Editors’ Picks: Berliner Weisse

Is the future of Berliner weisse to be found in the past? These five mixed-fermentation versions offer a glimpse of what was and what remains possible.

Craft Beer & Brewing Staff Aug 28, 2021 - 3 min read

Editors’ Picks: Berliner Weisse Primary Image

August Schell Information Paradox

Schell’s updated take on wood-fermented traditional Berliner weisse nails the ultralight body (thanks to corn in the grist), and the relatively low acidity offers brightness without stealing the show, while the healthy dry-hop builds a citrus character that amplifies the lemony acidity of the base.
ABV: 7.2%
IBUs: 5
Loc: New Ulm, Minnesota

The Referend Berliner Messe

More loose interpretation of Berliner weisse than exacting reenactment, this take mashes up a Berliner recipe with a bit of lambic technique. While the Cuvée Schneeeule edition (pictured above) echoes history with additions of woodruff and honey, the standard edition captures the bright lemony beauty of the lactic-forward fermentation with just a touch of funk.
ABV: 4%
Loc: Pennington, New Jersey

Schneeeule Marlene

Berlin’s chief revivalist of traditional mixed-fermentation Berliner weisse undergoes a fascinating evolution, as a dry, refreshing, softly tart lemony quaffer develops into something much more floral and tropical over months in the bottle. The Brett strain changes year to year, too, creating a pleasure cruise where the scenery never quite repeats.
ABV: 3%
Loc: Berlin

Rowley Farmhouse Ales Germophile

Quirky, grainy light malt note on the nose sweetened by an almost yuzu tropical fruit note. In the sip, a sneaky acidity pushes hard in its initial presentation but with a soft fruity roundness that’s undeniably pleasurable. It backs off quickly and resolves as a lingering lemony note that you’d swear is sweet but you know really isn’t.
ABV: 5%
Loc: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Lemke Budike Weisse

Berlin’s longest-running modern craft brewery (founded in 1999) spent years tinkering with different Brett and Lacto strains before adding Budike to the local canon. Moderately citrus-tart with a farmhouse cider–like rusticity to its aroma, it’s a beer that perplexes orthodox German beer drinkers as much as it delights Brett enthusiasts.
ABV: 3.5%
IBUs: 3
Loc: Berlin