that make a Pale Ale what it is: light color and increased hoppiness and pushed the limits, brewing an even lighter and hoppier beer. Americans have taken beer, in general, to the extreme. By my count, American brewers have officially introduced 27 new beer styles or bigger, stronger, bolder versions of traditional styles since the birth of the iconic American Pale Ale, and that’s more new styles than the rest of the world combined. Ironically, American-stye beers are now being emulated all over the world from Europe, to Mexico, to South America. Even the Belgians, considered by many to brew the most unique and ancient ales in the world have begun to brew American beer styles. What started out as a single beer style has grown into what is becoming a world-wide beer revolution.


Viva la Cerveza!

Watch Pearl Street Brewery on the the new Discover Wisconsin.

Pearl Street Brewery to Host Kind Country Album Release 

Pearl Street Brewery to Host Kind Country Album Release 

Saturday April 13, 2019

$7 Adv & $10 DOS | 7pm Doors | 21+ | Get Tickets


Pearl Street Brewery is hosting national touring Kind Country’s album release party with opening act The Wooks Saturday April 13, 2019. Kind Country is a Minneapolis based band that plays American standards as well as their own brand of “Cosmic American music”. Since their formation in 2012, the band has focused on creating live performances with high levels of improvisation and energy.

Kentucky natives, The Wooks will also be hitting the stage, they state their music translates the sights and sounds of the people, hills, bars, roads, and creeks around them into songs and shows that captivate. With both respect for their heritage and innovative originality, The Wooks are the natural evolution of a sound that has always been there.


Kind Country Press

“These guys have something special going on, with the addition of drums allowing the group to go deeper in exploring how bluegrass can morph and intersect with other genres and giving them the freedom to create a sound that is truly their own. However, they still stay true to their string-band origins and bluegrass roots, with their energetic playing and the talent among the six players more-or-less guaranteeing a foot-stompin’ good time.”-  

– Ming Lee Newcomb – Live for Live Music


The Wooks Press

“What has happened, in largely organic fashion, is a string-music sound that recalls renegade innovators John Hartford and David Grisman as much as roots driven sources Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs, along with improv-savvy interplay that endears the band to jam music fans and bluegrass traditionalists alike.”

Lexington Herald -Leader


About Pearl Street Brewery

Pearl Street Brewery has been creating award-winning craft beers in La Crosse, WI for 20 years.  Their beer can be found in restaurants, bars, and retailers all over Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.  Brewery tours are available every Friday and Saturday and patrons can visit the Tasting Room Tuesday through Sunday.  The brewery plays host to musical groups, yoga classes, fundraisers, and many community events.


April Pearl Street Brewery Events

April 4 – First Firkin Thursday (see more)

April 6 – Pints, Proceeds, and Produce (see more)

April 12 – Adult Recess @Children’s Museum (see more)

April 13 – Kind Country Album Release (see more)

April 20 – 4/20 Green Party with Tugg (see more)

April 23 – Craft Night with Habitat for Humanity (see more)

April 27 – Big Bluff Comedy (see more)


Watch Pearl Street Brewery on the the new Discover Wisconsin.

Pearl Street Brewery to Release Limited CBD Infused Beer and 2019 Smokin’ Hemp Porter

4/20 Green Party with TUGG and People Brothers Band

April 20 from 4-8pm |  $7.00 | Purchase here. 

Pearl Street Brewery Tasting Room

1401 St Andrew St La Crosse, WI 54603


Pearl Street Brewery is currently announcing their upcoming Spring beer release of its 2019 batch of Smokin’ Hemp Porter available regionally on April 20th (4/20) and a CBD infused limited draft only available at the Pearl Brewery Tap Room. The name of the CBD beer will be unveiled at the highly anticipated 4/20 release event.

Another Pearl Street original, and a Silver Medal Winner at the World Beer Championships, the Smokin’ Hemp Porter is a dark, smooth, and easy drinkin’ porter made with cherry-wood smoked malt and toasted hemp seeds. (Limited 4/20 Release – 5.5% ABV 18 IBUs)

Pearl Street Brewery is ahead of its time when it comes to releasing beer that actually contains hemp. Pearl Street Founder and Brewmaster, Joe Katchever has been brewing and serving Smokin’ Hemp Porter on draught since 2008. Katchever says, “although I applied several times, I couldn’t get Federal label approval for this beer because it had the word ‘hemp’ on the label. I have many emails back and forth with the TTB (the Federal Agency that regulates alcohol product labels) explaining that the beer did not contain illegal substances and that hemp itself is not illegal. It was not until recently that they were able to give me their permission to label and sell this beer outside of the state.”  Smokin’ Hemp Porter has been sold in bottles since 2015.

Pearl Street Brewery will be showcasing the 2019 batch of Smokin’ Hemp Porter and the new CBD infused draft at the Pearl Street Brewery Tap Room on April 20 from 4-8pm during the  during the 4/20 Green Party with TUGG and People Brothers Band.

Information available at or by downloading the Pearl Street Brewery App.

About TUGG

TUGG continues to prove why they’re a fast rising star of the alternative reggae/ska scene. All of the bands last 5 releases have debuted in the Top 50 of the iTunes Reggae Chart. Their 2012 EP “Home Brew” climbed all the way to #2 and spent 3 weeks in the Hot 100 iTunes Reggae Album Chart (

About People Brothers Band

Originally hailing out of Madison, Wisconsin, The People Brothers Band (PBB) are a staple of the Midwest’s vibrant music scene. Featuring some of the best vocalists and musicians in the region, the PBB have blossomed into a unique brand of Rhythm and Soul dedicated to uplifting the hearts and minds of its friends and fans (

Watch Pearl Street Brewery on the the new Discover Wisconsin.

Things to Know about Pearl Street Linalool IPA

Linalool IPA, the only IPA brewed with Northern Discovery® hops.

Featuring a crisp golden yellow color, and the unique aroma of lilac, pear, and bruised apple.

1) Special Hops

Linalool IPA is brewed with this rare species of hops that was discovered growing wild by a UW-Madison Horticulture Botanist, who was also a homebrewer. Upon brewing with the mystery hop, he also discovered that it made good beer! The family began cultivating this new hop variety on their Madison area farm and their curiosity got the best of them. They had the plant genetically tested to determine which strain it was, only to discover that it was not genetically identical to any commercially available strain of hops, making it a unique variety.

2)  Unique

With a unique genetic fingerprint and 2.5 times more linalool (an aromatic compound that gives hops their essence) than any commercial variety.

3) Rare

Northern Discovery hops are produced by a single Wisconsin grower — and Pearl Street Brewery has the exclusive rights to use this unique, indigenous hop variety, and it is featured in their Linalool IPA.

4) Growing

When Linalool was first brewed by Pearl Street Brewery, they were only able to brew it seasonally since there were not enough Northern Discovery hops available to meet the demand for the beer year-round. Since that time, production has ramped up to meet the demand for this unique and popular Wisconsin brew.

5) Science

According to Brewmaster Joe Katchever there is science behind the aromatics in Linalool IPA. “the linalool molecule actually bonds to a carbohydrate found in the beer forming what is called a glycoside. Glycosides are odorless and tasteless but during aging, the molecular bond breaks and the linalool is released into the beer and you can smell it. By carefully controlling the pH of the beer, we can maximize the formation of glycosides.”

You’ll be wild about it. 6.8% ABV. 60 IBUs….More at

Watch Pearl Street Brewery on the the new Discover Wisconsin.

Pearl Street Brewery featured on Discover Wisconsin Episode

Pearl Street Brewery is currently featured on the the new Wisconsin’s Craft Beverages – Raise a Glass episode from Discover Wisconsin.

Pearl Street Brewery is showcasing the brewing process, mix fermentation, and barrel aging as they create “liquid art”. The Episode complements Pearl Street Breweries 20 Years of craft brewing in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin’s Craft Beverages – Raise a Glass” will reach Discover Wisconsin’s broadcast network of 600,000 viewers across the upper Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Northern Illinois, and Upper Michigan. It is also available for streaming on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Smart TV, and Chromecast. The episode was produced by Amy Wallace. Learn more at

About Discover Wisconsin

As the state’s leading media brand, Discover Wisconsin can be seen statewide on Fox Sports North (FSN) Saturday mornings at 10am, on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, Smart TV, and Chromecast, and online at For more on this and other episodes or the broadcast schedule in other areas, please visit

What: Wisconsin’s Craft Beverages – Raise a Glass TV Premiere

Where to Watch (TV)

Where to Watch (Online)



Cash’d Out Live at Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wisconsin

March 28, 2019 | 8pm

The band’s live shows respectfully reference the late, great Man in Black’s Sun Records and early Columbia era sound, combined with the energy of the classic multi-platinum live recordings from Folsom Prison and San Quentin. The group’s genuine love (and authentic recreation) of Johnny Cash’s music and its universal appeal fans of all ages and of virtually all musical genres makes each Cash’d Out show a must-see event.


Watch Pearl Street Brewery on the the new Discover Wisconsin.

Tasting Room Hours for Friday February 8th and Saturday February 9th

We apologize for any inconvenience. Please be advised:
If you are attending our Winter Ball, we will not have our brewtique open, fill growlers or accept PSB beer chips. Thank you for understanding!
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Winter Ball Attire

Is there a Dress Code for this year’s Winter Ball? Short Answer: NO

However, we will be decking out the decor and ourselves for a roaring twenties party and we encourage you to dress the part… or come as you are! We are excited to celebrate 20 years of Pearl Street Brewery beers with YOU!