Thursday 30 June 2022

Berliner Weisse today

I’m going to limit myself here to versions brewed in Berlin. Yes, I know many, quite possibly hundreds, are brewed in the USA, to varying degrees of authenticity. But I’m going to stick to those brewed in the style’s home city.

Berliner Weisse is the best-known German sour beer, which is somewhat ironic given that it’s virtually extinct in its home city. There’s currently only one example really brewed on a large scale: Kindl. And that’s crap.

In 2010 just 10,180 hl of Berliner Weisse were sold in the off trade , meaning total output couldn’t have been more than 20,000 or 25,000 hl.

In the late 1980’s there had been three different Berliner Weisses brewed: East Berlin Schultheiss, West Berlin Schultheiss and West Berlin Kindl. First West Berlin Kindl bought East Berlin Schultheiss and closed it. Then West Berlin Schultheiss and Kindl merged and the Schultheiss Berliner Weisse was dropped. Which was really annoying because the Kindl was by far the worse of the two.

But . . . there are more authentic versions being brewed, albeit on a fairly small scale. Better than nothing, I say.

That was an extract from my recently published book on Berliner Weisse, "Weisse!"

 Buy your copy now!

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