Apr 8, 2019

North Coast Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse

Before we get into the reason why all two of you are reading this post (the actual review), let’s discuss the bottle choice for North Coast’s Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse. Now, I know why the company went with the clear bottle for this one — nothing else would truly show off the amazing color that the 4.1% ABV ale possesses like a clear bottle. But this presentation has a distinct downfall.

Unfortunately, clear bottles allow a ton of UV rays to bombard the beer, quickening the process of spoiling or skunking the tasty brew it contains. Now, this may not be a huge issue, as this beer probably won’t spend extended periods of time under the sun or stored in an similar area, but the concern still remains.

Update: North Coast has reached out with the following statement regarding their choice of clear bottles. “Brewers often use amber glass because when hops are exposed to ultraviolet light beer can take on a ‘skunky’ flavor. Since our Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse has a very low hopping level, we made the decision to illustrate the beauty of the beer without hiding it’s stunning rose color in an amber bottle. You might ask if beers are required to contain hops and the answer is ‘yes.’ We make the minimum required hop addition for the beer to satisfy TTB requirements as a malt beverage (0.075 lbs./bbl) for a very short duration, thus minimizing the extraction of hop compounds which might lead to the development of lightstruck off-flavors. We think the final product is a beautiful presentation and an excellent expression of a Berliner Weisse.”

Alright, enough of that, let’s get to this tasty little brew. Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse is darn good. It’s a refreshing, full-flavored beer with a lively mouthfeel that is ideal for enjoying out in the, well, sun with friends on a lazy afternoon. The tartness is of a moderate level, though it may hit the novice a little stronger than those accustomed to the sour bite.

The cherry flavors present themselves quite well, demanding your attention, but never fully stealing the spotlight from that wonderful tartness. The beer is also not overly fruit-juicy which I particularly enjoyed. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I did pick up a hint of anise briefly with each swallow that made for an interesting dynamic as the beer fades oh-so-slowly in the lasting finish.

Bottle choice aside, North Coast have themselves a treat of a beer with Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse. It’s refreshing, playful and great sitting out on the back deck watching all of the Spring colors pop from their cold weather slumber. Hell, even the wife liked it and she’s not at all a fan of sour beers.

This is a review of a promotional sample.