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Berliner Weisse

Called the "Champagne of the North" by Napoleon, the Berliner Weisse is the favorite drink of Berlin. It is especially popular on hot summer days. By German law, the Berliner Weisse can only be produced in Berlin and its surrounding areas.

       Berliner Weisse
Photo: © Deutsche Brauer-Bund
Classification:  Schankbier

Type of Beer:  Ale

Alcohol Content:  2.8%

Extract Value:  7-8%

IBU:  10

Region:  In and around Berlin

Beer Characteristics
Lightly tart, fruity, highly effervescent. Low in alcohol. Dark-golden in color. Slightly unclear. Made from 25-30% pale malted wheat; the rest of the grain used is pale barley malt.

Serving Suggestions
Because of its tartness, the Berliner Weisse beer is often enjoyed with an added shot of raspberry syrup or Waldmeister, a herbal syrup made from woodruff leaves. Add about of a small shot-glass full of syrup into the glass and pour the Berliner Weisse over it. The syrup changes the color of the beer. A beer with the raspberry syrup is known as a "Red Berliner Weisse." Once with the Waldmeister syrup is known as a "Green Berliner Weisse." Optimal serving temperature is 46-50° F (8-10° C). Best served in a bowl-shaped, wide-rimmed glass.

The origins of the beer date back the 16th century. Cord Broihan, a brewer from Berlin, went to Hamburg and tried the local beer. Upon returning home, he tried to reproduce the beer he had enjoyed in Hamburg. His invention, called "Halbstädter Broihan," was soon known throughout northern Germany. Later, other brewers in Berlin changed the recipe in order to create a better tasting beer. Out of this, in 1642, came the "Berlinische Weizenbier." By 1700, this beer became the favorite beer in Berlin. By the 19th century, over 700 breweries produced the Berliner Weisse. 


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