Ur-Krostitzer Feinherbes Pilsner is brewed in Krostitz about 20kms outside Leipzig, so not technically a native beer, but who’s counting.
Under no circumstances should you drink Ur-Krostitzer in draft form – it tastes like Dettol. This classic pilsner from Saxony must be drank from an ice cold bottle.
Best place to drink it: Anywhere outside or on the tram
The Export (5.2%) or the slightly milder Pils (4.9%) are equally acceptable and honest lagers. Locally brewed since 1822 yet this beer gets a bad rap from local
snobs connoisseurs. Nevertheless, Leipzigers drink it in vast quantities.
Like Ur-Krostitzer, ‘Sterni’ must be drank from a cold bottle. Or a plastic one litre job from Aldi. Make sure you avoid the alcohol-free(!) and disgusting citrus and cola flavoured variants.
Best place to drink it: Secretly from the fridge at home
#3 Thomaskirch Schwarzbier
Schwarzbier was invented in Thuringia and Saxony. This is a malty and roasty beer with a touch of sweetness. The best is the one brewed at the Brauhaus an der Thomaskirche. This part of town is tourist central but don’t let this put you off. A quiet drink is possible if you pick your times.
Notable mention goes to the very passable Köstritzer Schwarzbier. Alas, not a local brew but deservedly popular in Leipzig.
Best place to drink it: Brauerei an der Thomaskirche
#2 Weisse Elster
Now this is a fantastic beer. Brewed since 2013 with love by Jann and Cathrin at the Weisse Elster Brewery. Their pale ale is the stand out choice and is probably the most delicious pale ale I’ve tasted. And I’ve tasted my fair share.
Not widely available but head down to the Weisse Elster’s craft beer bar, the Goldhopfen on Kolonnaden strasse and have them pour you one ‘vom fass’. Bottled variant ain’t half bad either.
Best place to drink it: Goldhopfen bar
Someone once said this tastes like ‘flat cider’. Hmmm. Gose is a wierd sour wheat beer first brewed in 18th century. It went temporarily extinct during the GDR era, but thankfully resurrected in the 90s by local diehard boozers. Some establishments add fruits and other adulterants to their Gose; avoid these diabolical creations! The bottled variants are not great either.
For the best Gose – and I cannot recommend this enough – visit the Bayerischer Gosebrauerei and order their draft Gose. More on the story of Gose can be found here.