In the growing craft beer community within Colorado there are still styles of beer that are not very common, so to find one is a always a good thing. One of those styles is the Berliner Weisse, a very light and sessionable sour wheat beer originally from Berlin. Of course, being in Colorado, these classical beers are often reinterpreted and modernized to bring out an even more complex flavor profile. This is exactly the case in Poncha Springs, Colorado where Elevation Beer Company brewed a Berliner Weisse but allowed it not only to ferment but also age in oak barrels. To make it truly Colorado it is named after the Angel of Mt. Shavano which overlooks the brewery and has a truly local name, Engel Weisse. After acquiring a couple of bottles here are our thoughts on this very unique beer.
Coming in at 4 percent alcohol and only 4 IBUs it was already known that this was going to be a very light, crisp beer. Due to the size of this bottle, at 1 pint and 9.4 ounces a large stein was the vessel of choice, and after an aggressive pour, this beer was a true beauty. A cloudy gold color made up the body of the beer, and a vibrant white foam made up the head which faded away quickly. This was a very effervescent looking beer full of carbonation. Once the head settled a little bit it was time to get a feeling for the aroma which was complex, but simple. The primary aroma was the wheat, but there were also subtleties of oak. In addition, this beer had a brightness and hint of fruit in the aroma. With an aroma so complex this is one beer I could not wait to take a sip of.
After the first sip, this is a beer that lived up to its style and was very authentic. It had a light effervescent body that was very carbonated to compliment the flavor. While wheat was the primary aspect of the aroma, the main flavor profile was a bright acidity with a subtle hint of fruit, which is the nature of sour beers. While there was a strong sour note to this beer, it was well complimented and slightly muted by the other flavors going on, mainly the oak. The barrel being used for this beer was originally a bourbon barrel and the Engel Weisse was the second beer to go into it. To ensure that a beer this delicate was not overpowered by bourbon they were rinsed out and the only flavor extracted during fermentation and aging was the oak. It added a very great flavor in addition to the sourness, and also created more of a complex mouth feel that added depth to the beer. The aftertaste of this beer was very clean making it very easy to sip on and drink from beginning to end.
With a lineup of great beers already established to their name the Engel Weisse at Elevation Beer Company is a great addition. With so many complexities and flavors going on this relatively unknown beer has been given a modern update, but has stayed true to the original style. Within this one bottle is a beer that will cater to fans of multiple styles. So whether you are a fan of traditional German ales, barrel aged beers, or sours, the Engel Weisse will appeal to a wide array of craft beer drinkers. So when in search of something refreshing and sessionable to drink look no further than the most recent addition to Elevation’s Double Black Series, and see why this small brewery continues to impress with every new release.
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