The beginnings of Berliner Weisse go back to the second half of the 17th century. It was a traditional top-fermenting beer with a high (up to 100%) wheat portion in the malt, common in large parts of Germany at the time. Most beers of this type were highly carbonated and acquired a slightly sour taste after a few days. Typical beers brewed in this style were Broihan, Gose from Goslar and Schweps from Wrocław, formerly Breslau.
The further development of Berliner Weisse was strongly impacted by Huguenot influences. Allegedly, the réfugiés that relocated to Berlin in the second half of the 18th century did not particularly like the typical German beer of the time which was full-bodied, brown and brewed with barley malt. Nor did the quality of the wine grown and made in Berlin at the time appeal to the Huguenots’ taste buds. The French immigrants accordingly founded a number of white beer breweries – the best-known name being that of Landré.
The classical Berliner Weisse, which we today call the traditional Berliner Weisse, did not emerge until the 19th and 20th centuries. A two-step white beer brewing technology was developed, which was in use until about 1930. The focus of the white beer breweries was wort production, fermentation control with an existing mixed culture of yeast and lactic acid bacteria and the racking of the young beer into barrels. The young beer was then taken over by beer wholesalers and finish fermented and/or blended with wort from the original brewery in blending vats, and finally bottled for final fermentation and maturing. From 1930 on, the current practice of completing all steps of Berliner Weisse making in the brewery was put into place. How this technology was implemented up to the beginning of the 1970s will be presented in English subsequently: