Chicagoist's Beer of the Week: Perennial's Peach Berliner Weiss
By Jason Baldacci in Food on Aug 29, 2014 6:30PM
This week, we discovered a beer we wish we would have been drinking all summer long.
The Peach Berliner Weiss from St. Louis' Perennial Artisan Ales pours a glowing orange in the glass. On the nose, we picked up notes of musty peach pulp, along with a hint of tangy yeast. On the palate, we're met with a zippy acidity and a quick jab of tartness up front. The mustiness from the nose translates in a wonderful way to lend a cellared quality to the beer, which pairs well with the spritzy, Champagne-like effervescence. The peaches are present throughout, but not overwhelming, and pretty much all of the sugar they've added has been fermented away to give us a crisp, dry finish. At 4.2 percent alcohol content, we would happily enjoy a glass of Peach Berliner Weiss at any time of the day.
Berliner Weiss used to be an incredibly popular style of beer in northern Germany around, you guessed it, Berlin. These low alcohol, low hop wheat beers are fermented with lactic bacteria to give them a dose of tartness and acidity that you don't typically find in most beers, especially German ones. They were commonly blended with fruit or herbal syrups to cut the acidity and make them more palatable. Despite how popular they used to be, there are only a few producers of Berliner Weiss left in Germany, and you would be very hard pressed to find one of those on a store shelf here in the United States. Luckily, breweries like Perennial are giving us re-imagined representations of the style right here at home.
Perennial's Peach Berliner Weiss is available on draft and in large format bottles. We got our taste at Fountainhead this week when they were doing a special tapping.