I am going to refer to this brewery as “this brewery” because honestly, I do not have the patience to type “Leinenkugel’s” a hundred times during this review. Thanks for the understanding, my fingers applaud you.
While visiting relatives for Easter on Long Island, a purple six pack caught my eye – Berry Weiss. This didn’t seem too odd to me because in the summer, a lot of seasonals come out with berry brews. One of my favorite of those is UFO’s Raspberry Hefeweisen – which is great. So, to try a new berry beer seemed like a fun thing to do on a spring afternoon.
So I open the bottle and begin to pour. And I get a genuine shock. As I am pouring, this beer is coming out PINK. Yes, I said PINK. Even the white head was tinted slightly pink from the berries used (I assume) in this brew.
Now, I’ve had plenty of berry things before, and I have never, ever, in my life seen a beer this color. It is literally off the chart. The Dogfish Head Black and Blue was a red wine/purpley, and that’s as much color variation as I’ve ever seen.
Tasting it was fun, too, because instead of a sweet or dessert-like taste, it had a lot of sourness to it, which approached the lambic end of the spectrum. It reminded me of a berry version of the Festina Peche. Very tart punch right up front, with no bite, and a nice smooth sweetness that is very mild at the end.
The taste and smell are strong, and I can’t say that it’s any one berry in particular that I can pick out, this is probably due to the fact that I haven’t had two out of the three berries its made of – loganberries, elderberries and blackberries.
Weiss beers are sourish tasting to begin with, and I actually read on the Accidental Hedonist blog that it is customary in Germany for various fruit syrups to be added to the Weiss beers before serving – in fact, the color produced when you do that is very similar to this one (see picture to the right from the Accidental Hedonist).
It is one of those beers that has a taste entirely to itself. It is a strong sourness which comes through, but there isn’t the same musty notes of a true lambic, so it’s people-friendly, as long as you prepare them that it’s going to taste nothing like “beer.”
If you’re in any way insecure about drinking something pink… you may want to put this one in an opaque stein… but try this one out. It stands out from the crowd in more ways than one. I have to say that I’m going to keep a look out for more from this brewery, because so far I’m quite impressed.