Berliner Weisse | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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53 Ratings

Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 2.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pale, German-style, light-bodied wheat beer with refreshing tart, acidic and lemony characteristics and little hop bitterness. Woodruff or raspberry syrup can be added to balance the sourness.


Added by weeare138 on 07-09-2006

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 28
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of heddar33
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of boatshoes
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at my recent visit to Iron Hill, Media, along with the West Coast Golden Ale. Offered woodruff or raspberry syrup but passed on both. A friend had the woodruff and I'm happy to say I passed on the syrups, as it made the beer taste a bit like a Sour Patch Kid with the woodruff.

Appearance- Comes from the bar with the thinnest amount of head possible that immediately dies down to a ring around the edges. The beer itself is a pale straw yellow with little carbonation apparent. Nothing terribly impressive, but certainly not off for the style.

Smell- A nice nose built predominantly around sharp, citrusy lemon, a whiff of grain, and a touch of hay. A very refreshing smell with lots of simple but nice scents coming through.

Taste- Very tart up front. Sour lemon strikes the palate initially, followed afterwards by the wheaty/graininess/grassiness detected in the palate. As the beer warms and the palate adjusts, the tartness becomes less prominent while the graininess increases its presence in the flavor. Very refreshing beer on a humid, summer evening.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The mouthfeel on this one is naturally very thin, but it goes well with the sharp tartness of the beer itself, and the two combine to make this one an easy drinker as well.

Overall, I'm happy Iron Hill does this style in the summer as it is often underrepresented. A solid representation and if you're into tartness, this is one to give a try.

 1,444 characters

Photo of Griffith
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Stigs
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz pour, no syrup (was asked)...served in a mock-tulip type glass

A - very clear yellow beer, almost "had too much vitamin C" colored urine...third inch or so of light and fluffy bright white foam which settled to a ring quickly.

S - very muted, some basement must, grains and very subtle lemon peel

T - quite grainy with some lactic tartness which slowly catches up and takes over without being too overpowering...bright lemoney (almsot metallic) fruitiness

M - super light body with nice playful carbonation...lingering lactic tartness slightly puckers and finishes extremely dry

D - decent take, pretty refreshing and went down a nice 2.8% ABV this wont do much to you. overall enjoyable.

 710 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical Berliner weisse. Nice appearance. Fair head retention considering the style. Clean-ish aroma. Surprisingly gentle sourness in the flavor with a malt component as well. My initial reaction was that this would sell well to the masses, and that perhaps they'd gone a little bit easier to achieve that, and then I tasted 1809 from Weihenstephan - - and it was very similar. Nice!

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Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Iron Hill on 7/10/09. Served in an oversized mug. This was offered with a choice of Woodruff or a raspberry syrup to sweeten it up a bit but I opted to check this little beauty out in all of her naked glory.

Pours a hazy pale gold, with big foamy layer of brite-white head. Retains with a thin fizzy layer that skims the surface, leaving some decent looking filmy lace back. The aroma is crisp and tart in the nose, with a smack of citrus and just a bit of floral activity. Once you get past the tartness, there is also some definite underlying grainy malt activity going on as well.

The taste is very tart and just crackles in the mouth, with lemony citrus transitioning into a more slightly acidic edge towards the back of the swallow (although it never does become souring). You can feel the malty sweetness of this hanging around the outskirts of the flavor profile but the tartness just never fully lets it in. There is a definite steady dryness to this but much like the overall tartness of this, it never quite gets mouthpuckering. The mouthfeel is actually feeling more medium bodied to me. Pretty amazing considering how low the ABV on this is. The feel is overall crisp and sharp in the mouth, with falls right in line with the flavors involved here.

I knew that they were going to be putting on a variety of Wheat Beers on tap here over the summer but to find a Berliner Wiesse on tap (and a 2.5% ABV to boot!) was a real treat! Crisp and flavorful, the tartness is aggressive (which held back the drinkibility back a bit for me) but this is one rarely seen style offering that is worth checking out.

 1,626 characters

Photo of drcarver
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The clouds yellow color does not hold a head long. This first one I was served can with not head and little lacing, but the waitress got hungup. The second came a little quicker and there was a bit of head that was gone very fast.

The smell and aroma is very sour. Normally it is served with a shot but I went against the flavor shot. The wheat hangs in the aroma and taste, but man is this sour.

It tingles and hangs in the mouth, but I wouldn't call it very drinkable. The sour flavor slows you down, but that doesn't mean you can't have more than one. You just need to take your time.

 589 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A growler fill on 29-May-11, gotta stock up before Memorial day.

A: The Berlinerweiss is a cloudy yellow, a sickly color that, under the right light, takes on a greenish hue. A rapidly-growing head overflows on the first three pours. That dense white head, pure as fresh driven snow, leaves no traces behind.

S: Tart wheat owns this beer, light and citric lemon and green apples. The entire package is light and refreshingly sharp. No need to waste words on the beautiful aroma - it nails the style.

T: Wheat, wheat and more wheat. The tartness leads off, grainy with lemons and apples. That tartness isn't sharp or sour. The rest of the grains also run their course upfront, providing a chewy wall that disappears quickly. The wheat flavors linger, a tartness that sucks all the sweetness away. The result is very dry, bone dry even. The acidic bite, the strength of the wheat, is so surprising when one considers that the beer is less than 3% abv. A stunning style; a good version that doesn't require and syrup to round it off.

M: Tart and refreshing, this beer is perfect for a hot late May day. The initial punch of acid followed by the slow burn is very dry. Good thing the low abv makes taking another sip advisable.

 1,227 characters

Photo of PEBKAC
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Hill's tent all weekend at BCTC09. Didn't go so well with Captain Lawrence's pulled pork(Should of went with the whit maybe? I dunno.), but it went down fine solo after the lights went off.

Hazy yellow & gray, dulled out body. Soft, white film seltzer head.

Smells of itchy & bitter fruit peels, along with some mild sourness.

Already establishing ahead of time what my favorite kind of Berliner Weiss involves, this one wasn't that bad. Dry & more tart then usual. Significantly dusty/chalky wheat, sour limes. Finish leaves your mouth salivating for something bigger. If I wasn't surrounded by so many other quality beers, I might have just killed someone looking for a bottle of woodruff syrup after my second helping.

Excellent beer to start up your palate in the morning. Drinking one soon after brushing your teeth could be dangerous though. :)

 869 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of ShanePB
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled a few times on tap this month already. Between my girlfriend and I, we've tried it with the peach, raspberry and woodruff syrups added - as well as straight up. All 16 ounce pours served in a tapered glass.

A: Pale, straw colored body with a wispy, bubbly and prickly white head. It didn't last for long but did retain a nice ring around the glass without any lacing at all. Not atypical for the style.

S: Citrus tart notes combined with wheat give this aroma a refreshing kick start. Some orange and lemon notes come through as well, finishing with a nice funky note. You know this is going to be tart.

T: Without any syrups, this is a puckering citrus tart taste. Lemon and wheat are most pronounced with some sour cane sugar notes towards the end. The finish is definite yeast with some green, sour apples. With the addition of the syrups in the correct proportions, the beer becomes more sweet to balance out some of the tart qualities. My girlfriend preferred it with the raspberry, I preferred it straight but the woodruff addition was a close second for me.

M: Bubbly, prickly, light-bodied and crisp. A wonderful feel for this beer -- very refreshing.

This is one beer we couldn't keep our hands off of, each time we've been there. It's so tasty, light and crisp that it would make the perfect beer for this weather.

 1,337 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a transparent hazy pale gold with a small white head that slowly fades out. Small spots of lace are left around the glass.
Smell is light lemon zest with a tiny sour tartness on top of a gentle wheat blend.
Taste is of the same aromas in a nice blend.
Mouthfeel is very mild on all counts from the light mouthfeel to the simple tartness on wheat.
Drinkability is good and refreshing. I took mine naked despite the recommendations by the bartender to add the woodruff syrup.

 485 characters

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught into a goblet, no syrup.

A: Pours a pale and clear golden, with a thin white head that stays as a constant ring.

S: Smells musty, biscuity, and has bits of lemon.

T: The taste is sweet, tangy lemons and oranges up front with sourness and tart in the middle. There's a bready finish that sneaks up at the last moment with some great sourness that loves to stick around.

M: Light and slightly astringent with medium-light carbonation.

D: Very refreshing and low in ABV, so it's sessionable.

 505 characters

Photo of DrMindbender
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I know that you’re supposed to drink this style with a squire of raspberry or woodruff, but for a review, that made about as much sense as reviewing Corona with a lime in it. So, I went for the Berlinerweiss by itself.

This beer came a simple dark foggy straw color with just a few bubbles around the rim of my glass.

Smells of dry green grapes and a touch of citrus. This was really faint.

Tastes of sour and tart limes with a slight touch of wheat and rye. Mostly, this was just sour.

The mouthfeel was light to medium bodied with a prominent, tingly carbonation.

There really wasn’t much there. Makes me want to go back and try it with the rasp. or woodruff to see what I missed out on.

 707 characters

Photo of JunkYardJake
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Lancaster location.
After sampling the seasonals, I decided to get a pint of the Berliner, straight up. A perfect style for summer and a good beer to pair with a goat cheese pizza. Crisp and tart with alot of soured citrus and wheat flavors in the palate and the nose. Cloudy straw color with a luscious bone-white head. Mouthfeel is lively and the body is a bit velvety. A very nice and tasty traditional brew that is a great change of pace.

 456 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed yellow straw, spotty head. Scent brings tart, under ripe citrus rind, musty dried grain, some bready and peppery yeast. Taste follows scent - not as tart as others in the style and definitely more bready. Lighter side of medium bodied, lacking a bit in carbonation. A good take on the style.

Update: Recently attended event with this beer brewed by 3 different locations, with each having its own unique balance of tartness. Chestnut Hill and Media locations were the better ones available.

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Photo of Kaydogg
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Lancaster location on Memorial Day 2011.

Pours a very, very cloudy straw color with a short white head and a spot or two of lacing on the way down. Thin white collar throughout. The nose has a bit of light acidity along with a bit of lemon and maybe some peach. No real bready character. The flavor has a bit of light lemon and accompanying acidity plus a slight amount of wheat. Light body with good carbonation and a slight acidity. Not as much acidic character as I would like from a berliner, but it hit the spot on a very, very hot day.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I am astounded at the depth and breadth of styles that Paul Rutherford will attempt. I look forward to Sahti and Gose sometime in the future. In the meantime, this was a fairly obscure style here in the U.S. until Nodding Head began making it about a decade ago. A decade?!? Wow, it seems so recent. At any rate, Wayne-O, my server, told me that they have both raspberry and woodruff syrups available, should I care to indulge. Ha! No, thanks. That is cheating, to my way of thinking. The idea is to use less and less syrup each time until you are weaned off of syrup altogether. Wayne just shrugged and said that he is required to offer. Onward!

It came with a finger-and-a-half of bone-white head with low retention. The color was a cloudy yellow, like freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. The nose was slightly sour with a cereal graininess. It was a lot less shocking than the first time I tried the style, especially in light of the spate of sour beers that have come into vogue of late. The mouthfeel was full and effervescent with a mildly sour tang on the tongue. The finish was puckeringly, parchingly dry. This was a spot-on example of the style. Major props to Mr. Rutherford! That said, a glass or two would be plenty. Sour is not necessarily my bag.

 1,261 characters

Photo of GreatPumpkin
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Morey
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of tobelerone
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Hill Media. Eschewed the syrups.

Pours a very pale yellow with a small white head that settles rather quickly. Minimal lacing. Fairly mild aroma, with grainy wheat and lemon juice acidity. The flavor belies the nose; tons of sour and puckering lemon juice flavor dominates the palette and the wheat component takes a back seat. Assertive acidity and subtle funkiness. Neither bitter nor sweet in the least. Long and lingering acidic finish leaves the teeth squeaky as the enamel is stripped away!

Light bodied, medium carbonation, clean and refreshing. A very nice example of the style and a must try for fans of sour beers.

 641 characters

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Berliner Weisse from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 53 ratings