Review: Chris's Summer Delight Berliner Weiss, Full Sail

Chris's Summer Delight Berliner Weiss
Full Sail Brewing Co. — Hood River, OR

  • Style:  Berliner Weiss
  • Bitterness:  9 IBU
  • ABV:  4.0%  
  • Malts:  50% Wheat
  • Hops:  Hersbrucker
  • Sampled:  22 oz. bottle 

Description:  When asked what his inspiration was for this beer, (Brewer Chris) Haveman responded, "Chris’s Summer Delight was inspired by my love of summer. When I found out that my beer was going to be brewed at the beginning of summer, I immediately thought of the perfect style, a Berliner Weiss. This is an easy drinking unfiltered beer made with 50% wheat malt, a tiny amount of hersbruker hops and a touch of lactic acid to give it a refreshing tartness.” Chris’ diagnosis is “D-licious.”  Served straight this style has a sour tartness with a dry finish.  A German tradition is to offer a splash of sweet woodruff syrup, called Waldmeister, for a fresh herbal character and a bright green color or sweet red raspberry syrup to provide a striking red beer with raspberry overtones. The syrups help to mellow to the sharpness and acidity of the beer. — Full Sail Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  I've been a huge fan of the Berliner Weiss style ever since I first tasted it a year ago. Unfortunately, the style is not widely produced. I'm attempting to make a homebrew Berliner Weiss and recently attended a seminar dedicated to Berliner Weiss at the National Hombrewers Conference a few weeks ago. I've been looking forward to this release ever since Full Sail's Brewers's Share was announced last December.

The tasting:  Golden orange in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma is dominated by wheat with a touch of grass. The wheat also dominates the flavor, but it also has some bready malt. A Berliner Weiss is supposed to be tart. While this is nicely tart, it lacks the depth or complexity I've tasted in other beers of this style. I expect that may because lactic acid was used (per the description) to sour the beer instead of lactobacillus. Alcohol and hop bitterness are not noticeable. Chris's Summer Delight is light bodied, moderately carbonated, and finishes dry with wheat and a mild lingering tartness. 

Rating:   3 star.  Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me First, kudos to Full Sail and Brewer Chris Haveman for giving us a Berliner Weiss as part of the Brewers Share series! It's a great style that is hopefully re-emerging. I expect this will be the first exposure that many will have to the style. If you've never tasted a Berliner Weiss, give it a try! It's perfect for summer.

Have you tasted Chris's Summer Delight Berliner Weiss?  Do you like the Berliner Weiss style? Who makes your favorite?

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