Not many businesses aim to leave a sour taste in your mouth, but that’s exactly what the breweries of Berlin have been doing for centuries, with their signature beer style the Berliner Weisse, which has a distinctly tart flavour.
While a hard-earned glass of Berliner Weisse (pronounced “vice” it translates to “white” in German) was the tipple of choice for Berlineses for hundreds of years, it was nearly lost to history recently.
That’s because while we have the blessed German monks to thank for inventing modern brewing, we also have them to blame for creating the easy-drinking (read: mostly bland) lagers that took over the world, from Taree to Timbuktu.
Thankfully, while the industry became obsessed with commoditizing beer, and removing almost every trace of flavour in the process, some pockets of tradition endured in Germany and surprising drops like Berliner Weisse survived.
Not available in every pub, the refreshingly acidic brew is worth tracking down, because travelling through Germany and only drinking brand-name lagers would be like touring through France and only drinking one type of wine – why deprive yourself?
Tasting somewhere between beer, cider and Champagne, sipping on a freshly poured Berliner Weisse is a world apart from knocking back a pint of Melbourne Bitter, but if the weather’s warm, and you open your mind, at the same time as your mouth, there’s nothing more refreshing.
Where to get one: Alt-Berliner Weissbierstube, a traditional pub in the old district of Berlin.
How to order: “Zwei Berliner Weisse bitte!”
How much is a pint: Around three Euro.
Top image: A bottle of Berliner Kindl Weisse. Original artwork by Susy Boyer