1809 Berliner Weisse: A Wheat Beer Fit for Napoleon

1809 Berliner Weisse from Dr. Fritz Briem

1809 Berliner Weisse

At the moment, we have in stock two unusual beers crafted by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens. Doemens is a food academy and learning center based in Gräfelfing, Germany, just west of Munich. They offer a wide variety of in-depth courses for food professionals, including ones about brewing beer.

Dr. Fritz Briem's 1809 Berliner Weisse and Grut Bier

Dr. Fritz Briem’s 1809 Berliner Weisse and Grut Bier

Dr. Briem’s two beers – the 1809 Berliner Weisse and the Grut Bier – are brewed by Weihenstephan & Doemens. His beers are crafted in traditional styles that have become increasingly rare. The “1809” is a very historic beer-style indeed. The beer’s name was selected because Napoleon and his army toasted their Prussian victory in that year with Berliner Weisse. However, this style of beer dates back much further. It can be placed to at least the 1600s when it was mentioned in documents of French Huguenots who were passing through Berlin en route to Flanders. Berliner Weisse is a wheat beer that is top-fermented and bottle conditioned. These beers tend not to be very hoppy. Instead, they are on the sour side. In Germany, they are occasionally ordered with flavored syrups to counterbalance the tartness.

As far as flavor goes – history never tasted so good! The taste sensation of a bottle of 1809 is a study in “tart” – tart and puckering like a lemon but also tangy and rich like Greek yogurt. It’s a perfect pairing for any cheese, really, because they have so much in common. I recommend a glass with a plate of both Twig Farm’s Northstone and Bergkäse Unterwasser and some homemade raspberry jam – off the charts delicious.

Among the many hats he wears, Eric Meyer is the beer buyer, grillmaster and a cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge.