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.

Boozing with the Prague-based bloggers

Meet­ing up with Velky Al (he’s very tall), Evan Rail (his sur­name is Cor­nish), and Pivni Filosof (he’s very philo­soph­i­cal) was a real treat for us. For one thing, after six days on the road, we were get­ting bloody sick of each oth­er, so the civilised com­pa­ny was very wel­come. And, for anoth­er, they took us on a VIP tour of a cou­ple of bars we’d nev­er have found and nev­er have set foot in oth­er­wise.

All of the beers were excel­lent, but we were most impressed with the Kout na Sumave beers in U Slo­vanske Lipy. Boak loved the desit­ka, with its pow­er­ful hop flavour, while Bailey’s favourite was the dark lager.

We had a bit much to drink and weren’t tak­ing notes, so that’s about it as far as an account of the night goes. You can read all about it here and here, though.

Thanks, chaps!

Dark beer in Dortmund

Dort­mund is one of those places whose name is famous amongst beer geeks, but  where it’s hard to find any very excit­ing beer.

We did track down Hoevel’s Orig­i­nal, though, which we found inter­est­ing. It’s anoth­er one of those Ger­man local brands which has its own town sewn up but which you don’t see any­where else. Every build­ing, bus stop and bill­board in town has one of their glossy adverts fea­tur­ing a seduc­tive nymph.

Their brew­ery tap (see Ron’s pub guide for details) dish­es up the beer in per­fect nick. It’s served in a cus­tom glass (we love cus­tom glass­es) which they call a ‘Vic­to­ria’ – tall, and the shape of a trum­pet bell. To all intents and pur­pos­es, it’s an alt bier, being brown, nut­ty, fruity and alto­geth­er very like a smooth, tasty best bit­ter. Not real­ly worth going out of your way for – the alts in Dues­sel­dorf are bet­ter – but, as they say in Ger­man adverts, “Mmm­m­mm.… leck­er.” That is, tasty.  There’s also a cloudy ‘zwickl’, which was a bit home-brewy.

In con­trast, we also tried one of the local ‘pre­mi­um pil­sners’ which, in the case of most Ger­man brands, is a euphemism for ‘very bland lager’. Brinkhoff’s No 1 is prob­a­bly the most bor­ing beer we’ve ever had. It had less flavour and body than tap water. Worse than Cruz­cam­po. Sheesh.

Our hol­i­day arrange­ments were pret­ty chaot­ic this time so we stu­pid­ly failed to pick up on Bergmann as rec­om­mend­ed by Adep­tus. If you are going to Dortmund/Muenster or any­where in that region, make sure you check his blog before you go!

West country beer tasting

We were down in Som­er­set for Bailey’s Dad’s birth­day a cou­ple of week­ends ago and, as always, sched­uled a vis­it to Open Bot­tles, the West Country’s pre­mier eccen­tric beer shop.

The own­er has had trou­ble get­ting some of the nation­al­ly known brew­ers to ship to Som­er­set but the result has been good for the shop. He’s now stock­ing many more local beers, includ­ing some real obscu­ri­ties with home­made labels and “quirky” brand­ing. Here are three we enjoyed:

Ched­dar Ales Gorge Best

Gorge Best! Ged­dit? Ged­dit? Like “George Best”, the famous alco­holic, only it’s made in Ched­dar with its famous gorge.

The brand­ing on this one, dodgy puns aside, is pret­ty impres­sive, latch­ing onto an essen­tial truth: Gill Sans or vari­ants there­of + screen print­ing = British­ness.

The beer itself is dark gold in colour, bot­tle-con­di­tioned, and bit­ter as Hell. In a good way. Very cask-ale-like from the bot­tle and, all in all, an excel­lent beer.

Whistling Bridge, by Ring­more Craft Brew­ery (Devon)

It boast spices, cran­ber­ries and cura­cao orange on the charm­ing­ly ama­teur­ish label (sad­ly, no pho­to). We weren’t expect­ing this to work, but it did. It’s a pale colour, with a good head, and tast­ed fruity and refresh­ing. It also went sur­pris­ing­ly well with the roast din­ner we were scoff­ing at the time. We’ll be look­ing out for more of their stuff.

Quan­tock Stout, by the Quan­tock Brew­ery

This was a very sat­is­fy­ing milky, creamy stout. Didn’t take any more notes on this one, but we liked it.

Open Bot­tles is at 131 Taunton Rd, Bridg­wa­ter TA6 6BD. It looks like any oth­er offy from the out­side, with megadeals on rub­bish lager adver­tised in on bright paper, but it real­ly is worth a detour if you’re in the area and want to sam­ple stuff from local micro­brews. You’ll have bet­ter luck there than in any of the pubs in town, sad­ly.