Sour Wench

Berliner Weisse Ballast Point Brewing Company

4

Sour Wench, a German-style Berliner Weisse by Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sour Wench is a German-style Berliner Weisse brewed by Ballast Point Brewing Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.

Packaging art for the Sour Wench by Ballast Point Brewing Company

Packaging art for the Sour Wench by Ballast Point Brewing Company

Appearance

Brewed with blackberries, the ale pours a cloudy, purplish red and is capped by a finger-thick head of bubbly pink foam that vanishes almost immediately. The head’s reduction leaves a razor-thin ring of residue rounding the collar.

Aroma

An inviting aroma features a balance of tart blackberry fruit that’s sweetened by grain and vanilla.

Flavor

Tart blackberry fruit is followed by a clean lactic sourness of lemon. A mineral taste appears in the finish and a base of doughy bread ties the palate together.

Mouthfeel

The feel is crisp, dry, and has a body that’s a shade over medium with medium-high carbonation.

Label art for the Sour Wench by Ballast Point Brewing Company

Label art for the Sour Wench by Ballast Point Brewing Company

Overall

An ABV of seven percent is really high for the style but it doesn’t impact the aroma or taste. The mouthfeel is a bit heavy for the style but it still feels lively on the tongue and is really refreshing. But the real hero is that lovely tart fruit flavor that makes this brew easily quaffed.

Recommended Pairings

Ballast Point recommends the following food pairings with their Sour Wench: braised duck with sweet potato puree, salad with blackberry vinaigrette, Humboldt Fog goat cheese.

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About the Berliner Weisse

In 1809, Napoleon’s troops described the Berliner Weisse as the “Champagne of the North”. Today, some call it the most refreshing beer in the world. It’s light, crisp, highly carbonated with a juicy acidity. Dry finish. Pale straw color with varying clarity. Large head has little retention. Sharp and clean lactic sour aroma and flavor. Lemon citrus and apple are commonly used but modern craft versions use a wide variety of fruits. Mild doughy bread or wheat grain base. Low alcohol is undetectable.