Beer Review: Crabtree Brewing Company's Berliner Weisse

July 25 2014, 11:30 AM

Berliner Weisse AleCrabtree Brewing Company, Greeley

Style: Berliner Weisse

ABV: 4.3 percent

Serving Type: 22-ounce bomber 

Malty? Hoppy? Neither— this beer is tart and light in body. It’s dominant characteristic is its sourness, both in aroma and flavor. 

Reviewed: July 2014

When Euclid Hall's opening general manager, Tony Maciag, wanted to offer a beer with an interactive component to it, he suggested Berliner Weisse, a traditional German-style wheat beer that's served with sweet syrup made from woodruff shrubs, to temper the beer’s sourness. 

Crabtree Brewery founder Jeff Crabtree was up for the challenge. He brewed this Berliner Weisse with 60 percent wheat to create its golden color and cloudy appearance. The ale is fermented with lactobacillus to impart its sourness. The resulting beer, with its tart sharpness and clean finish, quickly became a Crabtree staple that would go on to win a gold medal at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, in the German-style sour ale category. 

Although Euclid Hall’s house-made woodruff syrup was some kind of wonderful, I have a hunch this beer is imbibed more often without its sweet counterpart. Crabtree’s Berliner Weisse satisfies Denver’s cultish craving for sour beer, especially in the heat of the summer. 

Would we buy it again?

Over and over again, if it’s in stock. Find it at the likes of Argonaut and Incredible Wine & Spirits, and get it while you can. This is not a beer that stays on the shelves for too long. 

Follow Emily Hutto on Twitter @EmilyHutto