“There is nothing wrong with kettle-sour beers,” says Jace Marti, assistant brewmaster at August Schell in New Ulm, Minnesota. “But I think trying to produce a classically made, mixed-fermentation version is absolutely worth attempting.”
“Brett is really what differentiates a classic example of the style from a kettle-soured version—and it’s why Berliner weisse earned the nickname ‘Champagne of the North,’” Marti says. “Brett lends a distinctly complex, fruity, and floral aroma that you cannot get with regular yeast. It also makes for a drier beer, as Brett breaks down some—but not all—of the more complex sugars in the beer. Combined with an elevated level of carbonation—also partly as a result of Brett—it’s easy to see how it drew comparisons to champagne.”
For much more on Schell’s traditional, mixed-fermentation approach to the style, see Jace Marti of Schell’s Goes Deep on Authentic Berliner Weisse.