Berliner Weisse is currently experiencing great worldwide hype. However, often these beverages identified as being Berliner Weisse contain little of what actually constitutes it. We at the Berliner-Weiße-Kultur e.V. feel obligated and committed to providing clarification on what the Berliner Weisse truly is.
Berliner Weisse (traditional)
This light beer, brewed with barley and wheat malt, is fermented using a mixture of the top-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast together with lactic acid bacteria (mainly Lactobacillus brevis) and Brettanomyces bruxellensis for secondary conditioning, which ensures a higher degree of fermentation in the bottle. The traditional Berliner Weisse beer is brewed in Berlin, but we include the immediate vicinity of Berlin as well. This means all breweries which are reachable within a one to two hour walk and which brew Berliner Weisse in line with the criteria defined above. For us, Berliner Weisse must be brewed in the traditional style. Berliner Weisse is also an Ark of Taste product. The Ark of Taste is a project of the worldwide Slow Food movement on biodiversity, which also includes lambic.
Berliner Weisse traditional style
What we refer to as Berliner Weisse of the traditional style is brewed as described above, but outside of Berlin and its immediate vicinity. Berliner Weisse brewed with flavouring herbs or flowers also falls under the Berliner Weisse traditional style category, independently of whether brewed within or outside of Berlin. However, the traditional brewing method must be observed in this case as well.
Berliner Weisse style
This is a sour beer brewed without Brettanomyces, but with Saccharomyces and Lactobacillus cultures. Beers in this style category are brewed in the traditional way, but with fruit, vegetables or other ingredients added; the only exception are flavouring herbs and flowers which make the product a Berliner Weisse traditional style beer.
Beers which derive their sour flavour from being blended with separately brewed sour beer or the addition of fruit acid are not considered Berliner Weisses of any type by the Berliner-Weiße-Kultur e.V.