Monday, April 19, 2010

So it Gose: Bayerischer Banhof Leipziger Gose

Leipzig, Germany is a fascinating city, with a mix of very old, old, and new. Remnants of the DDR days can still befound, but Leipzig is a very modern city, that is alive and vibrant. The train station in Leipzig is one ofthe most beautiful in Germany, and it has as many shops as malls here in the US do. When I visited Germany a few years back I had chosen Leipzig as a stop on my beer tour, for a very rare German beer style. A style with its roots in Lower Saxony, which was born in the town of Goslar. This beer then migrated to Leipzig, where it really took hold and grew.

That beer style is gose (pronounced gozaah), which is a wheat beer that is brewed with coriander and salt. What makes this beer so interesting, and unique is the fact that it does not follow the Reinheitsgebot or German Beer Purity Law of 1516. According to the Reinheistsgebot, only water, malts, hops, and yeast can be used in the brewing of beer. So how is it that gose can be brewed with coriander and salt? There are parts of Germany that never fully embraced the Reinheitsgebot, and continued to brew local styles. Because of their tradition and history, beers like gose were given a pass if you will, and were allowed to be brewed as they always were. If you find yourself in Leipzig, and you love beer, then you must try Bayerischer Banhof Leipziger Gose.

And what better place to try it than at the source itself? I did just that, when I visited the Gasthof and Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Banhof of Leipzig,Germany. This brewery/brewpub is located in what was a beautiful old train station, and the atmosphere, food, and of course the beer, are truly exceptional. This is a wonderful place to visit for lunch, dinner, or just to relax in the gosebierstub for a few beers. Banhof brews a number of styles, but gose bier is their specialty, and signature brew. Gose is a rare and world class beer, and it was well worth the trip to Leipzig to try this one at source.

Leipziger Gose pours to a murky and hazy deep golden color with a tall and rocky white head, and a vibrant carbonation. The nose on this beer is fantastic with lots of spicy coriander aromas, and tangy citrus aroma. The palate is firm, with some good flavors of tart and quenching wheat malt, citrus lemon flavor, and peppery hints of coriander. Leipziger Gose finishes with more tart and quenching flavors up front, then ends with a very salty finish that lingers.

This is such a refreshing, and delicious wheat beer that is very unique. I really enjoy the saltiness in this beer, it adds to the refreshing quality of this brew. At 5.2% abv it is the type of beer you can drink a few of, and one you will want to drink a few of. At the brewpub they serve it in a traditional gose bier glass, and it was the perfect beer to match with a lunch of local meats, sausages, and cheeses. I also tried a gose bier laced with Allasch which is an almond liqueur, and it made of any outstanding digestif. Great anytime, this beer like hefeweizen would also make the perfect aperitif, or summer thirst quencher. This beer is also available on the U.S. market, retailing for about $3.50-$4 a 1/2 liter bottle, so you don't have to venture all the way to Leipzig, but any beer lover worth his salt in gose, really should some day. For more information about this beer and the brewery visit their site at:

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