Berliner Weisse

Glassware: Goblet
  • Germany
  • Mixed Ferm
  • ABV = 2.8 – 3.8% (Lower)^
  • IBU = 3-8
  • SRM = 2-3
A low strength, straw-coloured, wheat-based German mixed fermentation beer with a clean lactic sourness.

Compared to Gueuze, has a clean lactic sourness with restrained Brettanomyces character, if present at all. Also lower in alcohol content.


  • Colour^ = Straw
  • Clarity = Clear to slightly hazy

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Low; uncooked bread dough, suggestive of sourdough bread
  • Hops = None
  • Yeast + Bacteria = Low to moderate; fruity esters (lemon, tart apple, peach, or apricot and a light floral note) / Moderate; sharp acidity
  • Malt = Low; bready, doughy, grainy wheat character
  • Hops = None
  • Yeast + Bacteria = Low; fruity esters (lemon, tart apple, peach or apricot) / High; clean lactic sourness
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Low
  • Balance = Towards acidity, but some malt flavour should be present; acidity, not bitterness, provides the balance

Very dry finish


  • Body = Light
  • Carbonation = Very high

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Wheat malt (typically 50%), plus Pilsner malt
  • Hops = German hop varietals, very low level
  • Yeast + Bacteria = Clean German ale yeast, Lactobacillus
  • Other = (Optional: German brewing scientists believe that Brettanomyces is essential to get the correct fruity-floral flavour profile, but any Brett character is restrained)

Historical Development:

A regional specialty of Berlin; referred to by Napoleon’s troops in 1809 as “the Champagne of the North” due to its lively and elegant character. Increasingly rare in Germany, but now produced in several other countries.

Traditionally served with the addition of a shot of fruit- or herb-flavoured sugar syrup to counter the substantial sourness.

Commercial Examples:

Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Style Weisse, Berliner Berg Berliner Weisse, Lemke Berlin Budike Weisse

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus (Version 5.0)
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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