Many people find their craft beer choices changing as the summer starts to heat up. It’s hard to sit in the hammock and sip a barrel-aged imperial Russian stout when it’s 105 in the shade, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor for refreshment. With its low ABV and strong flavor, a Berliner Weisse is the perfect beer to cool you down on a summer day, and Black Market’s 1945 is a great example of the style.
When 1945 first hits the glass, it pours a hazy dirty blonde with a very light head. Tart citrus dominates the aroma, but there’s also a hint of funk. The flavor profile mirrors the aroma with lots of tart lemony flavor, and a sour note from the lactic acid that lingers in your throat after you swallow. With a low, 3.8% ABV, this beer is extremely sessionable, and the ideal libation to unwind on a hot summer day.
If you want to drink your Berliner Weisse like a German, try having your Weisse mit schuss, which is a Berliner Weisse with a sweet syrup added to balance out the tart flavors. The most common flavors are raspberry and a bright green syrup made from the woodruff plant. Since you’re more likely to encounter raspberries, here’s a recipe for homemade raspberry syrup:
2 cups of fresh raspberries
?¾ cup of sugar
?¾ cup of water
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Mash the raspberries with a fork or potato masher, and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, back the heat off and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes until it thickens. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or strainer, and let cool. Add a few ounces to your Berliner Weisse to give it a raspberry flavor, and the syrup should keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
If you’re a history geek, 1945 is the perfect name for a style of beer that shares its name with the German capital. The bottle artwork depicts bombers flying over postwar Berlin, and dropping crates of supplies with Black Market Brewing’s initials stamped on the side. Yes, it’s hyperbole to compare the refreshment of a Berliner Weisse to the relief that comes from supply drops in a war zone, but you’re drinking beer, so tear down your wall and have a good time.
Brewery: Black Market Brewing
City: Temecula, Calif.
Style: Berliner Weissbier
Availability: Summer seasonal