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Adding flavored syrups to Berliner Weisse?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by evilcatfish, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Advocate (690) Missouri May 11, 2012 Beer Trader

    So I love me some Berliner Weisse and its my understanding that in Germany they often add raspberry or woodruff flavored syrups. Has anybody here ever had BW this way? I've had American Berliners with flavoring already in them (peach, rasp) but never added the syrup myself.

    Can you even get woodruff syrup in America anyway?
  2. Last time I was at Portsmouth Brewery, I ordered their berliner and it came with a side of raspberry syrup.
    dianimal likes this.
  3. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    I have had it with both of those syrups, as well as straight. The old Schultheiss Berlinerweisse was so sour that honestly I'm more surprised people would want to drink it without the syrup.
  4. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Advocate (690) Missouri May 11, 2012 Beer Trader

    Is there a certain brand of syrup that is preferred? I have some Rose's Grenadine a chick left in my fridge and was thinking about trying that with some Berliner...
  5. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poobah (1,050) Pennsylvania Sep 6, 2010 Beer Trader

    Yes. A couple local brewers do this (Iron Hill and Round Guys come to mind). It's always fun to try their base beer without the woodruff or raspberry syrup, and then try it with. All personal preference.

    You can, but it's sort of hard to find. Try a local German deli/grocery sort of place. Ordering online is the easiest.
  6. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    HighWine, dianimal and Zimbo like this.
  7. legend8706

    legend8706 Savant (335) Virginia Oct 31, 2012

    Round Guys Brewing in Lansdale, PA offers this. To be honest I preferred the Berliner straight up, syrup didn't do much for me to be honest, but again that's just an opinion..
  8. litheum94

    litheum94 Advocate (675) California Dec 29, 2008

    Bear Republic serves their Tartare with a choice of woodruff or raspberry syrup. Though I prefer it straight up.
  9. SpeedwayJim

    SpeedwayJim Advocate (745) New York Jun 19, 2009 Beer Trader

    Peekskill serves their Zeitgeist Berlinerweisse either straight or with Raspberry or (I think) honey ginger syrup. Really good beer either way you have it.
    cavedave likes this.
  10. skipjack17

    skipjack17 Savant (310) Massachusetts Dec 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    The Tap Brewing Co does a Berliner every summer, with the choice of raspberry or woodruff syrup or plain. They are bottling it for the first time this year. Looking forward to it!
  11. JoeyBeerBelly

    JoeyBeerBelly Initiate (0) New York Dec 15, 2006

    I don't have any woodruff or raspberry syrup, could I use this?...

  12. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Savant (430) Arizona Oct 16, 2012 Beer Trader

    After spending some time in central Germany(Wiesbaden) I noticed a lot of thier mixed drinks in the bars used beers and heavy syrups, similar to the ones that you describe. A very popular drink over there is a german lemonade and beer mix called a "shandygaff". So a lot of places have spins on that. It only makes sense that a brewery over there would make a beer with the stuff mixed in. Not really my thing though... kindof like an orange slice in your beer... its just wrong!!
  13. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Some friends and I tried it with orange juice at breakfast once, not bad either -- though I wonder what the Berliners would think. ;)

    I've had it with both the Raspberry and Woodruff (sort of reminded me of toothpaste) and like it straight better, but it's not a favorite style.
  14. At Butcher & the Boar we've been playing around with ideas for a few gourmet syrups for Berliner weisse in the beer garden (during the summer months of course), blueberry thyme, grapefruit rosemary, Meyer lemon ginger etc... only added upon request of course
    jedwards, kojevergas and JxExM like this.
  15. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Savant (430) Arizona Oct 16, 2012 Beer Trader

    Perhaps try a sparkling Lemonade, in a Lager... Ive seen that in a beer garden in Northern Michigan
  16. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Advocate (690) Missouri May 11, 2012 Beer Trader

    These sound great
  17. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Savant (485) Pennsylvania Jan 23, 2007

    Was in a Berlin knappe w/ the wife last year. Berliner Weisse was in the menu. We both enjoy Berliner Weisse so I asked our server for two please. He pauses and asks "you mean one, for the lady". Slowly picking up on his suggestion I respond "sure, one for her and I'll have another pils". So our beers come out and the Berliner Weiss is a neon green color served in a wide mouth glass w/ a very long contrasting yellow straw sticking out of it. Not exactly masculine looking I understood why our server made the suggestion. I took a sip. I wasn't bad but I would never put that much syrup in at home where as others have stated you typically get your choice of raspberry or woodruff served on the side.
  18. I'm sure they'd be fine with it as the Germans are the ones who invented the shandy (lager and lemonade).
  19. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    Yea, it's only on here that I've seen drinking Berliner Weisse being held up as some sort of test of bravado.
    rob133 and steveh like this.
  20. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (810) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    The British book, The Curiosities of Beer & Ale (1889) discusses the "Shandy Gaff" - a mix of ginger beer and bitter, and that's probably hardly the earliest citation of it.

    The similar German mix is more often referred to as a Radler - a name based the fact that supposedly bicyclists ["rad" = bicycle in German] first began drinking it - no idea when.
    victory4me likes this.
  21. crossovert

    crossovert Champion (810) Illinois Mar 29, 2009

    If you want to drink it "traditionally" you drink it forma bowl with straw and syrup. Personally I think it is a bit silly.
  22. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    What Jess said.
  23. My wife had a hard time convincing the kellner that she wanted a Schultheiss 'ohne schuss'.

    Edit - you need to know we were big into Lambics back then. Not so sour by comparison.
  24. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (620) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004 Subscriber

    I always got funny looks from the barstaff in East Berlin when I ordered it straight. Seems no-one else drank it that way.
    tronester likes this.
  25. alexipa

    alexipa Advocate (525) Colorado Oct 7, 2011 Beer Trader

    Avery does it this way at the brewery, in a traditional glass. It's quite delicious but also too expensive in my opinion.
    tronester likes this.
  26. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Advocate (525) Germany Jul 31, 2011

    Berliner Kindl does sell it in six packs with and without syrups (the blue bottle is without), but I've always seen only Red or Green as options at restaurants.
  27. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (1,100) North Carolina Dec 8, 2007 Staff Member Subscriber Beer Trader

    I have had both of these when I was drinking Kindl in Berlin a little over a year ago - I preferred the woodruff (the raspberry was too sweet for me). They definitely just asked if you wanted red or green (I had plain as well)... I might have some photos somewhere.
  28. juliusseizure

    juliusseizure Savant (465) New York Feb 11, 2009 Beer Trader

    Got a side of syrup at Block 15 when I was just getting into craft beer. A lot of WTFs were uttered and my wife got a chance to make fun of my lack of knowledge.
  29. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    Got the same looks the first time I ordered it straight. I, too, had been drinking a lot of Lambics at the time, so I wanted to gauge the relative sourness. Straight Schultheiss was pretty darned sour.
  30. Good point, and poor wording on my part.

    My point was basically that I don't think Germans have an issue with an OJ/Berliner combo when the lager/lemonade combo is a popular drink in Germany given that it is available in many of the traditional beer halls.
  31. digita7693

    digita7693 Advocate (690) Germany Jan 19, 2010 Beer Trader


    The regular Berliner kindl is pretty good, but te others are sickingly sweet, and the syrup is sort of chemically
  32. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    Everyone realizes that "lemonade" is not like our Country Time drink, correct? "Limonade" is the German term for what amounts to generic Sprite, or lemon soda. If you mix uncarbonated, syrupy lemonade with your beer you're going to end up with something pretty nasty -- along the lines of the Nesquik suggestion above.
    boddhitree likes this.
  33. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Something to keep in mind: Berlin and Bavaria (where Radler is most common) are worlds apart. The Berliners say, "The only good thing about Bavaria is that it keeps us separated from Austria." ;)
    victory4me likes this.
  34. I was in Berlin last June. Berliner Kindl Weisse is a joke. Lactic acid is added to a weak base beer. Sadly, there is no true Berliner Weisse brewed in Berlin any longer. Except the research at the VLB. Kindl is pushing all sorts of flavors these days... http://berliner-kindl-weisse.de/ Click jah uber 15 jars alt, and it should take you to the page showing this travesty...
  35. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (620) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004 Subscriber

    That's weird. Exactly the same for me. I'd tried Lambics and sourness was no problem.
    tronester likes this.
  36. Schultheiss Berliner Weisse with Woodruff to this day remains one of my top ten beer experiences ever.
    tronester likes this.
  37. When I heard about adding of Syrup to Berliner Weisse I thought I would try it using Chambord. It was not bad but I preferred the beer straight.
  38. loafinaround

    loafinaround Savant (415) New York Jul 16, 2011

  39. When I was in Berlin last summer I ordered it once and it came with syrup. The only other people I saw ordering/drinking them throughout my 5 days there were girls that were probably in there upper teens.

    I dont even like them anyways (with or without syrup). But I can't not order one in berlin. (yea double negative).
  40. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (810) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    The traditional "green" BW is not made with a "fruit" syrup, and is artificial.

    Country of Origin: Germany​
    Glucose-fructose syrup, water, sugar, citric acid, aroma, E104, E131 and E124.​

    Many sources note that the herb woodruff is banned for human consumption in both Germany and by the FDA in the US.
    tronester likes this.