The historic city of Leipzig in Saxony is a much neglected tourist spot. Where else can you find the starting point for the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification, or quench your thirst with a beer inside Germany's oldest preserved railway station?!
Gose belongs to the famliy of sour wheat beers which once was brewed across much of northern Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, of which Berliner Weisse and Belgian Witbier are other examples.
Originating from the town of Goslar (between Hanover and Magdeburg), where it was first brewed in the early 18th century, the brewing method involves at least 50% malted wheat, and because it's also brewed with coriander and cooking salt it doesn't comply with the strict Reinheitsgebot - the Bavarian purity law. It became so popular that Leipzigers adopted the beer as their own and Gosenschänke could be found around the city. It disappeared from the beer scene after WWII until 1986 when it came back into production.
Today three German breweries currently brew it: Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof and Familienbrauerei Ernst Bauer in Leipzig and Brauhaus Goslar in Goslar. In the United States, South Carolina's Westbrook Brewing Co. has brewed its own interpretation of a Gose since April 2012, while Off Color Brewing in Chicago has been brewing it since 2013 and Lost Nation Brewing in Vermont has been brewing Gose since opening its doors in July 2013. Polish craft brewery Artezan from Natolin also made their own Gose beer in November 2013, and the Kiuchi Brewery of Japan produces an interpretation of Gose incorporating ume (Japanese plums).
We decided to check out The old Bayerischer Bahnhof railway station at Bayrischer Platz and have some authentic Leipziger Gose.
The imposing portico showcases what once must have been an impressive station. Opening in 1842, the station served Bavaria as well as long distance trains to destinations such as Rome. World War Two and heavy bomb damage led to the demise of the station.
A lack of money in East Germany left the building in disrepair until 1999 when Thomas Schneider decided he would renovate and restore the building to its former glory but with the addition of a brewpub (today an underground S-Bahn station also exists underneath the original station).
We had a quick peek inside but as we visited during the summer, the beer garden called. Considering we were in the middle of a busy road and tram intersection, the beer garden was peaceful, quiet and cosy. Shady trees, cold beer and chatter filling the air.
The four beers brewed on site are:
Original Leipziger Gose (4.6%)
Schaffner - Bayerischer Bahnhof Naturtrübes Pils (5%)
Kuppler - Bayerischer Bahnhof Weisse (5.2%)
Heizer - Bayerischer Bahnhof Schwarzbier (5.3%)
Deliciously summer looking beer with big, frothy white head. It tasted tart, sour and smelled it too. I decided that the recommended ladies' gose, the gose radler, was a wise choice to offset the bitterness. A good summer drink, ideal for sitting in a Biergarten or next to a river.
If you love beer (especially sour beer) and microbreweries then this is a must-visit when visiting Saxony. We made sure to try all 4 beers brewed there and they were all great! Transport-wise, there is an S-Bahn station underneath the old station and tram lines on the main road, which is only a few stops from the city centre, so it's easy to get to.
We visited the brewpub as the last stop on a tour organised by the Leipzig Tourism Office - who we offer thanks to for the support and opportunity to discover Leipzig!