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beer reviews Germany

Gose in Leipzig

We really liked Leipzig. It’s a fascinating and lively city with an interesting history and several great pubs. We weren’t there for very long this time round, so we only got to try a few places. Naturally, being beer geeks, we focussed on the Gose.

We almost didn’t make it to the Bayerischer Bahnhof. Ron Pattinson’s not joking when he says it’s hard to find. Or rather, the problem is that it appears to be a massive building site, with no way in. Boak’s stubbornness prevailed, and after walking through a couple of estates, we made it.

Inside, we found an extremely popular and busy brewpub. It hasn’t changed much from Ron’s description, and is definitely worth the trip for all of the beers, not just the Gose. This Gose was orangey and a bit sour — like a wheatbeer with a drop of Tango in it. That makes it sound bad, doesn’t it? We liked it.

There were four other beers on offer. The “Heizer” schwarzbier was a little smokey and had good coffee notes; the “Kuppler” weizen really tasted like Schneider; the pils was decent enough; and there was a Bock which tasted a little Belgian (burnt sugar and pear drops). All were very well made, i.e. not like some German micro-brewed efforts. The food was also very good, and they do an interesting cumin liquour.

We tried the other Leipziger Gose in Sinfonie, a trendy cafe near the city centre. Doellnitzer Ritterguts Gose is reckoned by those who can be arsed to research these things to be the “most authentic” and it certainly is an extremely interesting drink. We were immediately reminded of a Belgian gueuze (shurely shome relation?). There is an immediate sour kick that gives way to a fruity, spritzy finish. Strangely drinkable.

We also tried “Kigo” – a trendy “kirschgose”. It’s more interesting in the fact that it’s being done at all than for its flavour — unsurprisingly, it was like one of the more boring, sweet krieks. But if it gets the Leipziger kids interested in their local beer, then that can only be a plus…

For more on Leipzig pubs and the history of Gose, see Ron’s guide. This has lot more detail on the pubs visited, including how to get to them.

8 replies on “Gose in Leipzig”

Sounds bloody great. I can’t wait to get there! Did you see these beers available in bottled form at all?

Oh, the Kümmel Likör is probably Caraway. It confused the crap out of me as I always assumed Kümmel to be Cumin. However Kümmel is Caraway while “Kreuz Kümmel” is Cumin. And I always wondered why my Obazta tasted different to stuff I got in restaurants 😀

Pity you didn’t go out to Ohne Bedenken. It’s a really nice place, in a lovely part of the city. The beer is the same, though.

And yes, the Bayrischer Bahnhof is well hidden. I missed it the first year I tried, and only got there on the second attempt, the year after.

Adeptus: regarding bottles: check my comment on the Goslar Gose.

Bayerischer Bahnhof is indeed hard to find because of the large-scale construction work going on (building an underground railway line). Was there in august, beer was nice, food very good. But the Gose at Ohne Bedenken is the best by far.
About bottles: at Ohne Bedenken (which is in the Menckestrasse by the way – and my family name is Menken – just a minor difference in spelling …….) you can get two kinds of Gose in Botles: The Ritterguts Gose in crown-capped bottles, and Ohne Bedenken bottles (swing top). The first are bottled at the brewery, the second at Ohne Bedenken. Essentially the same beer, but the second is fresher. On the other hand, the swing top bottles should be kept cool and consumed within a short period of time.

Ohne Bedenken is one of my favorite pubs anywhere. And Ritterguts is a fantastic beer. I’m halfway tempted to drive Nina and Jonas up there just to fill the car up. It’s just two and a half hours away.

Kigo is a funny name. In Dresden (and I’m sure many other places in Germany) kids used to drink Kiba, Kirsch-Banane, a blend of cherry and banana juice. When I was there I preferred Radeberger, though it doesn’t taste as good anymore.

There’s much in common between the Bohemian and Saxon drinking cultures. On that note, Kümmel is definitely caraway: we have the same linguistic flip in Czech. And our caraway — ?eský kmín — received EU PDO status this year. I’ve been looking for a good Czech caraway liqueur, kmínka, but I haven’t found one yet.

Back to the hunt…

Caraway it is.

We really wanted to make it to Ohne Bedenken, but we didn’t have a lot of time, and we’d vowed to come back to Leipzig anyway. Really interesting place.

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