During my weekly stop at one of my favorite craft beer stores in Calgary last week, the owner who knows my love of interesting brews offered up a sample of a Berliner Weisse. The Berliner Weisse brewed by Montreal’s Dieu du Ciel! With raspberries is my first chance to try tgis rare style. The Berliner Weisse is a style of beer originating from you guessed it Berlin where it is the local specialty. Brewed with wheat malt and often fruit Berliner weisse have a moderate sourness akin to lambic beers from Belgium.
Pouring out a beautiful glimmering pinkish colour evidence of raspberries. A nice tuft of pink foam on top with a solid bubble density caps off a glorious appearance. The aroma a beautiful sourness blended with fresh picked raspberries and a crisp clean wheat malt. The nose is rather sublime although the sourness is unlike most other sour/wild beers Ive encountered. Sweet raspberries and fruity flavors in the mid palate show like in the aroma with a mild crisp finish. Not until my second or third sip does the sourness creep up and linger into the finish and aftertaste. A beautiful balance and a crisp sourness blend well together in creating a refreshing sour brew.
The Dieu du Ciel has the ability to brew amazing beers in rare and uncommon styles which begs the question… can they brew a bad beer?
To be honest I had never actually heard of Hook Norton Brewery, but after a quick google search it was something I definitely had to try. Hook Norton Brewery located in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire was founded in 1849 and still operates as a brewery from the era. In what is known as a Victorian tower brewery, a beer is brewed sequentially starting on the top floor and making its way down. Until 2006, the Hook Norton Brewery was powered by an on site steam engine making this a truly unique and real ale. The Haymaker itself is a 5% ABV Premium Bitter or ESB. The ESB style of beer is a term used to refer to Brtitish style bitter ales over 4.8% ABV.
The Haymaker has a gorgeous bright golden copper tinted body with a thick bright white head. There is a steady stream of of fine carbonation bubbles streaming upwards that help form a few lines of sticky lacing. The nose has a beautifully floral bouquet with a typical English accented biscuit malt and yeast. A fresh citrus fruit with grassy and floral hops accompany a mild caramel and toasted bread malt. The finish has a solid hop bitterness and a lingering grainy malt flavor. Beautiful light lemon and fresh floral notes make this a fantastic session ESB. The body is quite full and a bit of sparkly carbonation truly makes this a good example of the brush pub style strong bitter ale.
Grade: 78/100 Price: $4.99