Is "Berliner weiss" considered a sour beer style?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by diesel59, Jun 23, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. diesel59

    diesel59 Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2012 New York

    just picked up two 22oz. bottles of Full Sail's yesterday.... I think it is very good, but it is kind of sour... would this be considered a "sour beer"... the ones i see everyone posting about.... thanks
  2. LambicKing

    LambicKing Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Germany

    Short answer - yes.

    Long answer - yes.
  3. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,114) Mar 18, 2010 California

    It's a soured wheat beer. I believe they use lactic acid to sour it instead of microorganisms. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
  4. dbossman

    dbossman Meyvn (1,200) Apr 27, 2009 Nebraska

    A Berliner Weiss is one of many styles that fall under the umbrella of "sour" beers. Other styles underneath this umbrella include American Wild, Flanders Oud Bruin, Flanders Red, Faro, Geuze, and Lambic among others.
    DevilsCups likes this.
  5. chanokokoro

    chanokokoro Champion (835) Jan 31, 2012 Illinois

    I believe you're right. Fantastic style, especially for summer drinking.
  6. bierfreundlich

    bierfreundlich Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2011 California

    It's traditionally an unboiled wort, meaning that is doesn't get cooked after the mash, and the hops are added during the mash. Then a strain of Lactobacillus is used for souring. There are other ways to do it. But that is the historical way. Try 1809, a berliner-weisse from Dr. Fritz Briem...if you can find it. Personally, my favorite berliner-weisse of all time.
  7. bierfreundlich

    bierfreundlich Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2011 California

    but yes, it is a sour beer. a sour wheat beer to be exact.
  8. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,602) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Sour is as sour tastes...

    Well unless.....(you make own sarcastic comment)

    afrokaze likes this.
  9. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    1809 is a rubbish Berliner Weisse. This what it gets wrong:

    acidity - nowhere near sour enough
    colour - too dark
    carbonation - too little
    ABV- too high
    no brettanomyces, which according to the VLB is essential to get the authentic flavour.

    It's also totally wrong for a Berliner Weisse of 1809. At that time it was a smoked beer.

    A fail on every count really. Plus I don't think it tastes very nice.
  10. harrymel

    harrymel Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2010 Washington

    Not many are familiar with VLB, how did you come to know of the VLB? My buddy just graduated in July last year.
  11. unclejazz

    unclejazz Zealot (598) Oct 24, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    Full Sail made a good effort, but I just thought their Berliner Weisse was aiight. I proclaimed this I be the summer of the Berliner Weisse. Still loving Bruery's Hottenroth. I will say the Full Sail version is a good summer beer, not great, but good.
  12. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Doesn't every serious beer person know what the VLB is? They're one of the best sources of information on German beer.
    BrettHead, herrburgess and Zimbo like this.
  13. szmnnl99

    szmnnl99 Defender (689) Apr 3, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I must not be a serious beer person. Please speak loudly as it is hard to hear you from way down here.
    Tschnab, ZacJay, WolvAlerine and 11 others like this.
  14. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

  15. mudbug

    mudbug Zealot (593) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    NO, WHAT IS VLB??????
    Ernest_Hooper and szmnnl99 like this.
  16. beerme411

    beerme411 Initiate (0) Sep 28, 2010 California

    Nope, also what would be good examples of Berliner Weisse? does Telegraph Reserve wheat count? The abv of 5% is high, but it matches everything else. from their website:

    "This sour "wild ale" recalls the earliest rustic beers crafted centuries ago before brewers had an understanding of controlled fermentation. Brewed with the addition of locally grown lemon verbena herb, as well as lactobacillus and wild brettanomyces yeast, Telegraph Reserve Wheat is an all-together different beast from modern beer. Not for the faint of heart, this special brew is available in extremely limited quantities."

    It's hard to find a good example in the US. if reserve wheat and hottenroth don't count ( i don't think festina peche is good example) then I need to keep searching.
  17. joshrosborne

    joshrosborne Initiate (0) Jun 14, 2010 Michigan

  18. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Never had an American-brewed Berliner Weisse, so I can't comment on any of those beers.

    The best one I've tried was Schultheiss. The East Berlin one. Sadly long gone.
  19. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

  20. hopsbreath

    hopsbreath Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Oregon

  21. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Serious beer people speak German.....
  22. paulys55

    paulys55 Zealot (582) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Are there any European BWs that make it to America that are good examples of the style? This is a serious question as I enjoy the style but have had mostly American takes on it. Thanks.
  23. litheum94

    litheum94 Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2008 California

    Cant speak for the Full Sail version, but they are historically somewhat spontaneously fermented by lactic acid producing bacteria, due to the fact the wort isn't boiled. Some breweries also pitch yeast, but Tartare, for example, is 100% spontaneously fermented. It's possible that some breweries do throw extra lactic acid in there as well.
  24. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (2,588) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    FIFY :relaxed:
    AngusOg likes this.
  25. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Unfortunately, I don't know of any. I think there are a couple of people brewing small amounts in Berlin, but it doesn't get exported.
  26. paulys55

    paulys55 Zealot (582) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the reply. This makes me sad.
  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,222) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    The only other Berliner Weisse exported from Germany to the US (AFAIK) - by the same importer as 1809, B. United - is the one brewed by Bayrischer Bahnhof. They also brew and export a version with Brettanomyces added during the secondary fermentation. From what I've seen here in the Northeast, neither is as commonly found as the 1809, even though all are from the same US importer and distributor network.

    Perhaps not un-coincidentally, B. United was also the last US importer of Berliner Kindl Weisse, exports to the US of which ended around 2006/7 IIRC. Not sure (maybe "patto1ro" knows?), but it's my impression that these three BW's imported by B. United might be beers brews strictly for the US market, perhaps specifically at their request.
  28. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    Full Sail is not a pop star of the BA world, but the beers I've had from them are good. "Solid" comes to mind. "Solid" being faint damning praise, in the BA world. Never had a Berliner weiss. Sounds good.
  29. paulys55

    paulys55 Zealot (582) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Nice info thanks. Glad there are many US versions that I find quite tasty.
  30. Tashbrew

    Tashbrew Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2007 California

    Well, the VLB quite sadly witnessed the beer style of their beloved city Berlin literally die on their watch. The Kindl Brauerei and Schulteiss consolidated after reunification and somehow along the way all brewers and documents either got retired, fired, forgotten, shit canned, taken to the dump. Right around 2008-2010 Berliner Wiess ceased to be brewed in Berlin. The Kindl Brauerei produces a low gravity wheat beer that has lactic acid injected into it at bottling...

    The VLB has taken on the project of interviewing every person they can find that was involved in brewing Berliner Weiss, tracking down every document, so a record can be made of this information so it won't get lost again.
    I was in Berlin July 2012 and if you asked for a Berliner Weiss the response would be 'we only sell normal beer'.

    The only good stuff comes from Leipzig...the Bayischer Bahnhof.
  31. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,164) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Also Capitola, Ca.
    afrokaze likes this.
  32. thatinvisibo

    thatinvisibo Initiate (187) Sep 5, 2005 California

    Have you ever had Freigeist Abraxas? That's one of the ones I've had that is supposed to be more traditional, and I'm curious if it actually is
  33. djsmith1174

    djsmith1174 Disciple (343) Aug 21, 2005 Minnesota

    Definitely, and it's a great sour beer when done well. Schell's recently released Star of the North Berliner is a prime example in my opinion.

    According to many posters on this forum, Peruvian Morning may now also be included under that sour classification. :stuck_out_tongue:
    dbossman likes this.
  34. bonercity

    bonercity Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2012 California

    I had this one for the first time last night. After the first sip I was like "what?" Then after the second sip I was all "okay!"
  35. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,815) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    For all its faults, I still like Prof Fritz better than any Berliner Weiss that I can normally get.
  36. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,014) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    This makes me sad because I found 1809 to be very enjoyable :(
    TongoRad likes this.
  37. DevilsCups

    DevilsCups Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2010 New York

    That's all that matters in the end.
    cavedave, DanH83 and TongoRad like this.
  38. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,014) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Indeed :grinning:
    DevilsCups likes this.
  39. RalphArdmoreBeerShoppe

    RalphArdmoreBeerShoppe Initiate (128) Nov 24, 2012 Pennsylvania

    It's all a matter of taste my friend. Just like music.
  40. DanH83

    DanH83 Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    Anyone had the New Glarus Berliner? Heard good things.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.