Berliner Weisse | Nodding Head Brewery

very good
43 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Nodding Head Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.75%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2002

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 67
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes: This is the beer that I traveled over 2 hours to have and so glad I did.

appearance: golden yellow with a small white head dissipates quickly.

smell: apples, slight sourness,

taste: sour, sweet, tart,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body, refreshing,

overall: a perfectly balanced and delicious Berliner Weiss. If only I could have this everyday I would be a happy girl.

the CPJ

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

A nice pint on tap at nodding head with woodruff syrup.

A- comes to me with a small cap of bright white head with a splash of green from the woodruff. Head settles quickly and leaves only the faintest of rings and a tiny wisp on top. Wonderfully clear golden yellow in color not much effect on the color from the syrup.

S- tart and bright lemons with a pale wheat sweet hit and a mild herbal touch.

T- opens up tart and quickly rolls into a earthy herbal sweetness from the wheat and syrup. The back and forth of these simple flavors thru the taste really keeps the palate working.

M- light body with a light yet bright carb. Good juicy pucker.

O- this has been on my radar for about a year and I'm so glad to have it again. One of my favs for the style and so glad its from a great place like nodding head.

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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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cleverly titled 'Ich bin ein Berliner Weisse' on the menu.

First beer of the day after a morning filled by Old City site-seeing. Liberty Bell: check. Independence Hall: check. Lots of other old things: check...Nodding Head: check. This was a pint ($4.50) that came with a good-sized shot of the glowing plutonium-green woodruff/Waldmeister Schuss on the side.

Cheers to my friend, Russ...sharing a pint with me in spirit...

A: Golden/pale straw color, vaguely cloudy, with a fairly pert micro-carbonation. White head is thin and languishes briefly before pulling back as a creamy ring, flecks of lace.

S: Weak aroma, barely tart, barely wheat...just really nothing to grab hold of. Adding the syrup gave a lovely honeysuckle/floral sweetness, but that says nothing of the beer itself, other than an additive is needed to doll it up a good bit.

T: The-e-e-ere's that expected lactic's firm but not overpowering, finishes a little sweet. Inside the tartness: green apples, earthy berry, lemon peel. Sourdough bread finish. After 2/3rds finished, I tried with a splash of syrup, which produced a ginger ale/Sprite sweet/tang...kinda interesting.

M: Light body, smooth and creamy carbonation. Soft coating and a little chalky bitterness in the finish.

D: Easy enough to drink and especially thirst-quenching on a warm day. I've tried a number of Berliner weisses before, usually foregoing the "rot oder grün" for the straight stuff. Here, I liked it both ways about equally. A pretty good version overall.

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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.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First 1/2 of pint without Woodruff syrup:

A: A clear pale yellow color under a thin head.

S: Lightest citrus hint in the nose.

M/T: A bitter sweet and very tart upfront feel with a smooth but equally sweet/tart center and finish in which I detected a light wheat note.

Second 1/2 of pint with Woodruff syrup:

The Woodruff syrup is an emerald green color that carries a big bright nose in itself of sweet apple cotton candy.

A: Approximately 2 teaspoons dropped into the pint glass, it colors the brew into a light green hue.

S: Sweet cotton candy scent.

M/T: A sweet and fizzy sour apple infusion takes front and center before a tart and lightly sticky resonance takes to the back of the throat with a cotton dry finish.

D: With or without the syrup, this has a good drinkability, depending on how much you might enjoy a "sweet tart in a glass." At 3.75 abv, I could equally go with or without the syrup and put a few of these away...

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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.

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Photo of Zekezilla
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried this one during a recent Philly trip. Just happened to check out Nodding Head and was intrigued by the green syrup served with this beer. (I'd never had a Berliner Weiss before). The appearance is golden, with little lacing, not much head. The flavor was both tart, funky, musty and earthy--all at once. Low alcohol content makes this a very quaffable brew. Will definitely try this style again.

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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.

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Photo of deapokid
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Stopped into Nodding Head afterwork yesterday. It was the only bar in Center City with an open stool!

This Berliner Weiss was bubbling like mad when taken from the tap. Neon yellow in color with a very thin white head and rambunctious carbonation. It's not really much to look at, but from my limited experience with the style, this is to be expected.

First sniff overwhelms the nostril with a tart blast, which is reminiscent of a gueuze in aroma, but not as extreme.

Texture of the beer is thin, with characteristics of a champagne with lighter carbonation and a lemon zest aftertaste. It was rather refreshing for a humid and muggy June day and putting down 3 pints in 40 minutes wasn't hard at all.

The mouthfeel is comparable to a soda or tonic, immediately tingling the tongue with its sour taste and playful carbonation. This is one bubbly concoction.

Its light body and thin texture make for a really drinkable ale, although the sourness may be off putting to most. Personally, I think this is one beer (and style) I may be developing a taste for.

*Update (7/24/2010)

And develop a taste for it I have. This is an absolutely great session beer and I've grown accustomed to putting a few down after work on a weekly basis. Although it's not as flat out amazing as the 1809, this is a highly drinkable and tasty local concoction.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer I have been wanting to try for a long time, luckily I finally got the chance to try this multiple times at GABF 2008. The beer is a very pale, gold color and it is topped by a fizzy, fairly quickly disappearing, pale-white colored head. The aroma is noticeably tart with a light funkiness to it that lurks just beneath. This has lots of wheat character that reminds me of freshly crushed wheat berries; it really does have a hearty, whole grain character to it that is a mix of freshly threshed grain and expressive wheat aromatics.

The taste is exquisitely refreshing and this is so light on the Palate. It has a light, not aggressive, but noticeable / dominant tartness to it that cuts through most of the other flavor components. This is perhaps not nearly as funky as I might prefer, that the tartness makes this fantastically drinkable. After my palate adjusts to the tartness I start to pick up a solid wheat note in the flavor that adds a nice, expressive, grassy-grain and cracker-like notes to the finish.

This is one of those beers I just kept coming back to, a great example of the style and its light, refreshing qualities (yet with lots of flavor) kept me coming back for a Palate refresher.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Nidding Head on 2/23/08.

A - Very pale golden body with half-finger bubbly, pouffy white head and tons of active carbonation bubbles bursting everywhere. Attractive lacing throughout.

S - Fruity yeast with some citrus tang and a bit of a 7-Up lemon/lime quality. Very fruity and yeasty nose with a hefty waft of fresh wheat stalks.

T - Starts off with a very sweet fruity flavor reminiscent of apple and pear, but also citrus fruits. This merges into a more syrupy sweet flavor with candy sugar or bubblegum notes. There is also an underlying bready malt presence.

M - Extremely carbonated with a syrupy base and a tart, fruity mouthfeel. Lots of prickle all over the mouth. Finish leaves some residual stickiness on the lips. Mild pucker from the fruity and tart qualities. Quite refreshing.

D - Very unique and quite a complex brew that's bursting with flavor. Could use a tad less carbonation perhaps, but it didn't really detract from my overall enjoyment. This is a pretty awesome, refreshing beer.

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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.

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

Pours a light, almost clear straw yellow with a fizzy white head that dissipated quickly. The paleness was a bit off putting but we move forward. Slight hint of green after woodruff syrup added.

Smell of tart citric acid, some lemon, no hops at all.

Taste is a sharp tartness and citrus fruits. Woodruff provides a little bitterness. To me this is what I would expect a Berliner Weiss to taste like.

Mouthfeel is slightly astringent from the acidity, medium-high carbonation.

Quite drinkable and refreshing. Sourness was not overpowering. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of kajerm
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw this on the taplist. It's a gutsy move, trying to sell berliner weisse, but it's a style that I really like and wish I could find more, especially in the summer.

Nasty surprise: the beer is clear. I can forgive the IPA, but this is an infected wheat beer, for Christ's sake. It's clear and straw-colored with no head (which weirded me out when I tried 1809 but is normal for the style) Does Nodding Head filter their hefe too?

The taste is very mild sourness, light malted wheat, and not much of anything else. Filtration has killed all of the yeast-derived goodies, leaving a beer that is refreshing and inoffensive, but is not at all a berliner weisse. They put waldmeister (green woodruff syrup) in the beer whether you want it or not, but they don't dump in buckets of it the way they do for tourists in Germany. It adds a very light sweetness and makes the beer green. I actually like it, but I'd like it better if they gave to me on the side-- that's what they did with the 1809 at Tria.

Mouthfeel is light, very light, since there's nothing living in the beer anymore.

Drinkability is terrific, but a berliner weisse it ain't.

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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.

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Photo of msboyd
2.98/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My serving was more of a pale yellow with light green undertones; I had read about the style (although never tried it before) so I was prepared for the woodruff green.

The initial sweet scent was a bit of a contrast to the sour-then-sweet taste; it's definitely one you need to get used to. It had a very sweet, almost Kool-Aid-like aftertaste.

The tart taste was certainly refreshing, but it wasn't what I would consider easy drinking. I enjoyed it, but I don't think it would necessarily be my first choice -- I would like to try other examples of the style for comparison, but I applaud Nodding Head for trying something interesting that might not appeal even to all beer geeks.

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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.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap during Happy Hour at the brewery during my recent visit to Philadelphia. Quite a nice surprise.

Poured a paale yellow gold with a slight green tinge. The green came from the flavored syrup (not sure what flavor) the bartender squirted into the glass when he poured my pint. Oddly there was very little nose--just some wheaty heartiness ever-so-slightly. I thought there would be a hint of sourness.

Flavor was sour and puckering but not taste bud freezing. Like sour apples, cherries or grapes. Kind of a mic of all three and not any one in particular. But nor sour like vinegar. Very light mouthfeel that finished slightly dry. The best example of the style I have tried to date. Perhaps the only one I could enjoy multiple pints of without my stomach curdling.

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Berliner Weisse from Nodding Head Brewery
3.78 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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