Star Of The North: Berlin Style Wheat Beer | August Schell Brewing Company

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Star Of The North: Berlin Style Wheat BeerStar Of The North: Berlin Style Wheat Beer

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Extremely pale yellow in color with a slight haze and a large, creamy, snow-white foam head. This beer is rather light on the palate and very dry. A lively carbonation accentuates the refreshingly tart acidity. Expect an interesting mix of fruity flavors reminiscent of ripe lemons and apple juice with a touch of spice and a subtle brett character.

Added by beachscrat on 07-12-2013

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 226
Photo of BeerSnobRobinson
2/5  rDev -52.6%

Sorry Schell's brewing but this beer is not good. It's not my style. I realize this beer is made specifically to taste the way it does but I did not like it. My poor rating won't hurt though because there is a pretty strong group that likes Star of the North. It's the only offering from Schell's I haven't enjoyed so there's plenty of options for me.

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Photo of Jackmn
2.41/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ok this is my first review but when I opened the bottle and started to drink this beer I ran right away to see what this stuff was. I was very surprised to see how highly this was rated here. I am not a beer expert necessarily but I drink beer in the $10-$18 / 12 pack so I don't drink swill either. I expected this to be like other wheat beers I have had and enjoyed, namely a Paulaner Hefe or others that I have had. I do not want to be too harsh because this may very well be (and by the reviews I believe it is) exactly how this beer should look and taste, but I have to say this tastes similar to stomach bile to me, specifically the taste of regurgitating beer when having a few too many. So anyway this did not agree with my palette and I won't be buying it again. For those of you who like this I say awesome, and thanks for supporting my local brewer :).

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale golden yellow. Clear. Small white head that doesn't last.

Smell - Wheaty grain. Lactic acidity, but faint. Faint grape aroma, really makes it champagney.

Taste - Mildly tart. Grainy wheat. Less fruity, but it's still there.

Mouthfeel - Light and very drinkable. High carbonation.

Overall - Simple and well brewed. To style.

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Photo of beagle75
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy, pale yellow color with two fingers of loose white foam that collapses to a stable cap. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Tangy and unctuous, with enough traditional bread qualities to make the smell seem deep for the style.

T: Begins dry, with bready wheat and lactic tartness that is cut by the softness of the wheat. For that reason the grain lingers more convincingly on the palate while the acidity seems a bit stale and disjointed.

M: Thin viscosity, soft on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Clean and traditional; quite refreshing. Although it seems a bit lifeless after it is allowed to sit, it is nice to see a domestic berlinerweisse executed by the numbers.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.82/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Star of the North pours a yellow color with a large white head that doesn't quit. There is a flowery pale aroma. The taste is fruity light and crisp, very tart, mellow fruity flavors. Good full flavors, great body. Overall its a very nice drinking light berliner Weissbier.

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Photo of jhawth
3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a goblet/snifter. Pours a cloudy straw with a lively, bubbly head that quickly disappears.

Aroma: Some funky tartness in the nose, citrus and even some melon-y notes as well.

Taste: Follows the nose with lemon and almost apple-like acidity. Some woody flavors are also perceptible

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, and tart. Very refreshing, very easy to drink.

Overall: Delicious and refreshing. An excellent beer.

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Photo of gatornation
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

corked and caged 750ml bottle

A-pours a hazy straw lemon yellow color with great carbonation but a fast receding pure white head very little lacing or collar
S- tart fruit with sour funk and wheat also a cracker meal sourdough smell
T- a tart white wine/champagne burst with a sour brett/cracker bread middle wheat and cheese tastes with funk and lemon round this out
M- tart with high carbonation a champagne and sour cheese coating
O-tasty and drinkable on a hot summer day love this style with not alot of offerings on the shelf

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Photo of stakem
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

June 2013 bottling poured into a tulip. The brew appears a pale yellow color with a white cap that fades. Streaming bubbles fail to maintain a head.

Smells mildly like green apples and somewhat vinous/earthy brett. Faint woody character is also present really giving a deep conplexity to this otherwise simplistic smelling style.

Taste is tart and lemony with a dusty grain/brett character that as more sips are taken taste like damp wood and almost mushroom-like. Overall very enjoyable.

This is light in body and modestly carbonated. Quite refreshing and easy drinking. Some unique character here im not familiar with in most berliners but still very good.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Jeff for this one. I love this line of beers. 750ml corked and caged bottle into Night Shift stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1.5 finger foamy white head that collapses quickly. Beer is a slightly cloudy bright but pale yellow. Lacing is non-existent with very thin legs. Decent.

Nose is lemon zest, lightly tart citrus and a mellow, yeasty funk. Mellow but really delicious.

Opens crisp. Notes of lemon, tart green apple and citrus. Yeasty and lightly funky in the middle with a wheaty, foamy backdrop. Finishes mellow, tart and dry. Champagn-y aftertaste. I like it!

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and goes down crisp, aggressive and bubbly. Finishes juicy with a lingering, tart aftertaste. Super drinkable.

Not the best August Schell I've had but its nice to see what the un-fruited version is like. Definitely worth trying, along with the rest of the line-up!

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Photo of maximum12
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gotta love Schell's. An oldest-school brewery that's stayed true to its roots but still wheels out the occasional crazy-ass stuff. Big, curvaceous 750 ML bottle split with my wife.

Pour is hyper-carbonated, with a couple of commercial breaks to let the white foam settle into the beer. Brew is an extremely light yellow, almost veering into off-white. Nose is big on Lemon Pledge (now I can't get that out of my tiny head), tart, with a nice grassland watercolor in the background. Very nicely decent.

Star of the North: Berlin Style Wheat Beer means you can identify the what this is from the label, eh? Dry, grassy wheat & lemon spritz make up the bulk of the bulk of the beer; tartness & more vacuum sucking dryness populate the middle. Acidity - how's that different than tartness, exactly - jumps in on the end, along with a graininess that sticks to the teeth. Light, effervescent, burp-inducing (that's number two), easy as hell to slug. I can totally see this in a pitcher on the deck next to a good steak.

Beautifully crafted beer, & I totally understand why people are digging it. Very good, bordering on excellent - doubtless one of the top 5 3.5% ABV brews in the Milky Way.

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Photo of Rutager
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

June 2013, cool fat bottom 750. Thanks Steasy66!!

Appearance. Pours a very light straw gold colour with just a touch of haze. Topped with a finger of frothy, bright white head.

Smell. Sweet and grainy wheat, some minerals and lactic funkiness with just a little bit of oaky vanilla.

Taste. Now that's more like it! Nice, but fairly mild lemony sourness, some sweet wheat, a touch of dry white wine and yellow pear.

Mouthfeel. Light body, medium-strong carbonation. Very thirst quenching.

Overall. A well made Berliner with a really nice level of sour.

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Photo of beachscrat
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a classy champagne bottle, complete with cork and cage.

Appearance: Pale straw, cloudy, fairly effervescent.

Smell: Tart green apples, with a fair amount of bready, yeasty, doughy stuff in the background.

Taste: Sour dry pucker with a clean finish. Cracker and sour apples.

Mouthfeel: Light and clean, cleansing.

Overall: Perfectly balanced. Fresh and clean with just enough bread, cracker, and sour apple to make it interesting. Seems like a good pairing would be any cheese with penicillin, a good crisp pale cracker, and a slice of granny smith or mulberries.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jeff for the initial bottle of this, then to Doug for a nice follow up! Pale straw, hazy and muddled with an almost green-like tint to the entire body. Fizzy head, like you'd see from a Sprite, that's gone in a matter of seconds with essentially nothing left in its wake. One thing's for sure... it definitely looks like a Berliner Weisse.

A metric ton of musty and damp funk gets dropped like a bomb from the initial whiff. Sweaty, moldy oak, damp old carpeting, and a good bit of lemon-lime fruit and skin that balances nicely. It finishes with a sharp acidity to the nostrils, letting you know that though this beer may be quite the motherfunker, you can surely expect some tartness from it.

And there it is... the first sip details a handful of sweet-tart like fruit skins; tart and lightly acidic, but it won't have you reaching for the antacid just yet (at least not until you skull the entire bottle solo one day). The mouth feel is effervescent and fading, crackling and snapping like Pop-Rocks in your mouth, allowing the tartness to cut your palate up pretty well.

The real star of the show, though, is the funk. It's undeniably powerful and eminently beautiful. Incredibly musty, full of cobwebs, and floating with chunky ass yeast notes. We're talking, like moldy, wet floorboards and a damp, musky, basement floor. Of course, in the best way possible. Big cereal grain and wheat-y finish on this one, with more cheesy funk and a touch of lemon skin.

Very solid Berliner Weisse, and extremely authentic for the style. One of the funkier ones out there, for sure. Wet blankets and bales of old hay, left and right, balanced by a great tartness that only imparts tingling levels of acidity in your throat. Mmm'mmm, good. The second time I had this with Doug, we mixed in some raspberries and simple syrup... I recommend this, as well.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Josh. Thanks dude! Served in a snifter at the West Lakeview block party.

A - White foam settles to a thin collar and minimal lace. Hazy straw body with a slightly milky look to it.

S - You've got your typical Berliner flavors, with lactic tartness, unmalted wheat, light lemon, as well as some mild oak and vanilla flavors in the periphery.

T - The taste shows more brett presence, with a mild musky funk mixed into the flavor profile. Lots of yeast, wheat, lactic acidity, and light dry oak notes.

M - Medium-light body, with crisp effervescent carbonation. Very dry, and quite refreshing. Spot-on for this style.

D - A very easy to drink Berliner that's pretty crushable. If this were available locally I'd buy it regularly. I dig the authenticity with the wood fermentation vessels and wild yeast, and there's tons of flavor here for a 3.5% beer. Hope Schell's makes this a regular.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why I waited. I've have this for several weeks. Nonetheless, now is the time as this labor day winds down.
Soft malt aroma and soft yeast that in time takes on a nice tart quality.
Very pale and quite cloudy. Fizzy and loud white head.
Very refreshing. Ale clean. Quite tart (sucks in the cheeks), yet somehow not excessive. Nice fruit flavors up front. Like eating a sweet then tart fruit. Strong yeast flavors (especially after pouring the whole bottle aggressively), but they blend niceley in the whole. Quite bubbly and closer to a moderate feel for such a light beer.
As noted very refreshing and enjoyable. Well done. Now to do with with some syryp

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml, June 2013
Hill Farmstead stemware

A: Pours a cloudy hazy bright yellow color. Thin layer of bright white. Fades quickly.

S: Cereal grains. Tart lactic notes. Lemon. Strangely some spice. Dry. Slightly funky.

T: Right on the tip of the tongue, that nice light tart lactic flavor. It's not overly sour at all. You get those cereal grains. Dry. Some simple oak. Dry finish. Sourness is mostly up front. Syrup would help. Very nice.

M: Lighter side of medium. Fairly high carbonation.

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Photo of rjp217
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in June so 8 months of age on this, poured into two pint glasses...

A - Yellow as the sun, half finger head that dissipates immediately. No lace to speak of

S - Wheat, oak, grains, lemon, spice, yeast, tang, musk

T - Lemon tart, oak, green apples, brett funk

M - Huge carbonation, light body, dry, refreshing

O - Excellent, refreshing and easy to drink. I love this. Only 3.5% but it's got enough complexity where you can sip and enjoy. Great job here!

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Photo of scoand
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just picked this up at ChicagoLake Liquors. Drinking with chriscrundwell12 out of an awesome 750mL bottle. I am relatively new to the style so please forgive me if anything seems weird in the review.

Appearance: pale yellow/straw and cloudy. Thin lacing. 1 finger head dissipates quickly to very thin head.

Smell: lemon zest, sour. Pretty muted scent

Taste: refreshing and delicious are the two word that come to mind. Definitely get the tart lemon zest. There is something that balances out the tartness but I can't put my finger on it. Pepper(?), earthy. Really crisp and clean.

Mouthfeel: actually has a decently thick mouthfeel. Clean finish. It still amazes me how much can be packed in to a 3% ABV beer.

Overall: a wonderful beer and if more people drank it, it could turn them on to the style. I love finding refreshing and crisp beers that are full flavored and sessionable. Can have a few and not stumble around. Well done Schell's.

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Photo of joe1510
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Coffee Grounds - Eau Claire, WI

Bottled June '13

Star of the North is straight up about as pale golden as you can get, straw golden to be more precise. The clean white foam is fizzy and audible, easy rising with a slow fall. The head has great staying power for so much snap, crackle, and pop eventually becoming a creamy cap. Bubbles run quickly to the surface. It's a great, champagne-esque looking beer.

The nose on this beer is slam packed full of everything you would want in your traditional Berliner Weiss and all in a tidy 3.5% package. A healthy dose of freshly baked wheat biscuit gets us moving and with that biscuit is a bit of wheaty twang. Bright lemon and lime acidity add a sweet and sour touch that I'm very fond of. There are even whispers of that minerality found in lacto that reminds me so much of wet sidewalk. For the size Schell's managed to jam a lot in the nose.

The flavor mimics the nose to a glorious degree. There's a mega shit ton of freshly baked wheaty biscuit goodness with as much twang to boot. The lemon & lime acidity comes in spades with an elegant sweet and sour complexity. A slight minerality brightens up the finish even more than the lemon has already managed to do. Nuanced and delicious.

As soon as this beer hits your tongue it's spritzy and effervescent. A tartness digs long the sides of the tongue. The body is light, refreshing, and highly drinkable. Balance is there but it leans more toward tart than sweet. I could drink this for days straight.

Schell, in Star of the North, probably makes my favorite Berliner Weiss that I have yet to come across. It's not the newfangled, sour 6%ers, but a traditional Berliner Style wheat with low alcohol, loads of flavor, and a brightness with no end. Buy this beer if you see it, it holds up very well.

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Photo of BigBadBeerSnob
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

great sour that comes cork and caged by Schell's Brewing considering it's the first of it's kind by them. Overall great smell and tastes very light and crisp. Slight sour taste makes the beer very drinkable. I am looking forward to more like this from this brewery

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Photo of bsp77
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Extremely pale yellow with beautiful billowing head at first. It doesn't last too long though, and leaves just a thin line behind.

Smell: Loads of lemon, touches of chamomile and pepper. Pretty tart aroma.

Taste: Wheat and cracker backbone, with a strong lemon presence. Some white pepper on the finish. Maybe a hint of Brett. Wonderfully tart.

Feel: Very light bodied and fairly effervescent. Exceedingly dry and tart finish.

Overall: Nice to finally have a more authentic example of the style, as Bell's Oarsman and Dogfish Head Festina Pecha hardly count, and the only German one I had was heavy up on Brett (which was very good). But this is just fantastic, refreshingly tart and ridiculously drinkable. I am excited to see where Schell takes this new Noble Star series, as it essentially give them a line of Sours, albeit German-style.

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Photo of morimech
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lemonade color with one finger of head that quickly settled to a thin film. Light spotty lacing is left down the glass.

I get a lot of wheat in the aroma. In addition to the wheat is the mildly funky, cheesy, dirty sock smell. This smells like it could be very interesting.

Moderately sour and tart. The first sip is bracing but the palate quickly adapts. Underneath the wheat malt flavor is a developing Brett funk with complimentary tart apple and lemon hints. The finish is dry and acidic with a slight wheat aftertaste.

Light body but I think it is under carbonated. I think a more effervescent body would really excite the palate.

Happy that Schell's did a proper Berliner Weissbier instead of the half-hearted attempts by most other brewers. I am definitely going to pick up another bottle and let it sit for a year or two as I think this will develop into a real fascinating beer.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Cyclone8 for sending this one down! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pale yellow, very hazy, with a big fluffy white head that has poor retention. Medium visible carbonation after the big cork pop.

S: Tart, citric, moderately funky, with pale base malts and wheat. Overall impression reminds me of lemony feet.

T: Citric acid bite, light malt base with minimal husk character, barnyard and grassy funk. Lemon rind and funk in the hang with some hay-like graininess.

M: Light body, lively bubbly carbonation sensation, and no particular alcohol presence.

O: Quite tasty. Maybe not my favorite base berliner out there, but very well done. Recommended for a nice summery drink!

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Photo of Etan
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


A: Pours a very light straw color with a nice white head.

S: Nice mild lactic acidity, some musty wheat, light notes of sour raspberry and wet wood, fresh grain in the nose. By the time you get down to the yeast dregs it smells pretty potently funky.

T: Taste bring moderate lemony tartness, some musty grape-like notes, lactic, crisp grain, slightly sweet wheat on the end, a hint of woodiness.

M: Light-bodied with zippy carbonation.

O: A very nice berliner weisse. Everything in perfect balance.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass. Bottled in June of 2013.

Appearance: Pours a pale and fairly hazy yellowish gold. Lots of fast rising bubbles and a solid three fingers of white head which fade into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A yeasty, tart, fruity, and fairly acidic wheat aroma, a lot like a white wine. German ale yeast with lots of funk. Big mix of white wine like fruits with hints of white grapes, pear, green apple, lemon, and orange. Light hints of banana and bubblegum. Tart cherry like hints from the Brett presence. Soft bready hints of wheat, pils malt, straw, and crackers. Slight hints of pepper. A very interesting and good aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, very funky and white wine like, although with a stronger citrus presence. Upfront German ale yeast with a lot of funk and a little white pepper. Strong tart and acidic fruit presence with big notes of white grapes, green apple, pear, orange, and lots of zesty lemon. The Brett funk comes through with some tart cherry like notes. Subtle notes of bubblegum and banana. Wheat driven bready malt presence with notes of grains, straw, and crackers. A very zesty and good taste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Very juicy, tart, and prickly. Very smooth.

Overall: A really good take on the Berliner Weissbier style. Good fruity and acidic wine presence with an interesting kick from the Brett. Nicely done.

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Star Of The North: Berlin Style Wheat Beer from August Schell Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 226 ratings.
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