While there are many things that make craft beer great one of the best has to be taking a traditional beer and making it modern or unique. Take the classic Berliner Weisse for example where a small brewery added a unique yeast strain that created a new complex flavored beer while maintaining the integrity and flavor profile of what this German sour wheat should be. The brewery is Funkwerks in Fort Collins, Colorado and the beer is Provincial, a traditional Berliner Weisse, but with a Belgian Wheat yeast strain creating a unique beer slightly higher in alcohol than the traditional version. After sampling a bottle of this 5.6 percent light ale these are our thoughts on this classic ale.
After pouring into a traditional tulip glass this beer had the appearance of a Berliner Weisse from the hazy pale gold color with a snow white head. But after the pour is where this beer took on a life of its own, and it started with the aroma. The Belgian yeast strain gives off a bright, and acidic aroma with a strong fruit note, the most prominent being pineapple. There was a yeast undertone to the aroma which only led to the indications that this would be a beer that had a brightness and tartness, but also had some body to it as well. The only thing to do was take a sip and see how well this beer was interpreted.
The aroma follows through to the flavor quite nicely and it starts with a very light body that matches its appearance perfectly. The yeast strain does give off a subtle flavor that is more prominent than in a traditional Berliner Weisse, but the flavor that sticks out the most are the fruits. The refreshing taste of tropical fruits filled the mouth with each sip and that was most dominated by the bright and acidic pineapple. But of course it wouldn’t be a Berliner Weisse if there wasn’t a delicious sour quality to this ale as well, and thanks to the lacto bacillus that was added to this beer that flavor is there.
Unlike other beers of the style the sourness is still prominent, but more of a secondary flavor profile which makes this beer have a lot of depth. This was achieved with the sour ingredient sitting overnight before the beer was boiled and fermented. Combine all the ingredients together and this is a very complex beer that has a dry mouth feel. It is not so complex in flavors, but instead it has various layers of flavor from bright, to tropical fruit, to the sourness that one would expect.
After having such a rich and deep flavor the Provincial has a surprisingly clean aftertaste. The only thing left to remind you of this beer after a sip is a slight dryness in the mouth which makes taking that next sip all the more easy. Once all is said and done this is a very light and refreshing beer that brings a modern twist on a classic ale. Even though it is considered a Berliner Weisse this beer will appeal to not only fans of that, but also fans of Belgian Saisons, and will be a great beer to introduce people into the wonders of sours. So whatever kind of beer you are craving reach for the Provincial and see what a unique beer it really is for yourself.
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