I have a huge school girl crush on Freigeist Beirkultur. I would leave my woman like a country song for it.
When Abraxxxas and Otterkolong hit shelves over the winter, I went nuts for this beer of "free spirit (freigeist)." Bucking the old tradition of the Reinheitsgebot and Biergesetz, they are letting loose East German styles, some long forgotten, with a refreshing twist that is not new to Americans. The trend of letting brewmasters be artists and not just craftsmen is finally hitting Europe and to see regions with THOUSANDS OF YEARS of brewing history come awake in this new wave of brewing is divine.
Geisterzug Gose is a spruced Gose style beer. In case that reads as greek to you, lets break it down:
Gose: A style that was invented in Goslar and popularized in Leipzig. It's story is epic. After WWII only one man was left that knew the recipe, so after it was thought extinct in '49, he brought it back. On his deathbed, he gave the recipe to his stepson. When he died in '66, so did the beer. Until 1980 when some dude bought a farm and pub in Gosal and thought that they should produce Gose again. He tirelessly interviewed people who remembered drinking Gose until he brewed an authentic Gose. Holy shit, right? Oh yeah, and the style typically has a herbal, lemon peel taste and is brewed with salt and coriander.
Spruce Beer: Hops are wonderful plants, but if you live in a cold climate, you cannot take advantage of their delightful bitterness and alchemical magic. I don't know who figured out that Spruce had appropriate fermentables and chemistry to make it quaffable, but I want to shake the hand of the man that decided to say, "Fuck it, make tree into beer." It was popularized in Paris and other Northern European cultural centers by none other than the cultural legacy of the Vikings. Spruce is very high in Vitamin C, so as awesome as being drunk is, not getting scurvy and bleeding out of your eyeballs is way better.
And now to the Geisterzug:
It pours a very hazy yellow and has a salty sweetbread nose. The herbal lemon peel is quite evident on first taste. It fades into the light malts and sweet yeasts and finishes with a nice spruce flavor. I don't want to cheapen this beer by saying it tastes like Sprite, but the spruce in the Geisterzug really amps up the tonic element. It's almost literal when I say this beer tastes like magic. Magic potion. If this is what the Gummy Bears drunks, I can see why they were so playful and happy.
Although this beer is well balanced, I feel like it's missing a little something to propel it into a 5, so I'll settle for a 4.5 and drink this all summer