The New York Times travel section has a fantastic piece on German beer culture. German beer is fantastic – almost invariably – but it can be frustrating to go to cities hundreds of miles apart and find that the menus have the same four styles: helles, pils, dunkel and wheat beer. Where have all the local speciality styles gone, asks Evan Rail?
“It happened very quickly,” said Ron Pattinson, whose European Beer Guide lists many obsolete and rare German beers, including broyhan from Hannover, mumme from Braunschweig and keut from Münster. “The older styles were overwhelmed, and what we’ve got left are just the odd remnants of beers. It’s like a landscape that has been swamped, and you can just make out the odd tree and hilltop.”
Rail hunts down the remnants of local German beer styles, including Leipzig’s Gose:
The Gose was amazing, with a mild taste of salt immediately noticeable in its thick, mousse-like head. Its body was light and slightly spicy followed by a remarkably bright finish, more crisp than the most crisp riesling, sharper than the sharpest Chablis, and a better match for tricky citrus and vinaigrette than any wine I’d ever encountered.
Now that’s what I call writing.