I came across it on their Twitter feed. Berliner Weisse. I remember an episode of Brew Dogs (Esquire network) where this was the style that they made. There is also Night Shift Brewing in Boston, MA that does many Weisse beers…and just moved into a 20,000 sq ft facility. So I had to try this style.
My family and I headed over to Thirsty Dog Brewing. To those unfamiliar with it…it is primarily a production facility with about a 20 seat taproom. The cool thing is that the taproom is in the middle of all the action…people moving grain in and out…barrel-aged casks stacked to the ceiling…huge fermentors everywhere…and that smell. That smell is absolute raw brewery!
The first beer I tried was a pint of the Berliner Weisse. A wheat beer made with ‘sour’ yeast and aged for two years. Yes, I knew it was going to be sour. But it was refreshingly sour and light. I loved it! You must try this beer. If I wasn’t here to sample, I would have definitely had a few pints of this.
It then started to rain – and hard. So why not stay and have a few more samples? I wanted to retry the Irish Setter Red that was flat and warm at Brew at the Zoo…I wanted to give it a second chance.
The Irish Setter Red is a good amber ale. It’s easy drinking and on-par with the amber I make. I do have to say that LagerHeads Bed Head Red was a little better as it had some interesting complexity. Regardless, I would definitely drink this again.
Next to sample was the Rasberry Ale. This is a beer my wife and I fondly remember from when it was served at the old Thirsty Dog restaurant in Fairlawn over a decade ago and one that I have rigorously pursued as a homebrewer. It’s still a great beer, a little more sweeter than I would like (my taste buds have become more of a fan of ‘subtlety’ lately) but still far short from some of the cough-syrup tasting fruit beers from other breweries I have had. The flavor profile hasn’t appeared to change over the years…good job.
After the rasberry, I tried the Mug Ale, styled after Burkhardt Brewings Mug ale decades ago. Interesting. Very dry. VERY DRY compared to the other offerings though it had some good flavor. This is a solid beer.
Next up was the Nuevo Dog. I think it is supposed to be a black lager. A little too roasted for me…but it was smoother and lighter than a porter or stout.
Lastly was the Orthus Belgian Dubbel. I was skeptical, I am usually not a fan of big belgians, but this beer, only at 6.5% ABV, was surprisingly good! This beer IS barrel aged in Bourbon barrels. And the bourbon really comes out! My wife was amazed. It’s a very well-balanced beer. I actually loved it. I had an entire pint for evaluation.
I purposefully avoided all hoppy beers for this tasting. Nevertheless, Thirsty Dog had a solid lineup of diverse styles this trip. There wasn’t a beer that I wouldn’t drink again and the Berliner Weisse was exceptional and well worth the three day wait (tasting room only Wednesday-Saturday).
My son loved the root beer on tap too. We also have to thank the redhead bartender, she was nice, attentive and definitely knew about the styles and history of what she was serving and could answer any question.