beer reviews Germany pubs

Wot no gose?

Statue of JS Bach outside the Thomaskirche, Leipzig
Statue of JS Bach outside the Thomaskirche, Leipzig

Leipzig is blessed with yet another excellent brewpub, the Brauhaus an der Thomaskirche, right in the middle of town. When we went, they were offering a pils, a Rauchbier and a “Spezial” schwarz.

The Spezial reminded us of Sam Smith’s Oatmeal stout — goopy and warming and definitely not one of those thin German schwarzbiers. The Rauchbier was outstanding — straight out of Franconia, with its balanced malt and smoke mix. So nice that we had another, instead of trying the pils.

The Brauhaus was doing a roaring trade both on premises and in their takeaway service, and it was good to see how popular the Rauchbier was. Perhaps there’s hope for diversity in German brewing after all. Now if only they would try their hand at a Gose as well…

Brauhaus an der Thomaskirche is next to the Thomaskirche (surprisingly), where JS Bach composed hundreds of works. The pub is also an Italian restaurant.

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.