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 emerge077
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Joe for sharing! Quick review from notes.
This was a highlight of the night.

Pours a brilliantly clear pale yellow, supercharged with champagne streamers of racing carbonation. Compact but sturdy head of bone white foam, it has a creamy texture and laces well on the glass.

Sour apple aroma with a slight cheese rind funk from the Lactobacillus.

Tastes like a very tart sour apple, super crisp and quenching, clean lacto tartness that dries out immediately in the finish. Expressive yeast flavors give it a unique fruity apple/crabapple taste and a vaguely funky wild yeast character. Spritzy champagne carbonation, zesty and light, just about perfect. The wood aging and Berlin yeast cultures seems to have benefitted this beer immensely.

One of the better American Berliner Weisse examples out there, hope they continue making this in the future.

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Photo of mothman
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cork and cage 750. Nice little pop!

Pours a fizzy white head that settles down. Active carbonation in the glass.

Aroma: A lot of funk here. Sour funk. A nice lemon zest. Yeast and wheat. Barnyard goodness. A lot of flavor for such a low abv beer.

Taste: A lot of wheat up front. Sour lemons and zest. Bananas. A bit of red apples. Fairly fruity. Fairly funky. Not as much barnyard flavor here. A nice acidic flavor; nothing overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Light, sour, and clean. Extremely light bodied. Decent amount of carbonation. Ends very clean.

Overall, this beer is spot on. I know I am not a b-weisse expert, but this tastes very German and authentic. I am a big fan of this. It is so easy to drink and provides way more flavor than you would expect from a 3.5% beer. A must try.

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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 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 feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy pale yellow, almost "white", with a gargantuan head, leaving copious lacing.

Aroma: weird and funky sour. Lemon peel. Cat pee. Sauvignon blanc.
Interesting stuff, to say the least.

Taste: Bracingly sour, and refreshingly so, too. More citric zest not he palate, more wild, sour funkification. Intense sour that never quits. Good consumability, nonstop refreshment. And never once did I cry out for a sweetening syrup.

I'm liking this lots. Good choice on Schell's part to put it in a large bottle at a high price. Not everyone's going to want to down this by the 12-pack. Hardly anyone, actually. And also cheers to them for actually brewing such a thing.

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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 Stevedore
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

75cl C&C bottle, bottled 6/2013, shared with Doug today while brewing. Poured into a Bell's snifter 9/9/2013. Review #199.

Looks like a Berliner Weiss. Pale, golden body with a nice thick head and good retention. Solid lacing. Looks so refreshing, it's looking perfect for the 93 degree weather.

Smell is delicious. Tart green apple acidity with a bit of white grape sweetness and even a slight bit of funk. Smells like a sweet, funky champagne really. So refreshing, we can't wait to dive into this beer.

Flavour doesn't let us down here. It's a full flavoured Berliner Weiss. Sweet, tart apple and grape fruit skins. Its not too sour, but just perfectly tart and lactic. A bit of lemon juice in here too to mix things up with a little acidity. This is a perfectly full flavoured Berliner Weiss.

Mouth feel is the best. Almost full bodied (really a medium body) but its so creamy and well carbonated that it drinks like a substantial beer. I look here and it says 3.5%, which blows my mind. Its such a full bodied Berliner Weiss with a great flavour profile that finishes just slightly dry. Its so refreshing and sessionable.

This is the best Berliner Weiss I've ever had. Beats out New Glarus' offering for sure. Its fuller bodied with much stronger flavours, with a puny 3.5% ABV hit. I strongly recommend this to anyone who likes the Berliner Weiss style.

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Photo of pat61
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smells like fresh bread dough, wonderfully tart and lemony effervescent – light. Long lingering lemony tartness, very refreshing. Acidity explodes across your palate. This is very well done and it does a touch of lemony tart thing for a long time – excellent - the bread flavors become very faint as you drink. Truly the champagne of the north.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to mattafett for gifting this bottle to me. Very generous of you! Thanks again!

loud pop when the cork comes out of the bottle.

Classy and simple looking 750ml C&C bottle; the beer is poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

bottled on 6/2013.

review #750.

Appearance: slightly pale and slightly hazy straw yellow bodied beer. Towering three fingers of white head that has decent staying power. The head slowely drops down to a thin cap. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Fruity, bright, tart, and lactic nose on this beer! Earthy and cheesy funk. Very yeasty. Wheat malts and fresh baked bread.

Taste: mild tartness. green apple skin and white grapes with a hint of yeast. Bready and wheat malts. Mild earthy funk that is reminacent of brett with a hint of oak. Hinting of citrus specifically lemons and limes with some light cheesy funk in the finish. Very well balanced and lots of flavor! WOW!

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Bright and refreshing. Sturdy and impressively clean. Super drinkable. As the beer rolls over your tongue, the bubles come to life with an eppervescent rush over your tongue and for a quick moment it makes the beer feel a little fuller almost like its creamy. As crazy as it sounds...I think that this beer drinks below its 3.5% abv.

Overall: This is the best Berlinner Weiss that I have ever drank. Its a true bench mark of the beer style. Its a timeless beer, that I dont think that I could ever get tired of it. This is the first and only beer that August Shell has brewed that really impressed me. This is a go to beer for a hot summer day to quench your thirst better than water. I think that this beer has a niche similiar to a table beer because it will hold up well with any meal or food you could think of. This beer would be a staple in my fridge if I could get a few more bottles of it!

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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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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 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 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 zeledonia
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Tasted 20 July 2013. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very pale straw yellow, clear from the top of the bottle, cloudy from the bottom. One finger white head, nice retention and fuzzy lacing.

Smell is a soft grainy aroma, with a little bit of sour and lemon. On the faint side.

Taste is a really nice balance of ripe wheat and light lemony sour. It's just enough sour that you can't miss it, but subtle enough that it's not mouth-puckering. Delicate and really nicely balanced; delicious.

Feel is quite light-bodied, fizzy, like a cross between a typical wheat ale and a typical sour. Has the slightly prickly carbonation of a sour, but also the fuzzy soft carb of a wheat ale. Awesome.

A really nice berliner weisse. Has a great green mid-summer wheat feel, and the touch of sour makes it all the more refreshing.

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Photo of hardy008
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy pale gold with a less than one finger white head which vanishes quickly. The aroma has wheat, tart lemon, bread dough, and a little funk.

Tastes like tart lemons, wheat, bread dough, yeast, green apple skin, crackers, and there is also some acidity. A nice tart dry beer, which is very nice on a hot summer day like today.

Light bodied with modest carbonation. Has a tart lemon aftertaste, and finishes dry. this is a very nice Berliner Weissbier. I could drink this all the time, not just in summer.

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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 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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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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