Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House

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Sour - Berliner Weisse
Ranked #675
Ranked #39,082
3.68 | pDev: 14.13%
Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House
Ohio, United States
Notes: Flappers have always been a symbol of change and rebellion, harkening to a time where challenging the norm was all the rage. This beer embraces and celebrates that vibrant, relentless spirit. Representing the rebirth of a brewery and the reclamation of a dream, this beer is a completely contradictory experience where the wort is soured, the hops are minimized and the beer is filtered to be brilliant. Crisp, delicate, cutting edge, complex and tart, pouring a bright citrine with a nose of gently soured rind fruit, this beer is exactly what is needed when looking for a little something…Divergent.
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 186 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

It remains hard for me to get close to this style. Some are OK on a warm day and fruit juices add to the refreshment.
But Divergent crosses the line from tart to sour too easily and too fast for me to enjoy it. Maybe I should not have had this in January and July would be better.

Rivertown is an interesting enterprise. They focus on Bretts and its tart-sour family of ales. They really focus on their food and slow-cooked BBQ. They make other beers to go with their food. And they are a community gathering place.

Jan 28, 2020
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Beejay from Virginia

3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale yellow, clear, with a decent hite head that lingers for a moment before starting to settle into the body of the beer.

S: Bright and sweet with a lovely fruitiness. Some wheat bread in there as well as a bit of blueberry. Rather lovely actually.

T: Sharp and acidic. Light with a nice berry fruitiness and some lovely acidic notes, clean and crisp.

M: Very light body, crisp, and clean with a small amount of sour pucker, finish is somewhat dry.

O: Overall a pretty excellent beer. Light crisp refreshing. Well done.

Aug 23, 2018
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Cigar City El Catador teku glass.

A: Very clear, fairly light gold - just a bit of chill haze. Lots of visible carbonation, and a thin white head that disappears almost instantly.

S: Strangely low overall. Light two-row malt sweetness and lactic tartness. A mild lemony citric acid. Not much else that I can find, at least when it's cold.

T: Lactic fruity tartness, pale cracker and two-row malts. The tartness fades fairly quickly, and there are some fruity yeast esters – apple/pear/fleshy fruit mostly – that remind me of Belgian yeast. Some more lemony citric acidic tartness swells up near the swallow and it finishes dry.

M: A light, crisp body. Overall a significant amount of carbonations sensation, but towards the low end for style. Minimal, if any, alcohol presence.

O: Not an objectionable beer, but not my favorite Berliner. The fruitiness is within style guidelines, though it was unusual enough I had to check. Most of the Berliners I've had eschew the fleshy fruit for more lemon and tart citrus. Generally I appreciate something a little different, but this one just didn't rub me the right way - the fruits don't let the dryness and tartness shine like they otherwise would. Not terrible, but nothing I'd be looking to drink again.

Jan 20, 2017
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BonzaiZymurgist from Connecticut

2.22/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.25

Although the commercial description says filtered, the deep golden beer is murky. The first smell and taste were redolent of vomit, but might be paired with a grilled cheese to take the edge off. The mouth feel is refreshing, but despite loving sours, I won't be returning to this one.

Jul 29, 2016
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awellusedwallet from Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This was in the first shipment of the Craft Beer Club selection my kids and their spouses (those that are married, anyway) got me as my Father's Day gift this year. It is also the first sour ale I have tried. These were my impressions after drinking one tonight:

Look - Clear golden color. I poured the entire bottle into a snifter-like glass. I got an immediate head that was about 2 inches high that quickly dissipated to about 1/4 inch and then disappeared completely within a couple of minutes.

Smell - I did not notice much of a smell. But I did not really attempt to smell it in the glass or bottle. This is why I rated Smell as a 3.

Taste - Here's where it got interesting for me. The first couple of sips I was surprised by the almost lack of "beer" taste. I was expecting something with more of a 'bite'. It went down easily. I did let it sit for about 30 minutes and it did have more taste as it warmed (I had it in the refrigerator). I do like the taste as it was a warm humid night here and I drank it on our front porch. However, I would like to have another one before determining my final thoughts on taste - which is why I have rated Taste as a 3 for now.

Feel - I liked the feel of the beer in my mouth and, as I said earlier, it went down smoothly. Being so warm tonight, having a lighter tasting beer was quite pleasurable.

Overall - I like this beer. I currently rate it as a 4. My review might change after having another one (or two) especially since this is my first bottle of a sour ale. I still have 2 to try.

Jul 23, 2016
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Chico1985 from Massachusetts

2.6/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Stupidly sour, vinegar overload, amazingly abrasive and acidic, not a whole lot else to it. Comes across nothing like a berliner and for the ABV this is absurdly difficult to drink. I like some ridic sour/vinegar bombs but this just bordered on unpleasant. 8oz was plenty, the pint they were offering mighta killed me.

Jul 10, 2016
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metter98 from New York

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear pale yellow in color and has an ever so slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin collar around the edge of the glass and some delicate lacing on the surface.
S: Light aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with faint bits of lemons.
T: The taste has some sour flavors of lactobacillus along with hints of lemons.
M: It feels light-bodied, slightly tart, and a bit creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't too sour and its light-bodied nature makes it very easy to drink. It is a good beer for a summer day.

Serving type: bottle

Jun 11, 2016
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donspublic from Texas

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from bottle on the beach. Smells tart, getting lemon here, maybe some green apple. Taste is pretty much true to form, lemon with sharp acidity on the front end with some green apple peaking thru. A little more sour than the Nice Melons, but still a very solid Berliner Weiss. Loving both beers I have had from Rivertown, they are doing a great job with these Berliner Weiss beers

Jun 10, 2016
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clear gold pour, no head, moderately carbonated, effervescent feel. Tart, sour lemon, sour apples, lime, pucker, wheat, dry. Solid beer, but the overpowering sourness prevents this from being a lightly tart, fruity, crisp drink which is what I look for in a Berliner.

May 21, 2016
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Clear golden beer with no head to really speak of, but still carbonated. Slight sourish aroma along with spent grain. Taste was mildly sour, slight malt sweetness and faint earthy taste. Lemon, some sweet malt and clean finish. Light bodied ale that drinks easily. Pretty decent little beer, has a bit of sour to it, not too bad.

Apr 13, 2016
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jtwhicker from Tennessee

3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A very well executed sour. Good fit for warmer weather. Guess what I expected from the label. Would like to see this go with more carbonation or a little flatter. Berliner Weiss beers are often consumed with fruit syrups. May try with this soon.

Feb 07, 2016
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours clear, pale yellow in color with 1/4 inch head and low carbonation. Taste is honey, sour mix, and wheat. For the style, this beer is on the light end of sour. Pleasant and tasty, but I prefer others in the style.

Jan 22, 2016
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. It appears a perfectly polished pale golden color with whitecap.

This smells like apple cider and grape juice with a bit of bacterial funk. The taste is tart almost cidery with lemon and some bretty funk.

Light in body with moderate carbonation and overall pretty crushable. Not sure what the pricepoint is on this as it was gifted to me but id effortless toss a couple of these back in the summer with no regrets.

Jan 13, 2016
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PorterLambic from Florida

3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow liquid with a light white haze sitting atop it. Retention, what retention?
Smell is sour, citrus, faint cracker note.
Taste is lemon, sour, some saltine (mostly aftertaste though). Balance solid.
Light bodied, tart with a very light effervescence. A decent brew, quite quaffable.

Jan 09, 2016
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wastra from Kentucky

3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light and pale in the glass with some minimal bubbles as the head, this smells of lemon and aromatic citrus.

On the tongue, it's fairly highly carbonated with a straight forward sour lemon juice flavor, inducing a full pucker.

Snappy, quick finish that keep the sour flavor from becoming off-putting, this is a solid, sessionable sour ale.

Dec 15, 2015
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ZBowden from Florida

4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear lemony gold small head, smells of sulfury red wine slight crackery, tastes of bright tart lemony cherry acidity, light body and mouthfeel with a crisp dry finish.

Nov 08, 2015
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drdiesel9483 from Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear light yellow color with some bobbles on top. Sour smell and sour taste but there is nothing else beyond that. Highly carbonated flavorless watered down juice. Not a fan.

Aug 20, 2015
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schoolboy from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two for two on Rivertowns sour brews (but pretty much O for everything else). This ale may not be extremely authentic, I any day for sure, but it works.

It's yellow with just a bit of fizz. The aroma is facing, clean and fruity from the yeast.

It has a very short taste like several others of this style I've tried. After the first pucker, it works. The fruity tartness is very refreshing. It sits in your mouth until the end.

I don't know why I like their sour beers when all the rest have been complete duds for me. I will repeat on this as long as I can find it.

Aug 09, 2015
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dcotom from Iowa

3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Recently picked up a bottle of this from the singles shelf at Trader Joe's in Columbus, Ohio. Light and crisp, with some lasting effervescence. Aroma and taste remind me somewhat of an unoaked chardonnay. Finishes clean, with no lingering aftertaste. Not too familiar with this particular style, but this would seem to be a very approachable (and very drinkable) example of it.

Jul 21, 2015
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lilmissbeer from Pennsylvania

1.38/5  rDev -62.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I saw this beer in a local shop, had wanted to try a sour for awhile so I said why not? and picked up a 6 pack. Bad move. The closest way to describe the taste is bile. The taste is initially okay, bud light ish, but the aftertaste is pure vomit taste, almost exactly the way your mouth tastes after a most unpleasant throw-up session. I wish I had just bought 1 bottle to try as I could barely finish the first one and now have 5 more taking up space in the fridge. I highly un-recommend this one.

Jul 16, 2015
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neenerzig from Ohio

3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single 12 oz bottle of this recently. Poured into my goblet glass. This beer pours a pretty clear, light to medium golden color and lots of streams of little bubbles continuously rising to the beer's surface and some cluster swirls of foam on the beer's surface along with a medium sized ring of foam lining the inside of the glass. Aromas of crisp malts and a bit of a musty and slightly sour smell and not really anything else. Has a nice slight green apple tart, white wine grape, and slightly citrusy sourness upfront that gives way to a nice, crisp, bready, maltyness. Rounded out with the slightest hint of salt. Has a very clean finish and a slightly dry aftertaste. has a very crisp, yet somehow also smooth, light to medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. This beer is a very approachable sour beer, and would be a good introduction to this style for the novice craft beer drinker who may have never had a sour type of beer before. I appreciate this for what it is, which is a good, fairly light summer time sour ale, but it lacks the pungent funky must and sourness I have come to highly enjoy in beers of this style.


Jun 24, 2015
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ONUMello from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: A light cider color, quite pale, with a bit of carbonation but no head to speak of
S: Wheat, sour apple, maybe a bit of corn. Light overall
T: Pleasant. Sour apple and a bit of sour cherry with a light malt/wheat backbone
M: Light-bodied, sour but not puckering
O: Light and refreshing just not very complex

May 18, 2015
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EyePeeAyBryan from Arizona

3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Light in color, very little coming from the nose, nice sour/tart flavor and felt it was slightly undercarbonated. Overall, very forgetable but nothing terrible.

Apr 18, 2015
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Weisenbeer from Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A very different style than I am used to or would drink normally, but I love to try something different. Cannot really compare it since I'm not sure I've had a "Berliner Weissbier." I know this to be a great local brewer, but this is not to my taste. Too flat, sour and light to my liking. Glad I tried it, but I'll stick with this brewer's other choices.

Apr 03, 2015
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KYGunner from Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Light tangy Apple, pear, vinegar and even a nutty grain. It's hard to score a beer that has a great and diverse flavor but is so light that it's hard to detect those flavors. I understand that it's a 4.5% and a Berliner Weiss but it's too weak for the style.

Mar 31, 2015
Divergent from Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 186 ratings