The beer style of Berliner Weisse dates back to the 16th century in Northern Germany. Through the years this style of beer almost became extinct and has recently made a resurgence thanks to the craft beer movement. It has now event caught the eye of some of the big brewers. This includes Leinenkugel Brewing, a brewery that falls under the MillerCoors umbrella of brands, with its launch of BeerGarten Tart, a Berliner Weisse inspired beer.
It’s a positive sign that the old guard breweries are noticing craft beer and all of its varied beer styles. This includes Leinekugel’s and its new seasonal, BeerGarten Tart. Leinie’s is well aware of the fact that the sour beer category is one that is rapidly expanding. This category is up 43% in Nielsen numbers over the last 52 weeks.
After sampling BeerGarten Tart I was a bit stunned by how intriguing and quite sessionable this beer was. For some reason I was thinking that it would have some fruit flavor to it to feed off of the brewery’s very successful line of Shandy and all of its varieties. The brewers at Leinenkugel executed one fine example of the Berliner Weisse style with this beer.
Notes of soft tartness greet the palate and linger for a short bit. BeerGarten Tart is free of the strong acidic notes that plague many of the current varieties of Berliner Weisse. There’s no strong acidic sourness here but a tartness that will allow for a nice afternoon in the sun drinking this 4.8% ABV tart beer.
The neck label sums this beer up the best, “A snap of tartness balanced by a subtle sweetness from pale malts”. Leinenkugel’s BeerGarten Tart is available for a limited time through the end of July in 6 pack, 12 oz. bottles.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.