Pacific Northwest – It is now October and although the United States has said good-bye to the tradition of Oktoberfest, it doesn’t mean you have to. Recently we got our hands on a bottle of New Belgium’s Berliner Style Weiss Ale, from their Lips of Faith series.
Historically, this style takes its direction from the region around Berlin, and once mentioned the Famous French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, as "the Champagne of the North", in part because the beer had a lively and refined character. Today there are only two (2) breweries in the region that still produce this beer.
"In Germany, it is classified as a Schankbier denoting a small beer of starting gravity in the range 7-8°P. Often served with the addition of a shot of sugar syrups (‘mit schuss’) flavored with raspberry (‘himbeer’) or woodruff (‘waldmeister’) or even mixed with Pils to counter the substantial sourness. Has been described by some as the most purely refreshing beer in the world." -source, BJCP.org Style Guidelines
It is with thoughts of of Fall-like weather that is upon us, that we decide to crack open this bottle to determine for ourselves, if the brewery has respected it's German roots.
As we swirl the glass around and under our nose, we detect an acrid sourness with aspects of vinegar, wheat and hints or lemon citrus.
Closing our eyes, we take a sip and are greeted by the familiar sourness that shares space with a slight lactic (milk-like) character. Minor oats and honey sweetness, are present as well as medium esters. Overall this beer produces a dry to slightly wet finish with a majority of the weight sensation being within the medium range.
Based on the centuries-old German style of Berliner Weisse, this Imperial version opens with lemon, citrus and delicate floral tones. The beer is naturally sour from lactic fermentation and a dash of Brettanomyces. Imperial Berliner weisse pours slightly hazy with a pleasantly dry finish.
You Should Try. Although this beer comes off being more sour than the expected, with a familiar signature that carries throughout the NB Lips of Faith beers, this is still worth trying. For some fun, shop at the nearest cheese shop and enjoy this beer with some brie, gouda, swiss, sharp cheddar or maybe some blue cheese. Feeling like salad? Try this with some walnuts and apples along with some feta.
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.