Review: Professor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse

Since I talked up this style so much in my last blog, I figured I’d better review an example of it. This one comes from the renowned German brewery Weihenstephan. I poured three-quarters of the bottle into my Weihenstephan World Cup-inspired odd-shaped footed weizen glass. It raises a large fizzy head that quickly subsides due to the beer’s acidity; body shows a very clear gold with frenetic bubbles. The last pour adds a lot of kombucha-culture-like sediment – as you can see, there are a lot of floaties with that last pour. I’ll rate the appearance highly on the strength of the first pour, because in all honesty all that sediment floating around after the second looks disconcerting. As an aside, if you have an unfiltered, unpasteurized beer such as this one with a lot of sediment on the bottom of the bottle, and it gets into the beer, don’t worry – it might cause the beer to look a little funky, but I guarantee that drinking it won’t hurt you. In fact, that sediment, gross as it may appear in the glass, is high in vitamin B.

The beer's not ugly. It just has freckles, that's all.

It actually smells a lot like kombucha. Lemon zest with a hint of cat pee and sweaty sock, pretty on-par for style.

Not as tart as American takes on this style that I’ve tried, but the flavor here has good depth to it. It’s both lemony and a little savory at the same time. Funky lacto is apparent, again, with a tart (but not sour) kombucha tea flavor. Mouthfeel is spritely, but not a lot of body even for this style. If anything is lacking with this beer, I think it’s probably the wheat backbone just not being as robust as it could be.

Extremely drinkable. I could drink the hell out of this, so refreshing. The ABV is 5%, on the strong side for this style, but I barely feel it. It would not be a chore at all to drink a couple bottles on a hot day.

My rating:
Appearance 4.5
Aroma 4.0
Taste 4.5
Mouthfeel 3.0
Impression/Drinkability 5.0
Overall 4.35

Beer Advocate 4.08
Ratebeer 3.63/94/96

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6 Responses to Review: Professor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse

  1. WineGoddess1 says:

    Funny there are so many wines that smell like cat pee and people think it’s such a negative term and it’s not. 🙂
    Do you know anything about the label? Looks like an artist might have designed it. In the wine world it’s proven women buy because of pretty labels. Aggh!

    • People often buy beer because of pretty labels, too 😉 Just as in the wine world, beer label art is a big deal.

      I can’t seem to scrounge up much info on this label’s artist. It’s pretty unique, though, it’s attractive while being very text-heavy for a beer label.

    • Oh, and re: cat pee, totally. Funny thing is, a few different things can actually cause a cat pee note to develop. In this case it’s Lactobacillus. In other cases, it can actually be the hop varietal used.

  2. WineGoddess1 says:

    What does the 1809 mean?

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