When it comes to the beer business I take my job very seriously. I work hard to stay up to date on the newest releases and breweries that arrive in our state on a seemingly weekly basis. I study the history of the craft and try to predict where beer is going next. Overall, I feel that we at Vine & Table have a pretty good handle on the state of the industry. I have come to accept, however, that there will always be great surprises. As of last summer one of our best surprises by far goes by the name of Freigeist.
Last year I was looking for a new style to add to our shelves. I wanted something we had never sold before and finally settled on a nearly extinct German style from the Leipzig region, Gose. Gose is brewed with coriander and salt for a slightly tart, slightly tangy finish. It’s a style that’s increasing in popularity but I still expected it to be a niche product. It was at this point that I made the happy accident in choosing Freigeist’s offering as our first Gose. Three months and every case that came into the state later, Freigeist Geisterzug was the best selling beer of the summer and boasted nearly universal approval. I had to know more about this brewery.
Freigeist, which literally translates to “free spirit”, is a brewery that has devoted itself to recreating and reinventing the lost regional styles of Germany. Through meticulous research and a little ingenuity they have brought several styles that were thought completely extinct back to public consumption. We currently carry not only their classic Gose but two fruited examples (Quince and Rhubarb) of the style. We’ve also recently brought in their takes on the classic Alt beer and are working to bring some of their more esoteric styles to Indiana for the first time ever. Our staff recently held a tasting of the entire line thus far, and trust me, the magic is still there. Both of the fruited variants give the Gose a well-deserved twist. The Quince gives its base beer a rounder, fuller flavor while the Rhubarb transforms the beer into a full-fledged sour. The Alt beers are wonderfully toasty with a malt backbone that is everything we could have hoped for and are definite contenders for my new favorite examples of the style. We are confident that these new Friegeists will be just as well loved as the original. Stop in and see how a little brewery’s desire to be free spirits has created a better world of beer for us all.
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