Week 45 in The Year of Drinking Adventurously. Berliner Weisse.
The Berlin Wall, that is… November 9, 1989 – marks 27 years since that wall fell. And that is the reason Berliner Weisse, a German wheat beer style is on tap (or in bottles) for this week’s drinking adventure. Although sometimes released as a summer seasonal because of its light, refreshing quality, there’s no reason not to drink it any time of the year.
Berliner Weisse is technically a sour beer, a favorite style of mine. The guide made several suggestions for finding American products in the style but I came across a great bottle shop that had a nice selection of German imports, so I chose two to sample. And even though the bottles are large, the alcohol content is low so there was no risk of getting pickled.
Freigeist Kopenickiade. 3.5% ABV. A beer brewed with vineyard peaches. It’s very light with just a hint of the peach flavor. Freigiest is the experimental offshoot of Cologne’s revolutionary small brewery, Braustelle. According to the bottle: they… “strive to break the chains of industrial brewing by reviving and updating Germany’s unique historical beer styles. Brewed with spelt, barley malt and fresh fruit, kopenickade is a clean and fresh twist on Berlin’s feisty and unique specialty weisse beer.” Feisty — I love it.
1809. 5% ABV. A weisse beer brewed by Dr. Fritz Briem of the Doeman’s Institute. And a little history thanks to the bottle: “Already in the 1600s the Berliner Weisse style beer was mentioned in documents by the French reformers Huguenots as they crossed Berlin on theier way to Flanders. in 1809 Napolean and his troops celebrated their Prussian victory with it. This Berliner Weisse style beer is brewed with traditional mash hopping and without wort boiling. This along with a traditional strain of lactic acid bacteria provide a fruity and dry but palateful character. A character that Napolean and his troops described as lively and elegant.” This was excellent, too. Without a distinct fruit flavor, it feels clean and sparkly on the tongue.
A win for the week’s adventure? Yes. And a tribute to the tearing down of walls.
I wonder how Lula toasted this week’s adventure?