Bretta Weisse | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
33 Reviews
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Bretta WeisseBretta Weisse

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

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: 33 | Ratings: 358
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -16.9%
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 StonedTrippin
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
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 metter98
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Firestone Walker Taproom, Paso Robles, CA

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thick white collar around the glass and a patch of bubbles in the center.
S: Moderate aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with some hints of raspberries.
T: The taste starts out having flavors of sourness and lactobacillus and has some hints of raspberries towards the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied and slightly creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and has some refreshing properties. It isn't nearly as sour compared to some of the other beers in the style.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of biboergosum
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A rather dear 1 quart crowler from the Sherbrooke liquor store - this was apparently aged in French oak foeders for 8 months.

This beer pours a murky, light apricot amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat fizzy dirty white head, which leaves pretty much nil in terms of lace anywhere near the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of mixed tart fruity notes - lemon, pear, blood orange, and pineapple core - slightly funky yeast, gritty and grainy pale and wheat malt, white saltine crackers, a gentle sour milkiness, and some leafy and dried hay-like hop bitters. The taste is more zingy lemon, cherry, and underripe apple fruitiness, softy phenolic yeast, a very tame Brett infection rate, laid-back grainy and wheaty malt, ethereal wooden staves, and some consistent earthy and weedy hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite low-key in its quotidian frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and sort of smooth, I suppose, if you consider where you're standing right about now. It finishes trending dry, the tartness of the fruit holding tight, while the yeast and malt start fading away.

Overall, this is a very well-made barrel-aged version of the style, as the expected woodiness for the prescribed time in the cask doesn't really translate to an overabundance of the typical esters in the beer. Tart, fruity, somewhat grainy, and refreshing, even - that's what I'm taking way from this one.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.74/5  rDev -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 Alieniloquium
3.49/5  rDev -13.2%
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 JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
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 John_M
3.37/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I'm a huge fan of FW beers, but I'm starting to think they need to lay off the BA sour and brett offerings. While they haven't been awful, "mehhh" seems to generally cover the quality of the stuff I've had from them so far. Considering the price (tap and growler was selling an 8 ounces glass for $7.50 I think), this beer is a particularly bad bargain.

The beer pours a solid gold color with fairly decent head retention and light lacing. The nose is pretty simple and one dimensional. There's something of lemon lime aroma from the sour component, with something of an underlying "wheatiness" as well. Flavor profile is more of the same, but there was something of a buttery mouthfeel, which I attribute to the brett I guess. The beer is otherwise pretty light on the palate, with no sense of alcohol. The beer does have good acidity, which is nice, but it's pretty hard to think of anything positive to say about this beer otherwise.

While not awful, I really am not sure just what FW is going for here. Pretty certain this isn't something I need to try again any time soon.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
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 DefenCorps
4.18/5  rDev +4%
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 cpetrone84
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%

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 2beerdogs
4.06/5  rDev +1%
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 scottfrie
4.22/5  rDev +5%
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 +7.5%
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 crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice effervescent white head that dissipates to a ring around the glass. There's flavors of stone fruits and an oaky Chardonnay like wine quality to the beer, with a light body and heavy carbonation. Slightly tart. Incredibly balanced. One of the best Berliner weisse I have ever had for sure. Extremely refreshing.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice white and foamy head that doesn't dissipate very quickly. It's actually some very fascinating head for a beer. The foam has some depth to it after the initial pour and enough staying pour to completely cover the surface. The beer is a nice looking clear pale gold color. The carbonation bubbles also give it a nice appearance.

The smell is pretty nice. It's a nice mix of brett, wooden notes, and a citrus note with a bit of a nice tartness to it.

The taste is good and has a nice combination of different notes. It's a nice tarty taste with a decent brett note and lemon citrus that mix very well. The oak gives a nice wooden note that mixes well with the more bitter notes to give a nice refreshing beer.

The beer has a light body and serious biting carbonation. As a result, it has a nice dry finish.

Overall, a pretty good beer and worth getting for the hot summer days if you can.

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Photo of Moose90
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
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 TheSixthRing
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasting notes from May 22nd, 2016. Had on-tap at Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

Appearance - Served up in a 12oz nifter, the brew is cloudy and golden yellow with a white ring of suds crowding the edge of the glass.

Smell - Sour, fruity aroma hitting on notes of green apple and cherry.

Taste - Follows the nose. Sour fruit notes of cherry and tart apple. Wheaty malt flavor peaks through once the tartness dies down. Aftertaste lingers with apple tartness and a touch of mineral character.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with moderate carbonation. Crisp, dry finish.

Overall - Typical sour beer. Tasty, but nothing to set it apart from others in the style.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
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 charlzm
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
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 WoostaBia
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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 +14.2%
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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Photo of Catracho5
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
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 Phil-Fresh
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
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 ManapuaMan
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

5 oz pour enjoyed while on the west coast. Golden brown pour with a puffy head. Aroma of green apple, cherries and hay. Great example of the style, albeit a little on the lighter/subtler side. Tart, but not cheek-puckering; slightly fruit-sweet, but not cloying; funky, but not horse-blanket levels. Just a well crafted beer that's balanced, light and refreshing. A bit pricey for that profile but certainly enjoyable.

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Bretta Weisse from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.02 out of 5 based on 358 ratings.
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