Monday, 14 April 2008

Goslar

Goslar is an unspoiled, mediaeval town around an hour by train south east of Hannover. It was spared the bombing during the war, largely because it had no military or industrial significance and strangely, because of a large military hospital there. You may well think it odd that private citizens were not spared aerial death, while wounded enemy combatants were. War is a strange thing indeed.

It has to be said that Goslar is painfully attractive. We walked through every inch of it we could find and every new corner brought us new highs of architectural and scenic delight. But this is a beer blog and man cannot exist by scenery alone. Our mission was to sample Gose beer, a supposed sour and original beer style. We decided just to take that as it came, but the signs weren't good. Brauerei Goslar it seemed would be opening or rather, re-opening in the Markt, but not yet. (See picture). So we just went with the flow. First stop was the Paulaner Wirtschaft which was in a delightful half timbered building. (pictured) Inside a little piece of the Freistaat had been transported there. We sat and enjoyed both pale and dark wheat beers while chatting to the attractive Polish barmaid. Unusually she spoke no English, so for once, my painful German went largely uninterrupted. This pleased me no end, as usually a smart arsed kid will switch to perfect English which he/she was taught as a foetus! We also tried the Kaltenberg outlet, deep underground where a distinct smell of horse poo, no doubt from the horse drawn carriages above, accompanied Spezial, Dunkel and Weizenbier. Both the smell and the pictures of the wall reminded me of Neuschwanstein, where I visited the Kaltenberg brewery tap a few years ago. The helpful waiter assured us we could visit the Worthmühle which Gazza indicates is a restaurant only. I am not sure about later in the evening, but certainly at five o'clock, when it opens, we were made welcome for a drink. Our man from Kaltenberg also told us the only brewery in Goslar will be Brauhaus Goslar, which will reopen in the main square soon. It's beers are being brewed in Braunschweig currently. Braueri Einbecker doesn't brew in Goslar at all he says and certainly, though we found a sign for it, that was all.

At Worthmühle Gose beer, a Goslar specialty was our mission, but sadly the only Gose beer, Brauhaus Goslar Gose Hell was muddy, mildly carbonated, light brown and not sour at all but fairly sweet. Not worth the experience really. Disappointing in some ways. We also tried Hotel Gosequell, around this time, which although it showed signs of being open, wasn't according to the girl sat inside doing nothing. Sadly there was no Irish offer of "have a drink while you're waiting."

Our final call was driven by the fact we just missed our train and there wasn't another for an hour and 20 minutes. All drinking establishments around the station seemed to be selling InBev beers, but we took the plunge, picking the most pubby looking one. The reward was as superb schwarz bier, pictured from the Herzog Brauerei in Braunschweig. Now this is InBev owned, but they obviously haven't got round to ruining the beer yet. This was toasty, roasty, malty, bitter delight with a wonderful coal dust finish. It was a good end to an interesting day in a stunningly lovely town and we didn't miss our next train!

My thanks to Gazza for the Goslar gen. Hopefully this is an update for it. He also tells me that Herzog is no longer InBev owned having gone private. Hooray!

1 comment:

Tyson said...

All the way to Germany for a Polish barmaid who doesn't speak English? Sounds like the Marble Arch:)

You paint a nice little pictue of Goslar. Primary bombing targets were mainly military-industrial installations and communication hubs. So unless hospitals were centred in these areas, they were considered off target. However, Goslar was designated a secondary target zone, and bombs were dropped on its airfield.