Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Berliner Weisse

"Ohne Schuss???!!?!?!!!?!???????!?!?!?!?!!?!??!?!!!???!?!?!?!?!?" The question is asked with great incredulity, and even suspicion if you are a foreigner. Does this idiot know what he's asking for? Such is the response when you request to drink Berlin's and possibly Germany's finest beer without the addition of red or green syrup.
And there you have it: an enormous portion of the beer drank in Germany is exceedingly bland and tedious, and yet they consider it to be the finest in the world. And then, when it comes to an excellent beer like Berliner Weisse, what do they do? Turn it into an alcopop. You just couldn't make it up.
Even the tourist literature tries to put you off: one pocket Berlin guide opines "Unfortunately Berlin's one native beer, Berliner Weisse, is only palatable with the addition of a fruit cordial". They must have a different definition of "palatable" to me, as with Schuss it tastes like a Creme de Menthe or something, and with the addition of the straw that they serve it with, it could well be Mark Almond's go to beer when in Germany.
The first time I tried it without this noxious addition, I braced myself for what I expected would be a mouth puckering sourness, and yet it isn't even remotely in the same ballpark as a Geuze. In fact the sourness is quite mild, and makes it a nice gentle quaffing experience.

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