Monday, November 28, 2011

Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof - Brettanomyces Lambicus (Berliner Style Weisse)

Walking around my local craft beer store, a small-funky designed bottle caught my eye. Upon further inspection, I found myself giddy with delight because I had stumbled across an authentic, German-brewed Berliner Weisse; My second favorite style of beer after American/Double Imperial Stouts (Yes, I know its weird). Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof (Gose Brewery) is housed in a reconstructed train station that opened in its home of Leipzig, Germany in 1842 connecting this eastern city to the neighboring city of Altenburg. The Gose Brewery produces a few traditional sour German wheat beers, most notably, their Gose (Berliner Weisse). Gose's Brewmaster, Matthias Richter defines this regional style on their website as a beer with a "refreshing, slightly sour taste and is an excellent thirst quencher. It is brewed with the addition of lactic acid, coriander and salt." The site also explains that specific beers are produced solely for international distribution in the United States, therefore I can infer the Brettanomyces Lambicus Berliner Weisse that I purchased is one of these beers.
This Berliner Weisse is a golden-hazy color with a very light-bubbly head. The head dissipated quickly to one side of the glass creating a boomeranged shaped head; After five minutes the head was gone altogether. One of the beer's most noticable qualities is its extreme carbonation. Looking down on the surface of the beer one can see carbon dioxide bubbles penetrating the surface and popping. 
The aroma of the Brettanomyces Lambicus contains both lemon and lime tartness. Most likely due to the addition of Brettanomyces, a wild yeast, a musty quality adds complexity to the aroma. 
The first sip has an initial wave of lemon tartness that is amazingly sour. Once this sourness recedes, an earthiness (grass or straw) enters into the taste profile. Within this second taste, the Brettanomyces rears its funkiness balancing the finish nicely.
The initial level of carbonation was one of the highest levels that I have observed, and it did not disappoint. The bubbles constantly pricked my tongue all over. The body was light and very refreshing. 
This a delicious sour wheat beer. Given the intensity of the carbonation some people may be put off, but to pack that much flavor into a beer with 3%ABV is truly the work of an skilled brewmaster. (Thanks, Matthias! Keep sending your Leipzig Sour Beers to the United States and they will find their way into my glass.)


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