Overview for the Berliner Weisse

In 1809, Napoleon’s troops described the Berliner Weisse as the “Champagne of the North”. Today, some call it the most refreshing beer in the world. It’s light, crisp, highly carbonated with a juicy acidity. Dry finish. Pale straw color with varying clarity. Large head has little retention. Sharp and clean lactic sour aroma and flavor. Lemon citrus and apple are commonly used but modern craft versions use a wide variety of fruits. Mild doughy bread or wheat grain base. Low alcohol is undetectable.

Style Expectations

A very pale, refreshing, low-alcohol German wheat beer with a clean lactic sourness and a very high carbonation level. A light bread dough malt flavor supports the sourness, which shouldn’t seem artificial. Any Brettanomyces funk is restrained.

Appearance

Very pale straw in color. Clarity ranges from clear to somewhat hazy. Large, dense, white head with poor retention. Always effervescent.

Aroma

A sharply sour character is dominant (moderate to moderately-high). Can have up to a moderately fruity character (often lemony or tart apple). The fruitiness may increase with age and a light flowery character may develop. No hop aroma. The wheat may present as uncooked bread dough in fresher versions; combined with the acidity, may suggest sourdough bread. May optionally have a restrained funky Brettanomyces character.

Flavor

Clean lactic sourness dominates and can be quite strong. Some complementary doughy, bready or grainy wheat flavor is generally noticeable. Hop bitterness is undetectable; sourness provides the balance rather than hops. Never vinegary. A restrained citrusy-lemony or tart apple fruitiness may be detected. Very dry finish. Balance dominated by sourness, but some malt flavor should be present. No hop flavor. May optionally have a restrained funky Brettanomyces character.

Mouthfeel

Light body. Very high carbonation. No sensation of alcohol. Crisp, juicy acidity.

Reviews

Stone Notorious P.O.G.

Berliner Weisse  •  Stone Brewing

Stone Notorious P.O.G. is a German-style Berliner Weisse by Stone Brewing that pairs tart orange with juicy sweet passion fruit and guava. Read More

Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse

Berliner Weisse  •  North Coast Brewing Co.

Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse is a German-style Berliner Weisse by North Coast Brewing Co. that blends tart cherry and sourdough bread. Read More

Sour Wench

Berliner Weisse  •  Ballast Point Brewing Company

Sour Wench is a German-style Berliner Weisse by Ballast Point Brewing Company that refreshingly blends tart fruit flavors of blackberry and lemon. Read More

Samuel Adams Berliner Weisse

Berliner Weisse  •  Boston Beer Company

Samuel Adams Berliner Weisse, a German-style Berliner Weisse by The Boston Beer Company brings mild lemon sourness atop a light wheat base. Read More

Pinky Swear

Berliner Weisse  •  Coppertail Brewing Co.

Pinky Swear is a Berliner Weisse by Coppertail Brewing Co. features tart fruit and white bread in a refreshing brew. Read More

Hallo Ich Bin Berliner Weisse (Raspberry)

Berliner Weisse  •  Mikkeller

Hallo Ich Bin Berliner Weisse (Raspberry) by Mikkeller delights with tart fruit flavor and doughy bread in a sessionable brew. Read More

Oarsman Ale

Berliner Weisse  •  Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Oarsman Ale is a German-style Berliner Weisse by Bell’s Brewery, Inc. that’s light and refreshing with tart lemon and wheat bread. Read More

Styles

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