Berliner Weisse - Nodding Head Brewery

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Berliner Weisse
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very good

67 Ratings
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Ratings: 67
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 14.02%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Nodding Head Brewery visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Berliner Weissbier |  3.75% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2002

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 43
Reviews by unclecrappy:
Photo of unclecrappy
2.37/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

So we arrived in Philly late, got set up in our Center City hotel and, knowing that Nodding Head was just a couple of blocks away, walked over for beer and munchies.

Hmmm ... Berliner Weisse. Sounds perfect for a sticky August night.

Maybe this is an acquired taste that I haven't yet acquired ... but this didn't agree with me at all:

In the glass, the beer is an offputting greenish-yellow, with a thin, rapidly dissipating head. And the taste ... I immediately thought of Mountain Dew. Overpowering citrus, fizzy and sweet enough to peel enamel from your teeth. Its body is pretty light, which means you could easily drink these through the night ... if you wanted to do such a thing.

More User Reviews:
Photo of DrunkenPanther
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a local brewfest in PA. It ended up being a stand I hit over and over till it was gone.
This berliner (Not 100% true to style, but neither are half of the really great "IPA's") was poured a nearly clear-green color, which I found interesting. Carbonation was somewhat light and head was small.
The smell was indicative of what the taste might be like. Very sweet/tart, but friendly.
Mouthfeel was a bit small, but its a Berliner, so what are ya gonna do? The taste was somewhat like sucking on a sweet tart, but much better. Dont confuse this as a candy beer though. It is very good and could be drunk all night through. I thought it may be something I would get sick of tasting, similar to most candy style drinks, but I did not.
Definitely worth at least a try (Its pretty much a love it or hate it thing)

Photo of boatshoes
3.39/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first of my beers in a recent night out with some friends to Nodding Head. I should say however that this comes after recently having a very solid berliner weiss at Iron Hill, Media, the week before. So, the Iron Hill brew served as my basis of comparison.

Appearance- Comes out a surprisingly disappointing shade of yellow for a berliner weiss. It an even paler straw yellow than I'm used to with these beers and looks almost like lightly carbonated soda water. It doesn't even seem to be as lively carbonated as most of the style as well from the appearance. Almost no head as per the style, just a minimal amount that quickly dies down to a ring around the edges.

Smell- Very tart smelling and bites at the nostrils. Backed up mostly with mild notes of grain. Not a whole lot going on really, but the tartness combines well with the grain to make for a good nose for the style.

Taste- Surprisingly disappointing given the nose. Not nearly as tart as I would have expected (and I asked for it without woodruff too, which they apparently put in automatically unless you ask!) at all given the smell. Mildly tart at best, and fairly watery. Flavors are primarily of watery grain and cereal. Not terrible for the style, but the lack of lactic tartness and watery qualities to the grain really hurt this one for me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is pretty on par for the style, also watery, but not necessarily in the same was as the watery flavor that accompanied the taste if that makes any sense. I don't mind my berliner weiss being a bit thin in the mouth, I just don't like the grains to taste waterlogged so to speak. However, carbonation is a bit less than I'm used to for the style, doesn't hurt it too much though. As for drinkability, it is still a fairly refreshing beer on a summer's day, it's just that the taste doesn't really keep me coming back for more. Wouldn't have more than one of these, and I switched for my second beer of the evening.

Overall, disappointing. I was expecting more after recent good experiences with berliner weiss. Decent at best.

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewpub.

Pours a cloudy lemon-yellow color with a half-finger bright white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light malts with equal amounts of lemon peel and wheat twang. As the beer warms the tart lemon aromas intensify.

Tastes good. Light malt flavors with hints of breadiness and wheat flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of lemon peel. Bringing the lemon and wheat flavors together are moderate amounts of lactic sourness that keep the lemon from being too overpowering. The lactic sourness and lemon peel carry through to a crisp and moderately tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall this wasn't quite up to the top tier of beers for the style but it's a solid one and is easy to drink. Worth a shot.

Photo of ggaughan
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I heard that the Nodding Head Berliner Weisse was back on tap, I had to run down to try it again. What a treat and once the weather starts to get hot, what I perfect time to try it. As noted by others, this beer is served with a touch of Woodruff syrup to balance out the tart taste. The beer was served in a standard pint glass with a clear golden color with green hints throughout and a soapy whitish/green head and good lacing. The aroma is citrusy and tart with wheat notes as well. The taste is refreshing, light but a bit tart and sweet at the same time. The lemon zesty citrus taste makes for a light body that is very drinkable and perfect for the summertime as is its intended purpose I would imagine.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Previous tastings of this beer have revealed an off-flavor naturally created by the souring process, but this batch was very clean. It has a somewhat hazy, light golden color which is quite appealing. The head is bright white but thin, as expected. The aroma is directly related to the flavor with a nice, restrained tartness. The hops are, of course, well heeled. It finishes clean and very enjoyable. It's available straight or with syrup. I suggest you ask for a pint straight, try it, and then have them give you a drop of the woodruff syrup. An excellent beer!

Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap. Nothin' like a nice Berliner style bier.

A: The weissbier is a pale straw color, incredibly light and transparent. Over-sized bubbles pour up from the bottom of my glass. A white head, snow white, lingers for a few sips.

S: The nose is wheaty, light but noticeably tart. That tartness is nicely balanced with sweet grain flavors.

T: Plenty of wheat to go around, providing both tart and sweet flavors. Overall, the ale trends towards the sweeter side, playing up the malt profile over the intense tartness of the wheat. No syrup needed, as the ale provides all of the soothing flavors necessary. I like the preponderance of wheat.

M: The mouthfeel is tart but well-balanced, offering with the wheat and other grains equal time in the spotlight.

Photo of philbe311
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Extremely pale gold color, reminiscent of ginger ale... The head is pure white and extremely smooth, silky, and frothy... Respectable retention ultimately fades and leaves a lacing that reminded me of the milky way... Lots of plodding slow carbonation post pour... The carbonation settles, but reappears after each sip as the beer was placed back on the bar... Good stickiness as the foam sticks to the glass...

S - A subtle earthiness... Slightly musky... Grains... Yeast... Salt... Hints of citrus... I typically equate Berliner Weisse with summertime and this one doesn't disappoint in terms of aroma...

T - The tartness is evident right of the bat... Potent tart bite, but pleasant and not overwhelming... Minor citrusy notes... Grain... Hints of yeast... Some candy notes...

M - Puckering... Crisp and ultra refreshing... Easy drinking... Syrupy, yet slightly creamy... Lush... Moderate and near perfect amount of carbonation... Silky smooth...

D - Berliner Weisse is a style that I wish more brewers would attempt as consider it to be the ultimate style for session brews. This is a wonderful and classic interpretation of the style. Extremely refreshing and satisfying. All at 3.5% ABV... Keep up coming...

Note - This beer, per brew master instructions, is served with with a "dash of woodruf syrup" which is poured into the glass post pour. I'm not sure this added or detracted to my enjoyment of the beer.

Photo of StevieW
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Multiple samples at the 2002 GABF.... Pale yellow color, thin fizzy white head. Sampled with and without the woodruff syrup. Sweet, thin, faint citrus smell. Taste was strikingly tart and sweet. Syrup made is slick and smoother, and noticibly sweeter. Still very crisp, tart, lip smacking weiss like refresher. Light bodied, slightly slipperly in the middle, but a crisp finish makes for a very drinkable beer. One of the more memorable beers of the festival.....

Photo of rfgetz
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden straw color, thousands of tiny bubbles throughout forming an active prickly white head that lasts. Scent is muted, tart wheat with some lemony citrus and a faint kiss of herbalness. Taste brings the pungent tartness expected from the style, backbone has a kiss of citrus rind, light fruityness on top of husky grain. A shoot of traditional Woodruff ads an even more herbal presence then initially found in the taste. Lighter side of medum bodied, prickly but almost thin. A decent beer all around, but does not stand out in any one particular aspect.

Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On-Tap 03/08/06 at the Nodding Head brewpub.

Light clear yellow in color with decent carbonation. Prominent tart and sour aroma and flavor... a bit citrusy along the lines of a lemon. Light bodied and tartly crisp with a mouth puckering finish.

Not sure if this one had the Woodruff syrup or not since I'm not sure of the taste and forgot to ask. Also wasn't sure how to rate this one since it was my first of the style but it turned out to taste about exactly what I expected it to be... Tart and Sour.

Per NHB website: Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse
2005 Bronze Medal: GABF
"Served with just a dash of traditional woodruff syrup"

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

There was a definite wheat/grass scent in the nose as I hoisted my first pint. The tartness was quite evident, even with the introduction of the woodruff (green) syrup. Each sip had a very dry finish, which was highly pleasant on a humid July afternnon in PHL. A beautiful example of Belgian lace remained in the glass as I worked my way through the pint. I then had a small sample of the drink, sans woodruff. It is much different, as the grassiness subsided, giving way to a not-unpleasant sour wheat flavor with a dry, light finish and mouthfeel. Perfect! Unadorned, the color is a light yellow wtih a nice effervescence. I do not think that a serving of both with and without syrup would be unreasonable on a visit.

Photo of Gavage
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear yellow in color with a very short 1/2" head that disappated immediately.

Smell: tartness and some grass are evident. Strange yet interesting.

Taste: tart green grapes, grass, wheat, hint of cloves and some other spiciness too. This style is supposed to be slightly tart and this is a good representation of it.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout. Lighter in body. Aftertaste is dominated by some tart citrus tones.

Drinkability: decent as more than one can be consumed if you are in the mood for a tart wheat beer. One was enough for me though.

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught at the Dawson Street Pub in Manayunk. Light, golden brew with no head and only slight traces of carbonation from the upward floating bubbles. Light citric and grassy aroma. This beer has a most interesting and unique flavor, particularly in the finish. It begins light and fruity, with traces of lemon and spice, and finishes in a way that makes the mouth pucker. Quite a sour finish, reminiscent of a sour mega warhead, if anyone knows the delightful candy of which I speak. I loved it. Finishes quite dry as well. A very interesting brew, one that I would gladly sample again.

Photo of stakem
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass at the brew pub. Nodding head offers syrup additions to which I declined.

"Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse" appears a clear light yellow color with a thin white cap of foam that receeds quite quickly (which is understandable considering the light grain bill that composes this style.) Aroma has a faint fresh grain appeal about it that includes some intrusion of light sulfur and vinegar. The taste of this brew is unmistakeably tart upfront and it is fantastic. Refreshing to say the least with it's light body and modestly carbonated to the point of being prickly on the tongue.

This beer completely took me off guard. I have not had many samples of this style but now I need to seek out more. It has easily just become my favorite "hot weather" brew. One of the most drinkable tart beers I've ever had. I will be visiting them again to possibly try one of the syrup additions.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap during philly beer week. This came in a pint glass. From notes.

A- Ich Bin Ein Beriner Weiss looked on par for style with a light golden color almost straw like or yellow. Not much in terms of head just some white spots on the top. I guess no syrup was added to this from the color.

S- A nice wheat scent with grassiness thrown in. The overall tart smell has me thinking I may be puckering soon. A bunch of lemon twang going on.

T- I love this stuff! Tart not so much sour. Im getting a bunch of wheat not so much yeast. Basically this tastes like some tart lemons with a refreshing appeal, at least for me.

M- A lot of activity on the tounge and all around. Good carbonation. Tart and on the verge of being puckering but since i'm used to this style it did not phase me. Light bodied, very light indeed. The acidity is felt in the stomach

D- This is refreshing as hell. I need to get back to nodding head on a hot summer day to get some in. At 3.5% this screams "hell yeah, drink me." and I gladly would any time. This probably does not appeal to most though, oh well more for me.

Photo of tgbljb
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served as a cloudy light amber colored beer with sparse white head. Green strands on the head (which I later found out was Woodruff syrup). Smell is light and spicy, with a touch of citrus present. The first taste was a complete surprise.This beer was so tart that my eyes almost started to water. The first half of the glass I absolutely hated. By the time I started the second half, the taste was OK, and by the time I finished it I really liked it. It ended up being a very refreshing beer that I really enjoyed. Very llight, very refreshing. I could imagine this beer on a hot summer afternoon being very pleasant.

Photo of Foxman
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It came to me a mostly clear and carbonated gold, and a finger of tight white head dwindled gradually. Liberal lacing ribboned the inside of the glass.

The aroma was rather thin, but did deliver a tart sourness along with grassy earthiness and lemony citrus.

Upon sipping, there a genuinely sour grainy current, sans sweetness for the most part, and minus woodruff. The lip puckering tartness carried an earthy duskiness and more tart citrus, though as much felt on the palate as tasted. The finish was again tart, and quite dry, leaving a crisp presence in its wake. With a taste as anticipated, it was actually refreshing and a willing dinnertime companion.

Light bodied, the thinness here was in contrast with the fuller flavor, and it slid away, leaving a sour memory, but not substantially so.

The aroma laid a flimsy groundwork, but the first sip brought to bear just what this style has to offer. The tart and sassy character was a feisty counterpoint to some spicy dinner items, and on its own it was refreshing, crisp, and very enjoyable. It goes down very smooth, and minus other options, I'd have gladly had another couple of these. This is well put together, and a fine example of a beer with it's own identity in a specific style. Not at all a bad stop.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a pint

Appears a cloudy yellow with a bone white head. Good retention and moderate lacing.

The nose is of clean biscuit malt and tart lemons with a heavy dose of dry wheat. Clean and bright.

The wheat offers a nice contrasting sweetness to the tart lemons. Not a whole heck of a lot going on here. This is a pretty straightforward take on the style. Would have liked a little more sourness, but the tradeoff is this is light, crisp, and refreshing.

Light-bodied, clean. Carbonation isn't as high as others in the style, but it works, producing a smooth, dry, and refreshing beverage.

This is a pretty standard take on the style but is still a solid version. Clean and refreshing, mild tartness.

Photo of claytong
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

appearance - light pale yellow with (maybe i was too drunk) a bit of green. well carbonated, not much of a head but very active and decent lacing.

smell - not so impressed here, green apple, minor tart.

taste - much of the same business.

mouthfeel - a bit sugary but it seems a bit more tart once its been in your mouth a while

not overly impressed but its still good by all means.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale straw. White head. Nose is a tangy tart. Flavor is crisp with a smooth citric tone. Gives a bit of a kick in the back of the mouth, but not a whole lot really. More like a bump I guess. Feel has a good carbonation and a thinner, but appropriate liquid feel. This can be a weird style to tackle, and I say it was handled pretty well here.

Photo of jwhancher
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a couple of pints at Nodding Head. First w/o sryup. A clear golden with great carbonation. Not much in the nose except a slight tartness. Tastes tart and sour. It's very refreshing and drinkable but I'm not overly familiar with the style so it's just kind of "eh" for me. Even still, it's a good beer.

With the sryup, it's a sweeter beer that masks the tart qualities of the beer. Not a big fan of the candy like dressing. Therefore, I'd rather have it plain.

Photo of Andy
1.98/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Not brewed to style at all! Traditional berliner weisse beers build their profiles around sourness. This beer is sickly sweet and lacking all the benefits of lactic acid sourness. And this was without the syrup! Definitely not a fan.

Photo of donnebaby
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear gold with a greenish tint from the added syrup. Dry, crisp bubbles. Sour grain nose. Tart and wheaty taste embody this brew. Wheatness feels less like a malted wheat and more like a wheat bread, fresh wheat taste. Dry. Juicy lime. Sweet aftertaste is muddled in sourness. Light, flat carbonation.

Full-mouth tartness is perfectly refreshing for a sweltering Philly summer afternoon. Light feel. Tasted like a geuze perhaps, or a dull champagne.

Photo of DrJay
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed yellow/green colour with a short, greenish head. Clumpy lacing and good head retention throughout. Kind of sickly looking, but really cool. Fairly mild aroma with a light fruity sourness. Mild tartness in the flavour is cut with a fruity sweetness - nice balance. Mild malt and crackery wheat at the midpoint. It finishes quick with a hint of lingering sourness. Light bodied, dry, with fairly low carbonation. This would be a decent session or palate cleansing beer with/after food or between other "big" beers.

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Berliner Weisse from Nodding Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.