Schwarze Johannisbeere Berliner Kindl Weisse - Berliner Kindl Brauerei, Berlin
I like a good Berliner Weisse, but my options in the middle of the US are quite limited. I had my first Berliner Weisse in Berlin back in 2006 when I was living in Germany. It wasn't my favorite style at first, I tended to stick with Wiezens and really despised Radler, but Berliner Weisses grew on me. When I moved back to the states the closest thing I could find locally a summer seasonal Shandy, and I'm really not that keen on ginger... A friend of mine from Berlin recently came to visit and brought a bottle of Berliner Kindl with him. I was elated to say the least.
This bottle of Berliner Kindl is spiked with schwarze johannisbeere or black currant. The cool thing about Berliner Weisse beers are that they are mixed with fruit puree or syrup before serving so there's a wide variety of flavors you can try. This is the first beer I can remember trying that has had black currant in it, and I really like it. It'd be great to try a big Quadruple that has been brewed with currants added to it.
This Berliner Kindl pours a faded purple color and almost seems like it turns grey around the edges. There's practically no head and the body is mostly clear with tiny bubbles streaming toward the top of the glass. The aroma of this beer is very strong. It smells like a soda, perfume or hand soap that has been laced with black currant. That's the dominant aroma and nothing else comes through.
The flavor is similar to the aroma, it's all black currant all the time. The base beer is definitely a light Weissbier that has had copius amount of currant syrup added after fermentation. That's not a knock on this beer, that's just the Berliner Weisse style... and I like it. This is definitely a novelty beer, at 3% alcohol and packed with super sweet currant flavors it could pass as a soda pop. It'd be a nice flavorful drink on a war summer day or just after a day at the office when you're at happy hour and not quite ready for a meal. It's a unique style and a unique beer, for those reasons alone it's worth seeking this one out.