Bretta Weisse | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
23 Reviews
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Bretta WeisseBretta Weisse

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2013

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 303
Photo of SpecialAgentDaleCooper
3.09/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Barrelworks.

I was largely underwhelmed by this beer, and I'm not sure if that's a function of how it's marketed or if it's just not that great. As a Berliner weisse, it's not very good. It's fairly flat and watery, with minimal tartness. Notes of straw overtake any pleasant maltiness or sour bite it might have had. The brett funkiness is pleasing, but eclipses some of the other notes usually present in a Berliner weisse. Perhaps I expected too much, and maybe I should have adjusted my expectations for something less a Berliner weisse and more a slightly tart saison (which, even then, this wouldn't be a very good example of). It's worth tasting, but I wouldn't return to it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Firestone Walker Barrelworks in Buellton, CA.

Pours a hazy gold with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with malt, grain, spice, lemon, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour malt and grain flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but fairly watery and lacking in sourness.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%

Pour is pale golden yellow with a small amount of white head. Nose is heavy leather brett, lactic notes, tons of green apple, oily hops. Taste is off like the nose, the green apple is completely out of place, the body is syrupy and slick, lactic acid is low, not delicate or to style.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5


Nice pour tonight at Prefunk, but definitely expensive at $8.50 for a 10oz pour... Still excited to get a chance to try this one without the hassle of trading. Nonexistent white head... no lacing... the brew is darker than expected orange with the expected haze. Lactic/lemony with a smack of wheat and something that makes me think of tannic/under-ripe apricot. Body is perhaps a little thick for a Berliner, but that is a minor bitch... Well done.


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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Very pale and hazy yellow. Small white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Light acidity. Wheat. Kinda oaky. A bit of lemon.

Taste - Oak kinda overpowers the rest of the beer, which I think adds to it. Tart and wheaty. A little bit lemony. Kinda bretty in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Light. Well carbonated.

Overall - It's a little more interesting than a standard berliner. Brett and oak help it out.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

- 4oz. pour off tap into flight glass at Haven Gastropub (Orange, CA) on 11-Feb-16

I must admit that while I do enjoy this style from time to time, I do not have much experience with Berliner Weiss's. Very tart, light, and refreshing. Overall, I did enjoy this but seemed a little too one-dimensional.

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Photo of Moose90
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a very pale yellow color with a tall and bubbly bright white head on it. There is some head retention but it fades somewhat quickly and there is pretty spotty lacing.

S — Smells of bright brett and is quite peppery, tart, limey, funky, bright, citrusy, there are a lot of notes going on.

T — Lots of brett and some bright citrus, also some barn yard funk, horse blanket, light leathery tones and pepper.

M — Light bodied, there is a bit of a foaminess to this as well, bubbly.

O — Nice overall, it's certainly a little tart and funky, but it seems like it could have all of its components turned up a bit.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle.

A: Pours a hazy egg yolk (bright ) yellow with a thin (1/16") white head which fades to the rim leaving a few spots of lace.

N: Wheat, lemony tartness, fruity, citrus zest.

T: Follows nose with an mellow citrus astringency.

M: Light body and light carbonation. Lemony and wheaty finish.

O: Base beer for some of the FW sours. Standing alone, this is a bit thin and watery although there is a nice tartness but not too crazy.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle poured int a Barrelworks Teku glass

A: Pours a honey, golden orange, hazy, lots of carbonation streaming up the sides, no head retention, no lacing, a little bit of sediment on the bottom.

A: Sour, tart, funk, slight grainy, hay aroma, no alcohol.

T: First impression is a dry, soft , easy drinking finish, not as tart or sour as the nose, lactobacillus comes through more than the brettanomyces, slight citrus in the middle, finishes with a slight wheat, grain flavor.

M: Light bodied mouthfeel, balanced carbonation, dry, soft finish.

O: Looks good but the aroma and taste are not as promising as I thought, overall, feels like a really light version of a sour beer, at $12 a bottle I think it is overpriced, it's good, I'm enjoying it but I've enjoyed other sour beers more.

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Photo of T100Mark
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance - A big, course head that disappeared very quickly. A bright orange/yellow color. A bit murky. Interesting.

Smell - A little like pineapple juice.

Taste - It tastes a little like pineapple juice, too! The body is very light. A sweet fruit flavor is followed by an acidic finish. The natural yeasts produce a mild Belgiun sour flavor. The finished product tastes almost like wine. Crazy.

Mouth - Light. Acidic.

Overall - The Beer Advocate definition of Berliner Weissbier explains this beer very well. The mix of sweet, acid, and sour makes for an interesting experience. Combine this with the mild carbonation and you have an ale that tastes more like an Italian Prosecco. I commend Firestone for "taking a walk on the wild side."

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Photo of Stevedore
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, poured into a Zwanze 2014 glass 9/20/2014.

A- Slightly hazy, but mostly clear, straw-yellow body with a half finger white head that disappears almost immediately. No lacing to speak of. [3.75]

S- Wheat with a ton of lactic acid reminding me of yogurt, plus some oak. Not complex, but certainly very sour and acetic. [4]

F- Lots and lots of yogurty lactate, oak, pale wheat malt, and a small bit of vinegar. This is very tart, but not particularly complex- despite this, this is one of the better American Berliner Weisses I’ve had. [4]

M- Medium bodied, slightly custardy and very yogurty. Acetic, lactic and substantial body. Reminds me quite a bit of Star of the North in terms of body and lactic acidity. Very good stuff. [4.25]

O- Very good Berliner Weisse; heavier on the oak barrels which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. [4]

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Lots of brett funk on the nose – barn yard and horse blankets immediately come to mind.

A: pale gold color that’s slightly hazy with some head retention.

T: Huge amount of brett, which overpowers the lactic sourness.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Refreshing and highly attenuated.

O: There’s so much brett funk that this beer really doesn’t drink like a typical Berliner. The wheat component, both aroma and flavor get a bit lost. One of the most brett heavy beers I’ve had recently. Atypical of Berliners, but still bright and refreshing.

***Update (4/18/16): Just had Bretta Weisse on draft and the brett is still prominent, but now a bit more restrained. Great Berliner and if consistent, will revisit my review for a higher score.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Bruery Copperversary.
This pours a slightly hazy, bright straw colored, and tightly packed white foamy head. The Brett comes through gently dancing with the typical Berliner Weiss aromas. But the flavor allows less of the Brett to come through with a great blend of funk, peach, sour. Not a category that usually excites me, but this one does.

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Photo of ivehadthatbrew
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look (3.75): A hazy wheat like hue. It's got residue on the bottom which looks extremely tastey. Minor carbonation that doesn't stick around long. Hardly any carbonation, but that's expected.

Smell (3.5): Funky acidic smells that seem almost vanilla and lemony like. Pleasant tropical notes that remind me of freshly squeezed pineapples.

Taste (4.5): Beautiful funky lemony sourness upfront. Tropical apples and pineapples drive this guy home. Taste is where sours are finally winning me over.

Mouthfeel (4): An extemely high acidity that makes your mouth water like crazy, but a weird softness from the wheat at the same time. I'm confused, conflicted and in love.

Overall (4): The best sour I've ever had. I need to experiment further...

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

more or less a berliner style beer, just more brett than lacto. still the same pale wheat base, listed on the hops and pie draft list at 4.9% abv, which is far more sizable than the listed content here. seems light though, and so pale hazy in color, caucasian looking beer here, creamy and rich and pale and peachy. the nose is familiar white wheat malt in healty dose, and subtle brett C type yeast, along with mild and immature lacto, which if left to get weird probably would before too long. some sturdy oak on this too, sweet and woodsy, even a hint of sap to it. richer than any berliner weisse on the market, but in the same family, albeit loosely. the development of the wild side of this is extremely pleasant, up there with the other firestone beers, and not all that different from lil opal, although i think i like that one a bit more. this one sits a little heavy at room temperature, and never really gets to the sour level. supremely well made though, and this would surely satisfy any drinking of the lighter side of wild ale. it certainly works for me. thanks to hops and pie on tennyson for making this come to life for me. scrumptious rarity.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at ABV.

A mildly hazy light orange with a dense, white head with good retention and lacing, this looks nice! The nose is great. After all the de Garde fruited Bu's I've been drinking, getting back to a more traditional berlinerweiss is so enjoyable. Wheat, a little oak, a moderate funk, a blend of earth, mushroom, lemons. A bright acidity is present. The palate opens with a blend of bright lemony acidity, a moderate lactic acid character, yogurt-like in nature and with a really nice funk. The wheat dextrins act as a nice scaffolding for the funk and the sourness, ensuring every part of your palate is stimulated. Drying on the finish with lingering lemony sourness, some white grape character and the structure of wheat dextrins, this beer is great on the palate. If it weren't so pricey, I'd drink more every time.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap, snifter.

A: Served a lightly hazy straw color with a dense and soft bright white head that faded into nothingness.
S: The nose is full of bright tart notes of lemon mixed with mild scents of earthy, peppery brett.
T: Follows the nose with mild earthy brett, doughy yeast, and bright lemon zest. I also get notes of juicy golden fruits. The finish is lightly tart and very clean and refreshing. The aftertaste is quick but there is a lingering doughiness and a slight mineral quality. There a kiss of semi-sweet stone fruit in there as well as a touch of greasy oak and gritty tannins.
M: Light and clean mouthfeel with a drying finish. Tartness is bright but subtle, oak is mellow and hardly tannic. Bright and very soft carbonation, smooth and creamy.
O: Very mellow and well integrated flavors. Subtle overall but fairly complex. I got something new with every sip.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml cork & cage bottle poured into Firestone teku, Batch 2, bottled 6/22/15

A- pours a murky bright golden-orange color with a small fizzy white head that disappears quickly, leaving nothing behind but carbonation bubbles shooting to the top

S- funky brett and lacto aroma up front mixes with notes of lemon peel, ripe pear, toasted wheat, peppery notes & spicy oak

T- tart and funky up front with plenty of lacto & brett pucker power, followed by flavors of lemon peel, melon rind, spicy oak and toasted wheat. The linger brings more lemon and oak with a tartness sticking around

M- medium-light body with medium fizzy carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a bone dry finish

O- simple but effective, this take on a Berliner brings plenty of sour notes, while remaining light and drinkable

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Photo of Tele
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle
Consumed: 7.16.15

A: 4.5 Crystal clear reddish gold; really pretty color. The off-white head is rather small and dissipates quickly with almost no lacing.

S: 4.25 Pretty mild nose, but everything coming out of the glass smells great. A bit of funk and oak come through with lemon, green apples, and tropical fruits following closely behind. The citrus and other fruit elements (mango, pineapple, etc.) remind me of the aromas from dry-hopped sours like Le Terroir and some of The Rare Barrel beers.

T: 4.25 Much more tart than the nose suggested. Starts off juicy with pretty forward lactic tartness with a bit of funk mixed in. Lemon, apple, and light hops are present, but are dominated by the tartness. The finish is minerally and dry with a very light bitterness.

M: 4.5 Mouthfeel is spot on; pretty substantial but also really refreshing and drinkable. I would like a bit more carbonation, but it’s really close.

O: 4.25 This is a great, refreshing beer with a lot going on; much more interesting that most Berliner Weisses. I could drink this all summer long.

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Photo of charlzm
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed on April 26th, 2015. Bottle purchased at Firestone Walker Barrelworks on April 19th, 2015. Poured into a La Trappe chalice.

Appearance: beer is a deep yellow and slightly hazy. A vigorous pour results in a very fine white head that dissipates in seconds. Absolutely no head during consumption.

Aroma is slightly funky - peaches, white grape and pineapple mingle with a cheese-like, vaguely barnyard-y note.

Flavor is similar to aroma: starts a little sweet then makes a sharp turn towards sour. Acidic white wine vinegar cuts through peaches, grapes and pineapple effectively but stops just short of inducing a Popeye wince. Very low bitterness and fairly clean finish. Refreshing. Strangely, no trace of the wooden barrels that this beer rested in for many months in the nose or on the palate.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and still with nice acidic tingle on the tongue. No carbonation present.

Overall, this is a great, tasty, refreshing beer that requires no additional syrups to achieve the best flavor. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ihazabucket7
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a oversized wine glass/sour glass. Very lemony, citrus smell. Yellow cloudy look and taste is amazing. Balanced feel and taste. You get that sourness but sweet citrus/lemon very balanced beer.

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Photo of WoostaBia
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer. Nice crisp sour perfect for summer or any night. This is a light, refreshing tart beer with a lemon citrus note. A well made balanced beer.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Don't know why I'm surprised, but the Barrelworks folks have done it again. Maybe the surprise stems from the "lowish" ratings on this one. Decanted slowly to keep the dregs in the bottle, this is a brilliantly clear gold, effervescent with a bristling, if quickly receding, layer of foam atop. Nose is absolutely fantastic, bits of apple cider and oaky funk mix with bright lacto acidity. Similar palate, excellent sour levels, nothing grotesque or off. And, at just 4.5% ABV, it begs for another. (Outside of Green Flash's criminally underrated Little Freak, I'm hard pressed to think of another low ABV sour beer I dig as much as this.) Overall, a total home run, and the only knock I can think of is the price tag. But, you know, sometimes you just gotta splurge. Kudos Barrelworks team. Kudos.

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Bretta Weisse from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.