August Schell's Brewing
Star of the North Berlin Style Wheat Beer
I stumbled onto August Schell’s Brewing Star of the North Berlin Style Wheat Beer in early August 2013 when Jace was giving away samples at the Four Firkins. I picked up a few bottles and I drank them within a month of the bottling date. It’s very effervescent with champagne like carbonation that foams up in the glass and quickly disappears leaving a hazy, straw colored liquid. It smells like fresh sourdough bread with a wonderful lemony tartness laced with apricot and some floral, herbal notes. The palate starts with traces of bread and light fruit but the lemony tartness grows as you drink it and the other flavors fade from view. Lactobacillus quits working or slows down when hop levels get above 10 IBU (International Bittering Units) so you will find no discernable hop flavors or aromas in this beer. There are no roast or caramel flavors either. Berliner Weiss brewers in the 20th century did everything to keep their beer as light colored possible such as air drying or only lightly kilning the malt and only boiling a portion of the wort to prevent the development of melanoidins (the darker colors that occur when cooking steak or bread). The result is very clean and spritzy, light bodied and refreshing. This is a good beer for sitting outside and reading a book with. Because of the tartness you tend to drink it slow, the tartness quenches your thirst, it’s not filling and at 3.5% alcohol by volume (abv) nursing a bottle for an afternoon will not impair your reading much. It is also a good beer to share with people who do not like beer. This one might surprise them. I rate Star of the North 92 out of 100.Serve Star of the North with fatty fried foods like French fries, lighter cheeses, or salads. The salt from fresh oysters might also play well with Star of the North’s lemony tartness.
Go to Berliner Weiss for a brief discussion of the style, links to book reviews, links to reviews of similar beers, food pairings and glassware recommendations.
Go to Berliner Weiss Page > 2 for links to reviews of similar beers.