The sixth German Gose

<< 2010-07-17 11:44 >>

die Worthmühle

When I heard there was a third gose in Goslar I didn't want to believe it. After all, we travelled to Goslar in 2008 specifically to try the two goses from Brauhaus Goslar, carefully hunted down both the pale and dark versions, and tried them both several times. I then crossed Goslar off my list of "places to visit before I die," and was ready to move on. So to be told that there was another gose in Goslar was not what I wanted to hear. Especially not that it was only available in a place I'd already tried to get in, and failed because it was reserved for a private party.

As chance would have it, Goslar was the ideal overnight stop on our way back from southern France this week. The wife was easily persuaded to stop there, and so after dinner we dropped by die Worthmühle, the restaurant which Boak and Bailey claimed had the third gose, expecting to be told that "yeah, it's the Goslar Brauhaus Gose". But the very busy bar manager took the time to explain to a random person stammering broken German that, no, this gose was brewed especially for them, by Altenauer. So of course I ordered one.


And immediately it was clear that whatever this was, it was not the Goslar Brauhaus Gose. That beer is clear. This beer was cloudy and opaque, looking most of all like a paler version of Hoegaarden. There seems to be no doubt that this is a separate beer, which means there are six goses in Germany, and not just the five on RateBeer. (Obviously, once I finish typing up my backlog of beer ratings there are going to be six German goses on RateBeer.)

"But what does it taste like?" I can hear you cry. Well, it's not sour at all, which obviously means that it's not really a true gose. Sourness is almost the defining characteristic of gose, so a non-sour gose is like a pale stout or a dark pilsener. It does, however, have a spicy minty coriander taste with floral wheaty notes, so probably they did spice it properly. Overall, it tastes more like a heavily spiced wit than anything else. I found it nice, drinkable, and unusual, but perhaps a touch perfumy from all that coriander. I gave it 3.2 out of 5.0, which is a fairly good rating.

There is a little blackboard in the pub stating that the beer is brewed according to an old recipe, but my guess is that the recipe is so old it doesn't say anything about the yeast. The brewery of course knows perfectly well that the beer ought to be spontaneously fermented (or at least soured with lactic acid bacteria), but they also know that this would make it far too sour for most tourists to enjoy. So they decided to add normal yeast and make it taste more like a "normal" beer, thus destroying what was unique about it to begin with.

And there, I guess, you have the whole problem with tourism in a nutshell. Any place that is really beautiful and worth visiting must be changed in order to attract and accomodate tourists on a really large scale, which inevitably means destroying part of what made it worth visiting in the first place. One could get upset and angry about this, but it wouldn't change anything.

So, on the positive side, at least I've tried five of the six beers brewed in Germany that have "gose" in the name. This is the full list:

City Brewed by Name Taste
Goslar Brauhaus Goslar Gose Hell A bit boring
Goslar Brauhaus Goslar Gose Dunkel Quite boring
Goslar Altenauer Gose Interesting, but not sour
Leipzig Hartmannsdorf Döllnitzer Ritterguts Gose    Easily the best
Leipzig    Bayerischer Bahnhof    Gose Not bad, but quite mild
Köln Braustelle Kölner Gose ?

Looks like a visit to Köln (Cologne) might be necessary...

House decoration

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Bailey - 2010-07-18 05:18:42

I knew you didn't believe us! Sorry to have retrospectively tarnished your 2008 holiday, but it's good that you had the chance to revisit Goslar. Quite apart from the beer, I found it a really charming town and hope we get to go back sometime.

Lars Marius - 2010-07-21 15:14:46

Although I didn't want to believe you at the time I'm really happy now that you found this beer, since we were able to stop by and try it. So thank you very much for pointing it out! :-)

And I'd have to agree about the place. We really enjoyed our second visit. So much so that we toyed with the idea of doing some hiking in the Harz mountains, with Goslar as a base.

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