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White Birch Berliner Weisse | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Berliner WeisseWhite Birch Berliner Weisse

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our approach was to brew this beer with Lactobacilius for a refreshing and authentic interpretation of a classic summer refresher.

Added by barleywinebrewer on 06-22-2010

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Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 459
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.24/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A-Pours a fairly clear yellow color. Decent head, it dies but leaves a good lick of lacing.

S-Not a lot like the Berliners I have run across. Lacking that tart lacto note. Seeing that you could arguably call this an 'Imperial' Berliner Weisse (huge ABV for the style), I am not too surprised to see this deviate in the aroma. I get a lot of green apple juice and some semi-funked wheat.

T-Not really tart at all. Much more sweetness than I am used to as well. Lots of apple juice and sparkling cider. I bet this beer's quality has suffered batch by batch. Its missing the desired complexity and tartness.

M-Not bubbly enough. Not tart enough. A bit too full in body. But it still drinks rather easily.

O/D-Was expecting better here. I bet this beer was great in its infancy; Batch 1 or 2. Now I just don't see how this is a relatively desired beer. Its not bad but its probably the worst Berliner I have had.

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Photo of Maxwell
2.98/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

NOTE: Review of 6 month old bottle
The beer pours a very pale and murky yellow, its body is completely opaque, though it does allow light to come through, and a slight run of carbonation bubbles can be seen running to the top of the glass. The beer pours with a very soapy looking head made of big loose bubbles, but this quickly fades away to nothing. On the nose, this beer smells gross, like rubbing alcohol and cleaning products with a strong touch of pine sol. I feel like the Lacto may have been given too much time to run free in this beer… Gross fruity alcohol is really the only character I get on the nose. On the tongue, the beer tastes much better than the smell, with very metallic sour notes and not a lot else. The beer begins with clear and brutal lactic sour with a touch of chalk. This brutal sour opens into slight lemon and the faintest whisper of wheat bread make it into the finish and aftertaste, but for the most part there is just clear lactic sour running through this beer, which is much more pleasing than the smell, but still a little too sour. On the mouth, the beer feels prickly and puckering, yet with a medium light body. The mouth is left pouring with saliva from the sour and a chalky film covering the rest of the mouth. Overall, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this beer. I appreciate the lactic flavors, and they have clearly grown strong since the beer was bottled in August, but they are little too brutal on the tongue, and there really isn’t anything else going on in the taste. I want more of the faint bread on the taste, and perhaps there is more when this beer is fresh. In conclusion, I wouldn’t try and age this beer for longer than 3 months, but I would be interested to try it fresh.

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Photo of Brewsephus
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought from local craftbrew store.
1 Pint Bottle Serving. Poured into Tulip glass.
"Batch 3, Bottle 1632."

A- Pours a slightly hazy, golden color bordering on orange. Fizzy out of the bottle, with very little head, approx. 3 mm. Head dissipates within seconds of forming. Leaves no lacing on inside of glass.

S-Lemony, the wheat malt comes across on the nose first, subtle citrus fruits, apple. Nothing intense or overbearing, every scent is nimble and delicate.

T-Tart, slight pucker, lemon and lime, unripened orange. Rose hips on the aftertaste. The acidity is not to high, nothing burning or cloying. The tart hits you right on the front of your tongue, and slides back, leaving nothing behind but light floral on the finish. The wheat malt is hidden behind all the flavors, clever, refreshing. The 6.8% ABVis undetectable, no strange phenols, etc. No Brett character, no funk, no horse blanket or barnyard. This is the essence of tart fruit right before harvest.

M- carbonation is light, as this beer has thick stringy mouth-feel, I feel a little more carbonation would be delightful and make this beer more crisp like biting into a crab-apple!. This beer even with, what seems like, low carbonation, still has tremendous moutfeel. The lacto fills every corner of your mouth,grabs your taste-buds, and twists them until they cry for more pucker.

O- The one major disappointment I had with this beer was according to the BJCP style guidelines, a Berliner Weisse should fall between 2.8-3.8% ABV. This beer is double that, at 6.8% ABV. While I am not usually one to complain about a high ABV, or a beer pushing the boundaries of the style guidelines, I was looking to enjoy an expertly crafted, nuanced, meticulously malted 3% Weisse. The increased ABV does not take anything away from the flavor or any of the characteristics, but it is outside of the style guidelines. It is a little to high to be a fine session-able Weisse. I understand it may be hard to sell a beer that is low in ABV, but I digress. This beer is impressive, and has been loved dearly by someone who has the skill and heart to pull off such a gutsy brew. Kudos to White Birch, for making a sour lover pucker with joy!

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Photo of mountdew1
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice. Color was a very light golden with a 1 finger white bubbly head. Head disappeared almost instantly, but still had plenty streams of carbonation rising from the bottom. Reminded me greatly of an under-carbonated champagne. Aroma was a dead on ringer for a white wine, a bit on the sour side. A bit of yeast was in there as well. Taste was definitely sour with a bit of tart in the back of the mouth. A fair amount of carbonation kicked in the mouth, but the beet felt a bit tacky. Overall, pretty reasonable. Not my cup of tea, but seemed to be in style.

Bottle labeled batch 1.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
3.14/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a .5 lt bottle into a duvel glass (batch 3)

A: pours a interesting hazy yellow straw color with little to no head and/or lacing... Not a bad looking beer, but with the zero head and lacing I have to give it a 3.5

S: strange aroma here.... I get some serious funk here, notes of pungent cheese and turning milk.... Very un appealing... A bit of citrus there as well, this aroma is almost bad enough to make me not drink this.

T: luckily that strange funk that made the aroma so un appealing is toned down in the flavor, with tart lemony citrus taking over.... With some wheat on the back, some of that cheesy funk is still there.

M: light medium body with moderate sharp carbonation, a little
Touch of creamyness.

O: I can't get past the aroma, the flavor is good, but the aroma is enough that I would avoid this one... Although it does have some nice tart lemon/lemonade character.

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Photo of almightyme3
4.06/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clean pour small head sour on palate and light mouthfeel. As a Berliner weisse should be.

Overall a decent representation of the style but it seems to me as they should be using better quality water. Flavours are spot on but you can taste crappy water aftertaste

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled August, 2012 (out of a 1 pint 0.9 fl oz bottle):

This is my first of this style, so here goes:

Into a pint glass:

A: hazy golden body and gives a quick one finger white head appears for less than ten seconds. The body is too hazy for any carbonation to be seen and no lacing is around the sides of the glass. I also hear the carbonation fizzing fairly strong.

S: sour wet wheat with some pale malts in the background.

T: large presence of lemon and that strong wet wheat combined. It comes across very tart and sour.

M: light to medium, highly carbonated with a powerful acidic finish

O: though I'm not really into this beer, I can't say too much about it since it is my first one of this style. I'd probably only revisit to compare to others of this style, but will say this: this is a highly drinkable and refreshing beer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.59/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500 ml bottle poured into a weizen glass.
Batch One, Bottle count 1164, 6.8% ABV, Bottled Marhc 2012. "Our ales are unfiltered and bottle conditioned. Best served at 50-55°F in your favorite glass."

Thanks to Rocheford10nh, celeriac, and Wisrarebeer for bottles of this!!

A - Totally hazed through pale yellow beer pours into the glass, forming a tall could-white head which froths up loosely then sinks right back down due to the acidity. The glass is void of any lace or foam.

S - Completely unique upon first whiff, there's a strong sour wet wheat that's powerful in the nose, erupting into the air with a potent presence. Wood chips and pale malts come through while hops are rather absent. Sour nose with some good acidity.

T - Sharp lemony citrus opens the flavor and lingers through with a sour bite of acidity and wet, strong wheat. Pale malt is subtle, letting the wheat do most of the work, but this earthy flavored beer finishes out with an acidic kick.

M - Highly carbonated, White Birch's Berliner Weisse is pretty dang refreshing due to it's nicely balanced feel; a finish that has a great tart acidity and sour bite on the tongue, all while remaining smooth.

O - Highly drinkable and refreshing, White Birch's Berliner Weisse is the perfect refresher for a hot summer day, or delicious sour power for any other time. It's well-balanced and nicely sour without being too mouth-puckering. It's easy to see why this is a style that's getting much more attention.

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Photo of Gatch
4.44/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled: March 2012

A: Pale golden in color with a fizzy, white head. Not much to speak of. No lace or retention whatsoever.

S: Plenty of funk, sour, barn, grass, fruit. Complex nose.

T: Intensely refreshing and sour. Great wheat backbone. Much funkier than I expected. This is my second beer of this style and I had high hopes. They were definitely surpassed. This is a great beer. Lots of great fruity, yeasty, earthy flavors.

M: Very effervescent but the right amount of carbonation for the style, nicely soured, and highly drinkable. A hint of booze in the finish because the ABV is higher than is traditional.

O: I don't know why this beer is getting low marks. Maybe there is huge variation in how the wild yeast strains treated it or how it was stored for the past few months since being brewed. But, in my opinion, this is how the style should taste. It's a very refreshing and tasty brew that I thoroughly enjoyed drinking.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.02/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, UCLABrewN84!

Highly carbonated, hazed golden yellow with a small off-white head that falls away rapidly, eventually leaving the glass clean on the way down.

The aroma isn't particularly pleasant, with lots of sharp, stinky cheddar cheese notes, along with some wheat, and some vomit, as well. This wasn't all that pleasant to sniff.

The flavor, too, isn't particularly nice, with lots of funky, sharp cheddar notes, a bit of wheat and lemon, mild sour character, and just a hint of bile. Also, not good, however, the aroma was worse than the flavor.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

I will decline future offerings of this beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.86/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle I brought to share at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

Batch 2. Bottled in 4/2012.

Pours a murky light yellow with a foamy bone colored head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of grain, funk, stinky cheese, and some distinct vomit aromas. Taste is of sour wheat, tart lemon, and a slight funk flavor. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer based on taste only, but I must say this one has a pretty horrible aroma that made me not even want to take a sip.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.96/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle, bottled April 2012,

A: Pours a hazy yellow orange, with a medium white head, no lace.

S: Lemon zest, stink, spoiled papaya and pineapple, reminiscent of Backstreet Slow Ride.

T: Orange marmalade, citrusy flavours, apricot, hint of metal.

M: Medium-bodied, the higher gravity is apparent, light acidity, does have a refreshing factor, but doesn't have the bracing acidity that I like in this style.

O: As with the other high gravity Berliner I've had, this beer really gets away from the spirit of the style. Interesting, sure, but not really that good.

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Photo of Dope
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch one, March 2012 bottling date.

A: Pours a cloudy pale straw/orange with a small white head despite an aggressive pour. Fades almost immediately. No lacing.

S: Some lemons and a little wheat.

T: Tart lemon up front. Wheaty throughout. Lemon tartness continues and becomes quite dry, sour and a little bitter into the aftertaste. Honestly, it's kinda like a sour shandy with a bit more body. As it warms I sweat I get a little bit of green grape in there too, it might just be the sourness coming to the forefront.

M: Medium bodied, pretty standard. Crisp.

O: Very simple, a bit tart but very refreshing. Pretty strong for a berliner but no indication as to the alcohol content. Refreshing and crisp. Pretty much what you'd expect from a berliner.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Batch Two, dated April 2012, no. 1428. Sampled on May 27, 2012. This is one of White Birch's main releases. It has a pale yellow pour with a small, shot-lived head and it is cloudy. The aroma is pungent with lemon zest and citrus, with a notable yeast ester and a less forward wheat sensation. The body is light and creamy. The taste is also alive with lemon zest and sour lingering aftertaste. The wheat is much more subdued in the flavor than on the nose. This a style that you have to really like to appreciate the work that White Birch put into it.

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Photo of xnicknj
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

bottle #1035/1458 poured into large tulip - thanks to kstrickler

Pours a crystal clear pale yellow color. Thin white head fades out quickly, leaving little lacing or retention.

Yeasty and funky in the nose with lemon peel. Some almost metallic notes with wheat and bready tones.

Somewhat bitter and tart up front. Hints of lemon peel and citrus juice. Wheat, straw and yeast funk throughout. Tart and dry towards the finish.

Lighter body, high carbonation, lingering and dry on the tongue. I really like berliner weiss beers but this really wasnt that good...kind of a bummer.

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Photo of SpdKilz
2.68/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle #754 of 1458. Shared by Jason at Zwanze Day 2011. Taken from notes.

Appearance – Pours into a Cantillon tulip with a straw yellow color. Slight white head that fizzes up then quickly disappears.

Smell – Grain and yeast, Mr. Clean lemon, a lingering metallic aroma, and tartness.

Taste – It was the consensus that this beer had very little taste and what it did display, was not exactly welcomed. Most prominent was the cleaning supply like lemon flavor mixed with bready malts and metal. It is like drinking an off brand seltzer water.

Mouthfeel – Lighter bodied, loads of carbonation, finishes a bit dry.

Overall – Just a blah, bland beer.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.14/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Jason for this tick he shared with us at Zwanze Day.

A - Hazy, lighter colored beer that didn't really have much in the way of head and even less in the way of lace.

S - Some tartness, grain, corn syrup, vitamins, metal. Yeah, not a good combination.

T - The flavor is like the aroma and sucks, although it is a lighter and more bland version of it.

M - Medium bodied, active carbonation, a little gritty.

O - This was a crappy beer and "lived up" to the reputation that White Birch has established. Not a good beer, still looking for that quality White Birch brew. Not the worst beer of there's I've ever had, but that would be so hard to do it's not saying a whole lot.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 1, Bottle #754 of 1458. Served in a Cantillon glass, and generously(?) shared by Jason at Zwanze Day 2011.

A - A thin white foam quickly settles to a thin ring of bubbles, leaving negligible lace. Hazy spoiled milk-colored body - looks like white glue I used in kindergarten.

S - Plastic, lemons, yeast, grain, hint of yogurt, maybe some Elmer's glue but that might be imagined because the beer looks like glue.

T - Taste is nearly non-existent. Bland, with some yeast and lemons in the finish.

M - Alcohol is well-hidden. Dry, tannic, grainy, and gritty texture. Medium body, with sufficient carbonation.

D - This isn't offensive like many of the other White Birch offerings I've tried, but it's not very good either. Just kind of boring, with excessive, albeit well-hidden, alcohol for the style.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not sure what to think of this one, seems very odd for a Berliner Weisse, I think my friends and I agreed it might have scored better as even a Saison or something.

A: Very light color with a yellow straw overall hue, not much head or lacing.

S: Spicy, peppery, wild yeast and some lemon bready malts. Kind of has a plastic smell? Bizarre but not unappetizing.

T: Tart bite with almost some kind of raspberry note to it. Lemon, coriander like a saison again. Some weisse notes poke through more more like a hefe to me.

M: Tart back, clean light spritzy body.

Overall it's like a saison or watery wild.

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Photo of jsanford
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a Tulip Glass. Bottled 6/2/10. #620 of 1458. Bottle generously sent from THECPJ. Major thanks Shane, you know how I love a good Berliner Weiss!

A - Pours a cloudy light straw with that white Berliner Weiss head that sizzles away quickly, leaving a still beer.
S - Crisp aromas of wheat, dust, green apple, lemon juice, and a heaping helping of Lacto. Very yogurt-like, tart, and dry. Lovely.
T - Pretty similar to the nose, lots of wheat, green apple, and lemon. Again, very lactic, but more on the funky, earthy side and less on the tart. There is a slight canned tomato quality to this that I can't quite identify, but it isn't off-putting, just another layer of funky flavor. Dry and dusty.
M - Crisp and dry, with a medium-thin body and sharp, fizzy carbonation. Nice and Spritzer-like, great Summer brew.
O - An excellent Berliner Weisse, kudos to White Birch for putting their distinctive spin on an under-appreciated style. While not quite up to Hottenroth standards, I would certainly pick up more of this if available!

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Photo of yourefragile
2.27/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

500 mL bottle shares by Matt.

Does't look exactly like a berlinner weiss. Clearer than it should be, pale golden straw with a wispy white head. Aroma is horrible. Nail polish remover, pepper and lacto. Flavor is a mild redemption, sour and lemon, yeasty and watery finish. More like a hefe/saison hybrid than what I expect from the style. Keeps with the trend of failing like every other WB beer I've enjoyed.

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Photo of woosterbill
1.91/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Batch 1, 500ml bottle 1032/1458, poured into a La Chouffe tulip.

A: Looks like a white wine spritzer. Clear, greenish-yellow body with an inch of soda-like bubbles that disappear entirely. Umm, ok?

S: Wet paper, glue, corn (DMS?), and some lacto. Pretty bad, except for the lacto.

T: Painfully bad. Pickle juice, corn, and cardboard. Some funky tomato and curry. Sour fruit finish. Disgusting.

M: Medium body, tons of frothy carbonation. Nice and lively.

O: What a horrid experience. I feel terrible that I inflicted it on a few friends, but at least we all had a good laugh picking out the insanely disgusting flavors. I want a Berliner Weiss to be crisp, clean, and tart, not redolent of rotten tomatos and pickle juice. But maybe that's just me. I only got a quarter of the bottle, and I still couldn't finish it. Avoid this beer.


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Photo of mikereaser
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

White Birch Berliner Weisse
A - Pours a clear straw yellow with very little foam at all. It looks very crisp and clean. 4
S - Faint sour aroma hits you right away followed by some lemon and grapes smell. Its really nice and makes my mouth water. 4
T - Graininess up front then lots of lemon and grape skin finishing with a nice sourness and ends slightly dry. This is what I want to drink. 4.5
M - Crisp carbonation leaving a slight tingle in your mouth. Just a nice balance between sour and sweet. 4
D - I could drink this all day, Its just very drinkable and quite tasty. 4.5

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Photo of sweemzander
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500mL bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Bottled June 2, 2010 (Batch One) Bottle # 17 of 1458. Thanks to jstilwell for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a cloudy pale yellow color. Produced an effervescent and bubbly pure white head that dissipated quickly to bubbles.

(S)- Very very dry. A chalky-like dusty funk with bits of lemon tartness and biscuit.

(T)- Lightly tart and crisp. That same chalky, almost Brett-like character from the smell is there, though as this breathed, that disappeared. Some nice bits of white grape acidity behind some wheat-like biscuit.

(M)- A wonderfully crisp and bubbly carbonation level. A mild acidity and sourness with an assertive funk that actually slowly started to melt away as it breathed somehow.

(D)- A solid Berliner Weiss. Extremely thirst quenching and crisp. A great example from the states.

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Photo of birchstick
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A -pours a very hazy pale yellow without much of a head - however the carbonation was crackling on the pour

S - smells sour and lemony with faint grape and white pepper notes

T - starts off with spritzy wheat malts that are quickly replaced by a nice combination of refreshing lemon and vinous champagne. Ends with a citrusy sourness and a very faint bleach flavor. Fantastic!

M - bubbly, champagne-like with a medium body that does a good job at masking the abv. Awesome mouthfeel to it.

D - very impressed with this one...I can see why this style was referred to as the champagne of the north. Great sour notes with a refreshing finish and mouthfeel. I don't know if it's the temperature outside or my new dive into the sour realm, but I could drink this one all day.

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White Birch Berliner Weisse from White Birch Brewing
3.64 out of 5 based on 459 ratings.
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