2 O'Clock Tasting
(Almost) Lost German Styles

While drinking a beer won't make you an archeologist: Drinking one of these nearly lost styles at least gives you a good excuse to dust off your oldest-looking chalice and feel like one for a bit.

This week we sample three takes on historic German beers that due to timing or region don't adhere to Reinheitsgebot, the centuries-old Bavarian Purity Law that states beer can only be made from water, barley and hops (the law was amended to include yeast only after Louis Pasteur discovered them in the 19th Century). The resulting bandit beers are tart, salty, smoky and entirely distinct.

  1. Leipziger Gose

    Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof | 4.6% ABV

    We can thank Leipziger Gose for why we even know what a gose is. This tart wheat beer brewed with salt and coriander pours a hazy straw color with a quickly dissipating fine, pillowy head. Aromas of lemon and malt are present. The taste and mouthfeel is reminiscent of champagne - dry with fine carbonation. German malt flavors are present and the salty taste is not up front, but more present in the back of the throat.

  2. Gosilla

    Barrier Brewing | 3.8% ABV

    Barrier Brewing's American take on gose, Gosilla, pours a hazy marigold with very little head. Armoas of wheat and sour spice are present and the taste is quite salty upfront with a pleasant dry body. Gosilla's flavor is bigger and badder than it's German inspiration (but the ABV surprisingly lower) and had us craving a pairing with salt cod croquettes.

  3. Freigeist Abraxxxas

    Gasthaus-Brauerei Braustelle | 6% ABV

    Freigeist translates to "free-thinking" so it's no surprise that when Braustelle's Freigeist series produced a Lichtenhainer-inspired beer (a light, sour and smoky wheat beer - almost like a berliner weisse with smoked malt) that they came up with something all their own. Weighing in at an nontraditional 6% ABV, Abraxxxas pours orangey-red, with a lingering wheat haze. Smoke and funky cheese dominate the nose and the flavor is just as strong. With a mouth feel so full you feel like you could chew it, Abraxxxas drinks like a meat and cheese platter. Which might not sound too appealing, but is entirely delicious.