Berliner Weisse talk, anyone?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by reannalynne, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. reannalynne

    reannalynne Initiate (32) Feb 25, 2018 Pennsylvania

    Do you have a favorite Berliner-Weisse overall?

    Do you have a favorite more 'mainstream' or easily found Berliner-Weisse?

    I'm working my way from dark sours (Flanders red, oud brouin, etc.) to Berliners and was curious to what other like.
  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,012) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    I like them well made and reasonably fresh. That's not to say brand specific, rather a good take on the style that's well balanced and leaning toward spicy rather than tart.
    kevinmaximo and reannalynne like this.
  3. JackRWatkins

    JackRWatkins Defender (636) Nov 3, 2014 Alabama

    Honestly no, It's a style I don't see a lot of actual German Berliner Weisse's and I'd probably know more about them if I did, I tend to stick with Kölsch more than anything when I'm in that kind of mood.
    kevinmaximo and azsunshinehiker like this.
  4. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (815) Jul 15, 2007 California

    Give me a good Berliner Weisse over an IPA any day to quench my thirst. Unfortunately though unlike those IPAs which dominate the shelves everywhere you go, Berliner Weisse beers are not easy to find these days, so I don't drink them often.

    One of my favorites on the rare occasion when I can get some is Firestone Walker's Bretta Weisse. Another one I remember liking, although it's been a couple of years since having it is Hottenroth from The Bruery. While in Berlin about 5 years ago I had a Berliner Weisse but the name of it escapes me at the moment.
  5. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (30) Mar 16, 2018 District of Columbia

  6. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,532) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    No Fuzz Sour lager is the last berliner I had. it reminds me of the first one I ever had. Fritz Briem's but better because it had more lager character. The yeast in it actually smelled like bread dough rising. That is a great lager scent. it also was one of the cleanest beers I have ever had. It tastes exactly like tart firm nectarines.
  7. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,334) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Have never understood why so many US "craft" brewers choose to flavor their BW's with fruit (almost always with non-traditional fruit flavors) rather than let the drinker pick which syrup, if any, they'd prefer. Seems to me that by doing that, the market for their "pre-fruited" Berliners is limited to fans* of kumquat/watermelon (* or at least those not scared off from the strange - oh, wait -" innovative" flavor choices) .

    The brewer does not make the claim of the recipe being from 1809, only that it was the year that “…the emperor Napoleon and his troops celebrated their Prussian victory…” with Berliner Weisse.

    There's also been some controversy over the actual brewery - supposedly Weihenstaphaner has denied that theirs is the source of the "Professor Fritz Briem" branded beers.

    Not quite sure of your point here (perhaps you just prefer a Berliner weisse type beer fermented with lager yeast), but Berliner Weisse beers are traditionally top-fermented.
    #7 jesskidden, Jun 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  8. reannalynne

    reannalynne Initiate (32) Feb 25, 2018 Pennsylvania

    I have noticed that it's difficult to find ones that are unflavored, but I haven't minded some of the flavored ones I have had. Also, there are some that the flavor didn't come through at all and it may as well have been plain, which I wasn't as pleased with because it didn't taste like it was supposed to. I had a guava flavored one (tbh, I hate guava, not sure why I got it,) and I feel like guava is usually overpowering, or at the very least I notice it more because of my dislike for it, and I didn't taste it at all. Honestly that beer was pretty bland to begin with, though. I also wonder if maybe I would like other more mild berliners that I've tried moreso if i didn't move to berliners from heavier, stronger flavored sours.
    azsunshinehiker likes this.
  9. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,532) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    Just talking about the style and how the last one I had was closest to the first one I had.
    rgordon likes this.
  10. zid

    zid Champion (899) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Maria, I think this is probably a perfect example of how one shouldn't use the style a beer is listed as on BeerAdvocate to define the beer. I'm assuming this style was probably chosen because the reviewer felt that the beer resembled others in that category more than anything else, but the brewer makes no claims that it is a Berliner Weisse (as far as I know) and it is therefore unlikely that they were trying to brew one.
    utopiajane likes this.
  11. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,634) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    It's also an excellent reason why the site invites us to submit corrections when/if the BA who created the entry has mis-categorized the beer when listing it.
    SFACRKnight, FBarber and utopiajane like this.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    This thread is reminding me that it has been some time since I drank a Berliner Weisse. It seems to me this beer had a bit of popularity a few years ago but is definitely in the background now in my area.

    I suppose my favorite ‘regular’ Berliner Weisse is Hottenroth from The Bruery but it has been years since I have seen it.

    As regards the ‘non-regular’ Berliner Weisse category I enjoy Dogfish Head Festina Peche from time to time but again it has been quite some time since I drank one. Perhaps I should remedy that situation? This beer is readily available to me. I actually saw it on tap recently but I ordered something else instead.

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  13. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (30) Mar 16, 2018 District of Columbia

    I was under the impression that the certain initiative with this beer series was that this certain Herr Professor Briem sought to recreate historical beer styles, and as such the recipe was based on one from the turn of the 19th century. The Professor Fritz Briem brand has the tag line “Forgotten styles brewed according to their historic recipes by Dr. Fritz Briem, of the Doemens Institute.”

    Now, there is a technical difference between the words historic and historical. The former moreso means a phenomenon worth noting in history. Historical means it relates to the study of history. I suspect, however, that it is more likely the labeling means the latter, but failed to grasp the nuance of it while translating from German to English.
  14. zid

    zid Champion (899) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    To put it diplomatically, people will disagree on how much a beer resembles what it is striving to recreate. FYI, researcher Ron Pattinson has gone so far as to call Briem a charlatan.
    cavedave, utopiajane, FBarber and 2 others like this.
  15. Junior

    Junior Disciple (323) May 23, 2015 Michigan

    I picked up Study Abriad from Alementary in a trade. I thought it was great.
  16. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,169) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    I've had a few that I enjoyed.
    Berliner Kindl Weisse
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  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    And Prof. Briem is not the only person that has been 'labeled' by Ron.

    Historical research is not always a 'straight line' avocation. I am pretty certain that there are some things that Ron has 'discovered' and then later found information which was not 100% consistent with those findings.

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  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

  19. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,435) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    Yea, I enjoy a good Berliner weisse quite a bit. I usually buy Off Color's Fierce when I get the itch. I actually just ordered a bottle of Woodruff syrup for the summer months.
    If I can get it New Glarus's Berliner Weisse is also a favorite. There are also some good imports around that I enjoy.

    In terms of non-traditional examples - Off Color's Yuzu Fierce is quite tasty.

    For what its worth, I like 1809 and really enjoyed it regardless of its level of historical accuracy.

    Jack, thanks for posting this link - I'm going to listen to this this evening.
    Moradin, TongoRad and zid like this.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I personally found it to be an interesting discussion. A few years ago I was considering brewing a Berliner Weisse and while doing some research I 'discovered' this website with the podcast. In case you are wondering I never did brew a Berliner Weisse, maybe someday?

    I did brew a Grodziskie (Graetzer) a few years ago so I have that going for me. I was quite pleased with how that beer turned out. Shane (@Sixpoint) reminded me in a recent BA post that I sent him some bottles of my Grodziskie and he enjoyed that beer:

    "I have tried Jack's homebrew before and all of them ranged from good to excellent. The standout to me was actually the smoked Polish wheat beer (Grodziskie), which is a very difficult style to execute."

    The Grodziskie style is another beer style that never seemed to have 'taken off' which is a shame since a well brewed Grodziskie is indeed an enjoyable beer (well enjoyable for me and Shane).

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  21. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,435) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    I actually recently picked up a bottle of Briem's Grodziskie - I may have to crack it after listening to the podcast.
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  22. zid

    zid Champion (899) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    I'd love to try @JackHorzempa 's Grodziskie (which is probably a better name for that kind of beer than Gratzer). A good one is a delight. When trying the Briem version, keep an open mind, but also understand that the sour aspect of that beer makes Pattinson's blood boil. Have you had Off Color's 15 Feet? If not, give that a shot too.
    FBarber likes this.
  23. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,212) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I can't recall if I have ever purchased a Berliner Weiss in a bottle/can, although I've had it on tap a few times at various breweries. I'm fortunate that my local German-inspired brewery (Territorial) has their Berliner on tap each summer, and they normally offer schuss flavors of woodruff and raspberry, which I've never chosen either to go with my beer. I suppose it's a personal choice whether you select neither or one of those flavors, and it's not a 'tradition' to have one, but one of these times I'll give each a try to see what I'm missing.
    Lahey likes this.
  24. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,435) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    I have not had 15 Feet yet - but I've been looking for it. I just want to grab a single though.

    Speaking of the grodziskie and gratzer - I actually have a bottle of Ron Pattison's Gratzer as well that I found on a lonely shelf in downstate IL - I know its quite old at this point, but I grabbed to see how it was. (

    And yes, I'd love to try some of Jack's home-brew I'd have high expectations for it :wink:
    zid likes this.
  25. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,479) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    I was recently sent a great version by @Premo88 - Independence Brewing's Redbud, out of Austin. It has a wonderfully full doughy/bready malt character backing up a lively amount of lemony tartness- not quite a maximum zippiness, but definitely up there, yet it remains a real pleasure to drink. Very well done, and I really enjoyed it.
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  26. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,237) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I'm over them. Everyone makes one it seems, and they all taste like crusted Yoplait. No thanks.
  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I wonder what Dr. Frtiz Briem thinks about that beer!?!:stuck_out_tongue:

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  28. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,435) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    I just put both bottles in my fridge next to each other - hopefully they don’t come to blows! :stuck_out_tongue:
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  29. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,259) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    1809 by Prof. Fritz is a great one for sure. I recently had Bruery's Terreux Frucht Rasberry and thought it was outstanding for a nationally available one. The Answer out of Richmond makes some spectacular ones made with fruit puree added, but those are very hard to acquire (have to drink on-site for many). Would recommend a stop if ever in Richmond.
  30. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (227) Jun 4, 2005 California

    It seems the Berliner Weiss is a lighter version of a gose (esp fruited), and is approachable by those who don't always drink beer.
    keithmurray likes this.
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    New meaning to the term "bottle bombs"!?!:astonished:

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  32. PorterPro125

    PorterPro125 Crusader (769) Jan 19, 2013 New Brunswick (Canada)

    I've only ever had the opportunity to try two fruit-flavoured Berliner Weisse's: Mango and Melon from Brasserie Durham (Durham, Quebec). Both were great and I really enjoyed them, but I would love to try a non-flavoured brew.

    Unfortunately, coming across Berliner Weisse in the wild (at least in my locale) is pretty rare.
  33. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (123) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    A few years back options were abound, but at the moment I'm certain that my local beer store does not have any apart from that new one from Sweet Water (Mango, Guava, Passionfruit) which I can't seem to get myself to take a chance on.

    I prefer them without fruit - but am not against the idea of it. I have no purist sensibilities, especially for a style that is virtually dead in the land that spawned them.

    Gose has take over as the preferred kettle-sour beer style in the US. Or at least it seems that way. They basically scratch the same itch for me.

    The cherry and blueberry tart beers from Peak were underwhelming, which I believe were meant to be berliner-style beers.
    TongoRad likes this.
  34. zid

    zid Champion (899) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    That's because brewers saw slightly more potential to make "funny" beer names with Gose. Here Gose Nothin'. Gotta have priorities.
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  35. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,479) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Well, sure, since Mikkeller cornered the market on 'Ich bin ein Berliner' names...:wink:
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  36. reannalynne

    reannalynne Initiate (32) Feb 25, 2018 Pennsylvania

    I like a fair amount of gose, too, but for some reason seem to be partial to berliners. I wish there were more that didn't have fruit in them, though.
    TongoRad likes this.
  37. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,986) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    Do you get DESTIHL products in your area? If so, give their Wild Sour series a try.
    bubseymour likes this.
  38. AMessenger

    AMessenger Initiate (27) Mar 17, 2018 Pennsylvania

    Had quite a few good ones, none of which I remember, and a few terrible ones that are seared into my memory.

    I wonder how the quality control departments of some of these breweries allow poorly executed sour mash BW, which taste of bile, out the door with their labels on them. As one of the accessible sour styles these brewers do the beer world an injustice by putting would be sour enthusiasts off the whole concept.
  39. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (2,222) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I had my first Berliner at Nodding Head in, probably, 2001. It was definitely a "WOW!" beer for me. Had never had anything remotely like it. It was an unfruited Berliner, but their recommended serving style came with a generous squirt of woodruff syrup to coat the sides of the pint glass. I loved that stuff and found ways of getting to Nodding Head often.

    When I first moved to "beer mecca" -- the Portland, Oregon area -- in 2006, most of the folks in the homebrew shops and brewpubs I asked about local examples of the style hadn't even heard of it.

    I'm sure if I went to a good bottle shop, I probably could have found some -- but I still bought my "at-home" beer from grocery stores those days, and never thought to search for beer on the Internet. As such, I could only satisfy my Berliner cravings when I'd occasionally travel back to the East Coast for work -- once with a side trip to Nodding Head during a work trip in 2007 and once at the old Brickskeller in DC, which at that point I'm pretty sure was already renamed the Beer Baron.

    Then, one day, I was in a CVS just outside Portland and happened to glance over at a old timey-looking bottle on the shelf. It was some sort of one-off Berliner from Full Sail. Shortly after that, it seemed the Berliners and Goses exploded on the scene. And that's more info than you probably ever wanted to know.
  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Yup, Ich Bin En Berliner Weiss was indeed a tasty beer!

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