1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Professor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse - Professor Fritz Briem

Not Rated.
Professor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner WeisseProfessor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,191 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,191
Reviews: 549
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 100
Gots: 87 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Professor Fritz Briem
Germany

Style | ABV
Berliner Weissbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Created by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens Institute (  http://www.doemens.org  ), brewed by Weihenstephan & Doemens.

(Beer added by: MaltyGoodness on 04-16-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,191 | Reviews: 549 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reiksguard
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rated from a bottle conditioned 500ml poured into a pint glass (didn't have the appropriate glassware).

Poured a hazy light gold with a very deep head that dissipated rather quickly. The nose of the beer was mild at best - perhaps some buttery notes. The taste and mouthfeel were very good. I would classify it as a mildly sour beer with a good pale ale base. Minimal hop flavor.

Overall, a very good beer - something I would drink more than one of in a night.

Reiksguard, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of kkipple
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So 1809 just landed in our fair state and I simply knew I had to take a crack at it... interestingly, the word "Weihenstephan" is nowhere to be seen on the label, instead this says it was brewed by "Dr. Fritz Briem, Munich". Hmm... oh well, time to pop this and see what's up. A new Berliner Weiss is always welcome. Wish I knew how old this was, though.

Pours a snappy, fat, 3 finger white head. Sea-foam, rocky, dense, soapy... pretty and lively, but dies fast. Eventually nothing is left, no lace, no nuthin'. The brew is a dirty, unfiltered pale yellow-brown. Some chunks of yeast fall immediately to the bottom of my glass and there's a decent amount of sludge left in the bottle. Okay.

Smell is quite sharp and lactic-sour, and takes a while to open up. Eventually -- well, yeah, it's still lactic-sour. Lots of dry lemon going on, some wheat, a hint of DMS, banana, starch, no hops, very little sweetness present. You don't smell beer like this very often. It's not wild, rather the opposite - quite clean and man-made.

Taste is fully sour. A puckering wallop greets you on first sip, but lessens as your tongue gets used to it. The sourness here crowds out most everything else -- the overall impression is good, if you like this sort of thing -- but I do wish there was a little more nuance let through the lemon-lactic barricade. Wheat is quite noticeable. Very low malt sweetness, almost delivers a salty quality. Refreshing in a way.

Mouthfeel is thin, but the explosive, full carbonation masks that. Lingering sour-wheat finish sticks around after you've sipped this.

Not terribly drinkable, the one 500ml bottle was enough for me. A pretty good, and intense, example of the style, but the sourness is a bit much and hurts the brew overall for my tastes. Recommended to round out your beer experience, if nothing else. I will revisit this.

*** re-reviewed Dec 2010 ***

Clear this time, no yeasty sediment if you pour it proper. Less sour than the first bottle, marvelous mouthfeel. Quite nice with a dash of real Woodruff syrup. Bumping taste up from 3.5 to 4.0. Total score goes from 3.7 to 3.85. This is a very nice example of the style when you get a good one. Would love to try fresh, age can't help this any way that I can think of. Bottle date would be very welcome.

kkipple, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of bum732
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale yellow, some head that quickly dissapears. Smells predominantely of honey, apples, pears, faint belgian clove character, some lemon, . Tastes of light lemony and honey sweetness up front followed by a nice lemony bitterness and sourness. Some astringency from the wheat. Finishes quite crisp leaving a neutral aftertaste. Lots of carbonation that melds well with the wheat crispness and sourness.

A very nice beer. I love the subtle honey overtones among the sour crispness. This beer would be great on a hot summer day in place of lemonade. My first berliner weisse but definitely not my last.

bum732, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of JeffV
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great gold color with some cloudy yeast floating around. It is clearer at the bottom than on top.

Smells great. A little soury. Kind of sweet.

This is amazing. Elegant and Refreshing. I wish I could have this by the keg for the summer time.

Very nice mouthfeel. Enough said.

The tartness might be a little much for a long session but this is a terrific beer and I'd like another.

JeffV, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

02/06/09- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle. Did not check for freshness info. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Fairly clear, a bit clouded yellow colored pour. Fizzy two fingered head which fades fairly quickly. Doesn't really leave any signs of lace, but I'm not sure what the ideal appearance is for a Berlineer.

Smell- Light nose of funk with mostly lemon peel and some sourness.

Taste- Sour, but not as much as the other ones per style I have had. Lemony tartness and almost a light honeyed tea flavor. Nice

Mouthfeel- Prickly higher carbonation level. Wine cooler like. Nice short tartness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Enjoyed this beer. Would like to try a mainstay of the style if I get a chance, just to compare.

GClarkage, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of bowersdm
3.03/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

16.9oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A - the color is reminiscent of a dehydrated person's urine. pale yellow. A tall white head quickly formed and then quickly dissipated...kind of like pouring 7-up or sprite into a cup. Even though there was no head, there was continual carbonation making its way to the top of the beer. very unappetizing appearance

S - lactic acid, wheat, and grape jelly?

T - way too dry for my enjoyment. I'm not sure whether the tanginess is due to the lactic acid, the wheat, or both. If it's because of the lactic acid then there was no malt flavor to notice. It was a very, tart, sour fruit flavor with a very acidic, biting quality to it. The beer was dry throughout.

M - a very bubbly beer, like champagne.

D - i was not a fan of this beer.

bowersdm, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of aflockofshegulls
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First of all, 1809's bottle is great. I love the design and little history lesson included on it. The beer is brewed in a very non-traditional manner. The mash is hopped, and the resulting wort is not boiled. The beer is fermented with the presence of lactobacteria. I bet the brewer adds a controlled bacteria culture, but I suppose historically this beer was sour because of the wort went into fermentation without being boiled.

Totally unlike any German beer I've tried. I would compare it to a Belgian wit, but that is a stretch in itself. Appearance is pale straw, and a little unappetizing.

The use of lactobacteria in fermentation gives it a pervasive, though not dominant sourness. It is a wheat beer, and there is a certain hefe quality to it (banana/clove) as this is unfiltered. Carbonation is high; mouthfeel is effervescent and crisp, with a peculiar aftertaste. The taste is perhaps powdery? with a minor fruitiness (green apple present - acetaldehyde, but not from spoilage because this bottle tastes very fresh). I am a huge fan of sour beer, but 1809's sourness just can't be compared to that of a Belgian.

I really liked this beer. And would be interested in trying it with the raspberry or woodruff syrup that Berliners drink it with.

aflockofshegulls, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of TexIndy
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brought back from Indy. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass. The labels had interesting story about the style and how this is part of their lost style series - interesting. No dating info. It was a hazy pale straw color. Amazing amount of carbonation in it. Almost like champagne. No lacing. It had a massive fizzy white head that quickly settled into a thick foam that was constantly fed by the carb.

After reading the other reviews, I was drooling as I love sour beers but this one disappointed. The aroma was almost wit or saison like with some granny smith apple in there as well. Some sour from the apple but pretty muted. The taste had even less sour to it. Just a small sour bite. Not sure if I got a bad bottle or if I'm just used to really sour beers after going on a Wild Ale kick these days. The flavor was good but seemed to be lacking. A bigger sour bite would make this one outstanding. As is, this bottle is good but not great. Gonna have to find another sometime.

Overall, an interesting beer that has potential if it gets more sour to it. Hopefully, my bottle was off and I can try a new one in the future. I do recommend as it is rare style and it does have a unique taste.

TexIndy, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of MichaelGreene
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Erdinger Weissbrau glass. Small champagne like bubbles OUT OF CONTROL. So crazy fizzy, could not control the head as I was pouring it. Died down VERY quickly though, no lasting head, no lacing. However, I think that do to the champagne like quality of the beer, that is what I would expect. Not really a negative for this beer.

Smells very citrus like and light.

Taste is acidic, citrus like and mild. No aftertaste, but a lasting dry acid bite, very white wine/champagne like, more like a wine then a beer. Its weird but I could almost be fooled into thinking this came from the vine.

Mouthfeel, Exceptional, like champagne...exactly, close your eyes its champagne.

Drinkability is really good because, for this type of beer, its the best. I could actually sit and drink this regularly, where as others of this style are more just for trying.

MichaelGreene, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of popery
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A sour beer that is still very drinkable. To someone completely new to the style, this is a rather odd beer. Unfortunately, no other Berliner Weissbiers are readily available for comparison. The beer smells and tastes closer a sour white wine than most beer. It's not entirely unlike other sours that I've sampled. The pucker is relatively weak, and there's only a hint of barnyard tang. It's a bit yogurty, but that's a poor descriptor. All in all, it's actually further from the norms of beer than most sours despite being less "sour." It's not hard to drink at all. It's fairly vinous but less so than a Flanders Red or something. There are strong notes of fruity, spicy wheat, no surprise with its high wheat content and coming from one of, if not the, best wheat beer breweries. My opinion of the beer is higher than my average score. It is not a nice looking beer. The head fizzes up and rapidly dissipates leaving no lacing and a cloudy overripe banana yellow glass. The smell is yogurt sourness mixed with spiced wheat with a metallic note. The flavor is very good. It's refreshing and bizarre, at once. You can taste the lactic acid, but it's very clean and not off-putting. I should really give it a lower mark for feel with a fair bit of wateriness (apparently, water is added just before bottling for unknown reasons, although I imagine its to cut the sourness some) and some weird lactic stickiness, but the sour has such a refreshingly light pucker that I can't. It's astonishingly drinkable for such an odd beer. The bottle says that Napoleon's troops drank it in celebration of their victory in Prussia. I like that. I can imagine soldiers in funny hats having glasses of it. "A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon." -Napoleon Bonaparte

popery, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very conservative pour yields a white bubbly three finger head, which recedes in a couple minutes. The beer is a light, cloudy yellowish orange.

The first thing I notice about the aroma is the tartness of it. Light fruits are present, such as apricot and white grapes. There is a lactic and vinegary character. Some funkiness in the nose. Not unlike a saison.

Tart apricot and lemon. Slightly sour from the lacto. Yeasty. The malt flavor is bready. The ABV is on the high end for a berliner weiss but it isn't noticeable and it doesn't detract from the other flavors. The finish is mostly sour and is very clean, crisp, and bubbly.

The carbonation is very good. The mouthfeel is very dry and somewhat sticky.

1809 is very light and refreshing.

HopHead84, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/22/08. Bottle. Pours a cloudy yellow gold with a fizzy white head. Aroma of lots of spices, yeast. Smells like a witbier. Flavor of initial carbonation, yeast/bread, spices, with a slightly sour finish. Not as sour/tart as I'd expected from a berliner weisse and a little bit spicier. Still quite tasty and very drinkable.
7/4/7/4/13 (3.5/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of dfitch81
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love beer, but every now and then I get into a kind of beer doldrums where nothing sounds good and I'm temporarily bored of all my usual favorites. When this happens, I find that the best way to cast off my beer blues is to find something new and different: 1809, in this particular case. I've wanted to try this brew for some time, but at $5.99 the price was usually enough to make think "I'll try it next time." Damn I'm glad I bit the bullet this time. Appearance is dramatic - I popped off the cap and a fountain of tart-smelling fizz burst out. Glad I had it over the sink... Poured into my hefeweizen glass, 1809 had a towering puffy white head which slowly dissipated to leave a constant layer of froth on the surface. The beer itself looks like liquid wheat and is impenetrably cloudy. The smell of wheat is unmistakeable, but I've never smelled a wheat-beer quite so sour as this. Taste is even more tart than the smell suggests - flavors akin to sour green apple, under-ripe nectarine and grape skin are dominant. The sourness, while extreme, is not in any way unpleasant (quite the opposite), which is good because the tartness lingers on your palate long after you swallow. Mouthfeel is prickly with tenacious carbonation, but otherwise a bit spritzery - could use some more body. Drinkability is good for the style, but this certainly isn't anything you'd want to drink all night. Still, I find it enjoyably different. 1809 is certainly a special beer, and although I wouldn't seek it out as a staple, I look forward to revisiting it.

dfitch81, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of avalon07
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellowish color and a cloudy consistency. Some sediment. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: A sweet smell of fruit, wheat and a little hops.

T: This beer tasted of bananas, wheat, some lemon and mild hops. The fruity part was most evident when going down, but overall a tasty experience.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth, dry finish. Medium-bodied. Refreshing mouthfeel. Would be a good summer beer.

D: This is the first Berliner Weissbier I've had and hopefully I'll be able to find more of these.

avalon07, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of Dogbrick
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Winking Lizard. Served with a cup of raspberry syrup which I declined. Pours a somewhat hazy yellow-gold color with a medium thin bone white head that diminishes slowly. Patches of lacing on the glass. Tart fruit, doughy malt and spices in the nose. Light-bodied and clean with a tart citrus and raspberry character. Mild spices and grainy malt flavors as well. The finish is fruity with a lingering tartness afterward. Overall this is pretty interesting.

Dogbrick, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of danadeny
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this in bottle at The Metropolitan in Baltimore. I've only had a few (maybe 3) berlinerwisses in my life so I though this would be a good opportunity to taste another example of a hard to find, not often brewed style. The appearance was what I would expect from a wisse; bubbly white head and golden straw clear body. The smell was very light except for the hint of funk I was hoping would indicate some sourness in the flavor. Ahh yes the hint of sourness on the finish was there, and pretty well balanced as well. It's just enough funk that other flavors are not over powered and the beer doesn't require a lot of other ingredients to compensate for balance. Mouth feel is light, watery and refreshing. Drinkability is a little above average just because it's not a session beer to me, but I would start a session with one anytime. I also like the mission of this brewer; to bring old obscure styles back to life, but do it true to form, history and original recipes. Simple plan yet very effective.

danadeny, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of midnite2sixman
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from a 16.9 bottle. It pours a hazy straw color with an immediate head from an aggressive pour which dissipates in a swirl of bubbles that continue to rise from the beer for a long time after the pour

Smells like fresh green apples, not the crap apples you buy in stores that are 2lbs and genetically modified. A real apple. Probably granny smith.

Taste is a bit sour with a sweet finish kind of a like an apple champagne or something like that.

Mouthfeel is light and champagney.

Worth a shot!

midnite2sixman, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an ommegang tulip- an aggressive pour yielding a pale straw color with a two finger white head that rose quickly and stuck around for a minute or two.

Nice citrus zest in the nose, hinting at the tartness but other than that, absolutely nothing. This beer is great- very drinkable and simple enough to be perfect on a hot summer day. I get a nice punch of tartness initially, but it has a very nice clean finish. Maybe some lime in the taste, but high carbonation throughout regardless. I love the berliner weiss style- but i have yet to find one that is tart enough for me. I suppose that's the segue to venture into sour ales.

Ineedabeerhere, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Oxymoron
2.55/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hope that isn't the best buy date. Pours a very hazy yellow color with some straw colored hue through out. A good pour left a very sad and bubbled head. Which quickly dissipated. Lacing, whats that?

The nose is limited. The wheat comes out nicely with some spicy notes. Some grainy notes on the back end as well. Some lemony and some herbal notes. Not much in the sour department though. Very clean yeast aroma as well, would have liked more funk.

The taste is similar. The malt comes out but at least there is a slight tart/sour note on the back end. Really would like more of sour note overall. Some nice spicy wheat notes come out. There is a slight lemongrass finish coming more from the yeast than hops. Some minor funk/horse but could use more.

The body is light but some of the lemongrass gives it a fuller feel. I would like this to be much drier. Carbonation is non-existent. Overall a pretty boring berliner weiss.

Oxymoron, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of tmoneyba
3.05/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Keg Liqour on 09/17/2007.

Poured hazy yellow color with a large frothy white head that mostly lasted with fair lacing.

Moderate wheat sour fruit aroma.

Light to medium body.

Light sour fruit flavor with a light sour finish of moderate duration.

Interesting, not my style.

tmoneyba, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The informative label definitely has a look about it, and it caught my eye on the shelf. Considering the concept behind this brewery's "Historic Signature Series", and the fact that it's brewed by one Dr. Fritz Briem (a Dr. of beer?)--how can you go wrong?

The appearance would rate insanely low if it weren't a tried and tested centuries-old style made with love and care. It's a light, pale yellow...as close to colorless as I've ever seen a beer. Belgian's "white" beers aren't anywhere near as "white" as this. Head is comprised of tiny bubbles that almost make it look smooth as frosting. No lace.

Smells of young green apples and their juice, a little hay, a light bready yeast, and more green apple.

Flavor is what I'd imagine a green apple champagne to taste like. Elements of white grape bring on more champagne characteristics, yet the mouthfeel is bolder and broader than any champagne I've had. Tingly, sharp, dry and tart. The tartness is the focal point of this beer (and this style, really), lasting from the very beginning of the sip until long after the liquid is gone from the glass. A mild graininess comes in, reminding of a slightly sour white bread fresh from a real German bakery, but this is subtle.

Napoleon and his troops called this "lively and elegant," apparently, and while it's got something about it that's failing to blow my mind, I would have to agree with that. It a little less intense in tartness and dryness than some other Weissbiers, but clearly solidly made, and not a thing wrong with it. Pairing with sauerkraut--which it has parallels to, flavor- and aroma-wise--would be complete Germanic insanity.

Metalmonk, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of nick76
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aroma has sour wheat, sour kraut, barley, and yeast with virtually no hops. The appearance is hazy with gold color and a nice head. The flavor is sour but not overly so and very much like the aroma. The palate is thin but just right. Overall it's close to being good.

nick76, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of hopdog
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle. Poured a light and hazy straw color with a huge sized white head. Aromas of cloves, bananas, wheat, and citrus. Tastes of wheat, lemons/citrus, and very light spices. Tart finish. Body on the thinner side. I could see drinking this on a hot and humid day.

Notes from and tasted on 6/12/07.

hopdog, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of stumac
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this one right after my first Berliner Weisse which was Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Weisse....

it pours up a murky orange color with a quickly fading white head. the nose is citrus, slight tartness, wheat. the taste is tart, sour, citrus, very high zesty carbo, lemons. medium to full bodied, high carbo.

This was a more citrusy and carbonated brew as apposed to the Bayerischer Berliner which was more bready and smoother. They both were good though....

stumac, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500ml bottle

A- Pours a hazed golden orange color with lively carbonation producing a solid off-white head that turns into a ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is pretty subtle with malted wheat and lemon and hints of yeast as well.

T- The taste is mildly tart with some citrus and a yeasty finish. Like the aroma, the taste is a bit subtle but it is a very drinkable and refreshing brew.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D- This is not the most complex beer, but it is extremely drinkable. I could drink this brew all night long! Recommended.

cjgator3, Oct 21, 2008
Professor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse from Professor Fritz Briem
92 out of 100 based on 1,191 ratings.