Back in the Middle Ages, Berlin dreamed up one of the most refreshing styles on the books: the Berliner weisse, a lemony wheat ale with a wicked tart bite via Lactobacillus bacteria. (Some would argue they then went and spoiled it by adding sweet syrup to every pint.) Today, American brewers are revamping the cheek-pincher by tossing in everything from kiwi to dark malt, turning this near-forgotten style into one of the hottest trends in craft beer. Taste what all the fuss is about with these 10:
Cigar City 5 Beers for 5 Years The Tasting Room: Conceived by tasting room staffers, this shimmering Florida weisse’s tangerine and orange additions lend sweet citrus up front; an explosion of lemony, pine-laced tartness propels the finish.
Funkwerks Raspberry Provincial: A light, tart sipper’s the perfect vehicle for the perennial fruit. Sweet-’n’-sour raspberry sings above seedy earthiness; a snappy lactic bite pulls the swallow to a dry finish.
August Schell North Country Brünette: Märzen malt meets a Berliner pinch in this deliciously creamy wash of bread crust laced with clean, countering tartness.
Night Shift Ever Weisse: This is one of our all-time favorite Berliners. Kiwi, strawberry and a touch of hibiscus lend tropical, floral notes to a pungent base.
Jack’s Abby Berliner Braun: Additions of dark, roasted malts add a chocolaty, ashy base note to this pleasantly tart beer’s bright lemon and funky bite.
New Belgium Yuzu Imperial Berliner Weisse: East Asian yuzu citrus colors a wash of lactic tartness and wheaty malts with tropical lime and grapefruit notes for an exotic spin on the style.
DeGarde Blu Bu Weisse: Hand-picked blueberries in this spontaneously fermented Berliner lace light berry notes through complex turns of dried flowers, lime, and an unmistakably funky, cheesy bite.
Firestone Walker Bretta Rosé: Aged in French Oak with local raspberries, this spritzer flits across the tongue with floral, fruity berries and tight, prickly funk.
Grand Teton Snarling Badger: Extra malts triple this Berliner’s ABV, while hefe yeast and souring bacteria give it a wash of pineapple, lemon and yogurt.
Saint Arnold Boiler Room: A happy accident while brewing Lawnmower Kölsch led to this puckering, zippy Berliner laced with lemon and berry tones from the kölsch yeast and Lactobacillus.
MORE: Florida’s got a weisse all its own: Introducing the Florida Weisse