Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I Heart Deesko
When it comes to beer, Germany is THE WORST, aber ich lieben sie immer noch*
The Berliner Weisse style typifies the discombobulation that is contemporary German beer culture. As made evident by previous posts of German brews, I have made an effort to connect with brewing, drinking, and my own personal heritage. I have been doing a lot of digging into the beer of my mother country, since a cultural bastard has to pick which parent he spends Christmas with, right? I had this utopian idea of German beer. German styles are a part of American beer vernacular, but in Germany, the Lager Revolution in the early 1800's killed 99% of German styles. The US and Germany suffer from the same problem, massive overcapacity has led to a cut throat supermarket beer industry where the cheapest beer wins. I could go on and on about the ills plaguing the modern German beer culture, but there is one major difference that leads to my frustration: Germany hasn't had a mircobrew revolution...yet.
Germany has about 1200 breweries in a country with the same land mass as Montana. There is only ONE brewery that brews and bottles the Berliner Weisse syle of beer. ONE. Yes, Berliner Weisse is like Trappist ale and Kölsch in that it is protected by the AOC and can only legally be brewed in Berlin, but Berlin is not a small place. I need both hands to count on where I can locally find a Berliner Weisse. There's always been discussion about the pedestal of quality German beers sit on. The Reinheitsgebot and an inflated sense of importance have led to a severe lack of introspection. It is unfathomable to think that Americans have helped unearth Germany's mythical old styles and brought them to the forefront of the US beer culture.
So here enters the American brewery, Three Floyd's, with their Berliner Weisse, I <3 Deesko. Traditionally, Berliner Weissse is served with a shot of raspberry syrup (ein Rotes), a shot of woodruff syrup (ein Grünes), or any other flavored syrup (mit Schuss). At their brewery, Three Floyd's carries on this tradition as well, a tradition that is definitely warranted.
This "sour" is not for the uninitiated. I personally would not call Berliner Weisse a sour. It is a tart ale, but a sour, ehh debatable. Napolean called it the "champagne of the north." He also said, "Woman are nothing but machines for producing children," so take his word at face value. I <3 Deesko took the tart aspect and ran with it, stripping this yeasty Weisse away of it's fruit and effervescence into a death metal scream of sour punch.
Which I am definitely okay with.
The strong sour and apple vinegar, lemon peel notes from this brew push it more to the Gueuze Lambic side of tart beers (See my previous post about those delicious Belgian Sours). That and it smelled like a sweaty hobo, to which Professor Beer responded with, "You have experience in that?"...maybe, but nose, mouthfeel, and clairty aside, the yaup of the sour beast of pestilence and doom turned this light summer beer to 11.
Which, again, I am definitely okay with.
With "Freigeist Bierkultur (Free spirit Beer Culture)" bucking the Reinheitsgebot and pulling pages from their Belgian neighbors and American beer anarchy, there is momentum. For the new wave of German brewers to be successful, they face the same problems independent brewers did by convincing consumers that premium beers are worth the extra cost, as well as dealing with, or working with competition from the traditional Brauhaus and nano-breweries that litter Fanconia and communities throughout Germany.
If I were to rate this as a Berliner Weisse, I would give it a 2, but as an American Sour, I would totally make this the 4th Horseman of the Sourpocalypse
*Caveat: I realize this statement and some of the tone makes me sound like an elitist asshole. Some of which I will own up to and some may be do to slight hyperbole as part of my narrative and sardonic wit. I don't dislike Germans or their beer history to which most of the world stands on, its just that the punk in me is just frustrated that a country with such a rich history of brewing is stymied the same way Americans are. I don't want to alienate German readers, but put down that Beck's and let's talk this out, brah.
The Big Guy: Damn I love this beer. El Duque said a lot... so DAMN I LOVE THIS BEER. Probably going to get into my favorites of the year.
Professor Beer: Unfortunately I wasn't able to catch this beer on tap at Three Floyds (with the syrups), but I was able to grab a few bottles. To me it tasted more like a traditional sour than a Berliner Weisse, but either way it was great.