Gose in Goslar

Crystal clear gose hell in Goslar
Crystal clear gose hell in Goslar

We’d barely been in Goslar an hour before we had our first glasses of Gose in front of us. It’s one of those legendary regional styles that fascinates beer geeks — salt, coriander and sourness? About as far from the boring “premium pilsners” that are the norm in Germany as it is possible to get.

We tried the big brand first, Brauhaus Goslar Gose. Lars Marius had suggested the Goslar gose was dumbed down and, sure enough, its only distinguishing feature was a distinct saltiness. It wasn’t cloudy, either. Odd and pleasant enough, but not Earth-shattering.

That night, we tried our second gose, about which we can find very little information. It’s apparently micro-brewed and served, as far as we can tell, only at the Worthmuehle restaurant. It was much more interesting — a dead ringer for a Belgian wit, and very unlike anything we’d had in Germany before. There was a little more sourness, less salt and a lot more coriander than in Brauhaus Goslar Gose.

We liked it so much, we came back for more the next night.

Little did we realise how much more interesting things were going to get when we tried the two goses available in Leipzig. More on that in our next post. Incidentally, there were dark versions available of both the Goslar intepretations, but they were not particularly noteworthy.  They were similar to the pale versions but tasted a lot more like homebrew.

Restaurant Worthmuehle also does excellent food, making a real point about sourcing its meat locally and ethically. Which got us wondering… why do you never ever see a pig? Pigs must outnumber humans in order to deliver that much Schnitzel and Schweinhaxe…

Also, Goslar is a really interesting and pretty place, and definitely worth a visit even if you’re not intrigued by the Gose thing.

18 thoughts on “Gose in Goslar”

  1. Are you sure the Worthmühle goses are different from the other ones? The Worthmühle web pages don’t make any claims in that direction, they just say they have draft gose. http://www.worthmuehle.de/worthmuehle/gosebier.htm
    We tried to have dinner at that place, but it was full when we were there, so we never got the chance.

    If there really is another gose I guess I’ll have to go back to Goslar. 🙂

    Looking forward to reading your Leipzig posting!

  2. The company I work for has an office in Leipzig and I’ve been trying to get someone to bring some Gose back for me. I was told they weren’t available in bottled form, but I’m pretty sure some are at least.

    I’ve been wondering about that pig question myself! I shall investigate 😀

  3. It is a sad but true thing that most German farm animals are kept firmly indoors, even in summer. We used to be gobsmacked if we saw some cows when we were cycling, except in the high Alpine pastures. Poor old piggy. Guess he is in a shed somewhere!

  4. Adeptus: both of the Leipzig goses are available in bottle. You can buy the Bayrischer Bahnhof one at the brewpub, and the Döllnitzer Ritterguts at Ohne Bedenken. I’m 100% certain of this, since I’ve bought bottles with me from both places, last time in mid-October this year. Unfortunately, neither is in the city centre.

    This place has a sign in the window saying the sell gose, so it might be that they’ll sell you a bottle. It’s at Reichstrasse 13, which is very central.

  5. You rascals use the term “tastes like homebrew” from time to time like it’s a bad thing. I’ve had some truly great homebrews in my day (and not necessarily my own). I could see if you said, “tastes like mediocre homebrew,” or “tastes like extract homebrew.” Can you expound? Or throw out specific faults that made you draw that conclusion or decide on that term?

    Just pestering ya. Cheers!

    Wilson

  6. Tandleman, I see cows and sheep around here, just no pigs. But then I guess pigs are generally kept indoors. At least in Ireland they seem to be too.

    Thanks for the confirmation Lars! I’ll have to tell my colleague that he has been ill informed and to make sure to get me some on his next trip.

  7. Was in Goslar last month. As far as I understood, all Gose there is brewed in one brewery: Brauhaus Goslar, An der Abzucht 1a (Kaspar Schulz 10 hl Bräuhaus).
    I had the blonde and “dark” (more like amber) version at the Butterhanne and they were okay, but not much sourness. But in the evening I drank the amber version at Wortmühle and there it tasted better: spicier and a bit more sour.
    I have had the Ritterguts Gose in Berlin, and then a day later in Leipzig, and they were quite different, so even just another barrel can probably make the difference.

  8. Ironic that the Goslar gose should be brewed at that address (An der Abzucht), since the same stream (the Abzucht) is called Gose a little bit higher upstream, and there is even a street called An der Gose. Much better address for the brewery, if you ask me.

  9. Some history here. Nowadays the “Abzucht” is a nice little stream, and indeed it is the same river all the way. But when the ore-mining polluted the river, the town built a pipeline to get good quality water from upstream and the river itself became in fact a sewer, hence the name Abzucht.

  10. Wilson — I think we mean “tastes like our homebrew” — imperfect, and not in an interesting, exciting way…

  11. Lars — on the English page, which is linked above, they say the beer “is specially fabricatet for the „ Worthmühle „”, although that could be a translation error. The beer was extremely different and there was none of the main gose brewery’s branding around at all.

  12. Plus we asked the barstaff at Worthmuehle, because it tasted so different. They said that it was “different” to the stuff in the market place / Butterhanne although I didn’t get where it was brewed. Just to really confuse things, the menu in Worthmuehle gives a long history of where their gose is brewed – which ends in 2004!

    Of course it is possible that there is big variation in between batches, and that they are brewed by the same people, and that the barmaid didn’t understand me / where the Gose is from. In that case our point would be that it’s definitely worth going to both, to taste the variation. But if anyone with better German than us can clear it up, then do let us know.

    Tandleman / Adeptus – we caught a few minutes of “Bauer sucht Frau” on German telly, and even then, where they had a pig-farmer, they didn’t show the pigs…

    Wilson – we usually have a specific homebrew in mind when we say that. It’s normally our first few attempts at a normal English bitter, where what we end up with is too much residual sweetness from dark malts / lack of hop flavour / lack of decent finish. We are a bit lazy about our descriptions sometimes!

  13. The Brauhaus Goslar website says there was a Gose-brewery in Oker (between Goslar and Bad Harzburg) from 1993-2004, Braumeister Andreas Wagenführer. Then in 2004 Braumeister Paul Odin took over with the new brewery in Goslar itself.
    (On the same page they also make a distinction between Goslarer Gose and Leipziger Gose) See:
    http://www.brauhaus-goslar.de/Geschichte_/geschichte_.html

    The German pages of the Worthmühle are not so specific about their Gose, I would conclude that it is specially brewed for them, so maybe a somewhat different version.
    Color-wise it looked exactly like the darker version in the Butterhanne, but tasted quite different.

    Anyhow, I’m planning of more or less repeating my trip next year, first the Harz Region (prob. staying in Wernigerode for the steam trains), then onto Leipzig, then Franconia and/or Oberpfalz. But that is still months away.

  14. Back in 2004 I visited the Leipzig bars, but have yet to go to Goslar. On the same trip I also visited the Wöllnitzer Talschänke in the small village of Wöllnitz, just outside and substantially uphill from Jena. Here I tried the Wöllnitzer Weissbier, this being a sharply sour, salty and cloudy wheat beer brewed on the premises. The best Gose I tried, to my taste. But is it a Gose? Nobody ever seems to mention it. Perhaps it’s a Berliner Weiss?

  15. Hmmm. Interesting, Stephen. Sounds like a gose to me, given the saltiness. We’re going to put our “beers we’d like to try in 2009” post up soon, and that might now go on the list…

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