It’s summer again, time for lazy-sipping wheat beers like Harpoon UFO, Magic Hat Circus Boy, and Sam Adams Hefeweizen. They’re all light, dry ales, refreshing to quaff in the heat, especially with a wedge of lemon to accentuate their bite. Those wheat beers have their roots in southern German regions like Bavaria. In the north, in Berlin, they do wheat beer a bit differently.
Clocking in at a safe-as-milk 2.5 percent ABV, a beer like Berliner Kindl Weisse is hardly going to make you feel logy if you drink it in the hot afternoon sun. What it will do is make you pucker involuntarily as you register its extraordinary tartness. Pouring thin and pale yellow, this one looks a little like lemonade — and tastes like it, too. The robust acidity comes from the
lactobacillusculture used in the brewing process. It’s truly a love-it-or-hate-it ﬂavor.
It’s so sour, in fact, that Berliners usually add a small dollop of sweet syrup to the stuff to take the edge off, either Waldmeister (woodruff, a green aromatic herb with a hint of vanilla/amaretto ﬂavor) or Himbeer (red raspberry). I tried the latter, and it’s remarkable how much the drink’s character changes with barely a drop or two: suddenly, it becomes a full-bodied, sweet/tart quencher, perfect for torpid summer days.Prost!
Available for $2.99 for a 10-ounce bottle at Bauer Wine & Spirits, 330 Newbury Street, Boston | 617.262.0363 | Buy two bottles and the Himbeer Sirup is free.
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