I love my IPA's and Pale Ales, both having descended from English style ales where most of American craft brews get their inspiration. But Germany has a long and storied brewing history, and there are many beer styles that can only be had by flying across the Atlantic. French Broad Brewery has decided to bring a little bit of Germany to this side of the pond, as they have introduced their Berliner-Weisse, a slightly sour wheat ale that is traditionally served with flavored syrup. The beer has been served in Berlin for centuries, with its historical roots going back to the 1600's, and none other than Napoleon calling it the "champagne of the North". The beer is low in alcohol and is brewed with lactobacillus, which gives it its tart flavor. This sourness is also why the beer is traditionally served with syrup, as the sweetness tends to cut some of the acidity of the beer. The traditional syrups in Berlin are raspberry or woodruff (red or green), and French Broad has added its own twist by including lemon, pomegranate, and triple-sec flavors in addition to the original two. The beer should be available at the tap room, and I am looking forward to trying it.
In other French Broad news, they are going to be bottling two of their other German offerings in the near future, their Alt Bier and the Gateway Kolsch, both classic German styles that are not often brewed in the states. Moving west from Germany, they will also be releasing a Saison in August, one of my favorite Belgian style beers. So if you haven't been by French Broad in a while, be sure to head down to their tasting room and check them out.