Tasting Notes: Stone White Ghost Berliner Weisse from Stone Brewing

aviary-image-1529447742379For this edition of Tasting Notes, we get all literal by enjoying a close look at a true Berliner Weisse actually from Berlin: Stone White Ghost Berliner Weisse from Stone Brewing (Escondido, California / Berlin, Germany).

Already established in Europe as a Core/Year-Round offering from Stone Brewing – BerlinStone White Ghost (or White Geist) is an authentic take on the Berliner Weisse-style that “gains its orthodox lightly sour and acidic character from a specially selected historic Lactobacillus strain sourced from Berlin’s cultures.”  Well . . . mostly authentic because you know Stone Brewing had to put its own twist on the style by raising the ABV just a skosh to 4.7%. Rounded off with newer German hop varieties (Calista and Hüll Melon), Stone White Ghost Berliner Weisse’s “aroma leads with lemon, peach and melon and the unexpectedly bold and pleasantly refreshing tart flavor punches above its ABV weight.”

To give their American fans a taste of what the brewery is doing in Berlin, Stone Brewing has decided to import Stone White Ghost Berliner Weisse for a limited time.  Stone White Ghost is already available throughout California and a “broad national launch” is expected to follow in the fall of 2018.  Once fully launched, you can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 6-packs of 0.33cl cans and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia, and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution footprint.

Now that we know where it has come from and how we can get it, let’s get into these Tasting Notes to see how scary good this White Ghost is!

Tasting Notes for Stone White Ghost Berliner Weisse from Stone Brewing

Appearance:  Stone White Ghost materializes in the glass as a slightly cloudy, pale golden brew.  When held to direct light, the gold color softens, and the liquid takes on more of a lemony yellow appearance.  Although cloudy, it is by no means opaque and a gentle carbonation presence can be seen within.  The pour built just over a finger of airy, wispy white foam.  Retention is decent for the style, but the head eventually falls to a thin ring that does its best to leave sporadic spots of lace behind on the glass.

Aroma: A distinct note of straight lemon juice absolutely billows from the glass as the beer is being poured.  Clean wheat then moves in to support and mellow the citrus a bit, allowing notes of peach, apricot, melon and tart berries a chance to develop as well.  That lemon quality ultimately returns to close things out with a just a touch of grassiness in the background.

Taste:  Just as it should be, the flavor is nearly all tart, lemony goodness.  Sure, the wheat is there to add a bit of balance and the hops have a chance to offer a grace of apricot and melon, but this is pretty much just a sour, Lactobacillus-driven experience dominated by those lemon notes.  And it is gorgeous.

Mouthfeel:  On the light side of medium in body with a slightly fizzy carbonation presence, White Ghost carries a nice weight while still remaining superbly refreshing and easy-drinking.  This brew works the palate with its tart and acidic qualities, but it cleans up quick enough to keep things pleasant and crushable.  Although the ABV is slightly elevated for the style at 4.7%, it does not really show.  Aftertaste is all lemon.

Final Thoughts:  Given that this Limited Release is meant to give American beer drinkers a glimpse at what Stone is brewing over in Berlin, they really could not have picked a more perfect beer to do that job.  Stone White Ghost reads purely as a clean and true Berliner Weisse.  Other than raising the ABV a touch and introducing some new hop varietals, Stone Brewing left this beer alone for the most part and just allowed it to be what it is: a tart and refreshing brew that is perfect for any occasion.

With that said, if you are looking for the fruit and adjunct-laden take on the Berliner that is so common in the U.S. right now, Stone White Ghost is not that.  It should not be, and the reason why is simple.  Think about it, Stone Brewing is making a Berliner Weisse . . . in Berlin.  They needed to produce a traditional take on the style – with just a touch of Stone Brewing flair – to be taken seriously in that region.  They did just that with this stellar Berliner Weisse, and we are now left itching to try anything and everything we can get our hands on from Stone Brewing – Berlin.  Prost!

 

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Stone Brewing Brings White Geist Berliner Weisse Stateside for a Limited Time

StoneBerlinerWeisse_GermanCANStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially announced that Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse will venture over from Germany to make its debut in the U.S. beginning this week.

Available in Europe as a Year-Round offering from Stone Brewing – Berlin, Stone White Geist is an authentic take on the Berliner Weisse-style that “gains its orthodox lightly sour and acidic character from a specially selected historic Lactobacillus strain sourced from Berlin’s cultures.”  Well . . . mostly authentic because you know Stone Brewing had to put its own twist on the style by raising the ABV a bit to 4.7%. Rounded off with newer German hop varieties (Calista and Hüll Melon), Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse’s “aroma leads with lemon, peach and melon and the unexpectedly bold and pleasantly refreshing tart flavor punches above its ABV weight.”

“As global participants in the craft beer community, Stone has the unique opportunity to share beers across locations, highlighting the different local and regional influences along the way,” stated Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder. “Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse features the work of our talented team at Stone Berlin, and we’re truly honored to be among Berlin’s craft brewers taking charge as the revivalists to help return this style to its former glory.”

Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse will debut in California beginning this week and a “broad national launch” will follow in the fall of this year.  Once fully released, you can expect to find this Limited Release available in 6-packs of 0.33l cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse from Stone Brewing

Release – Limited; California in May 2018, national this fall 
Style – Berliner Weisse
ABV – 4.7%
IBUs – 12
Featured Hops – Calista & Hüll Melon
Fun Fact – On the style’s history: “The Berliner Weisse is a style dating back to at least the 16th century, and to this day, European appellation labeling standards require that a beer must be brewed within the city of Berlin to call the beer a ‘Berliner Weisse.’ A complex sour beer, the style was once honored by Napoleon as the ‘Champagne of the North.’ It’s now enjoying a resurgence by small brewers in the US and elsewhere in the world, many of whom are creating amazing variations with fruit and other creative additives. As Stone deepens its roots in the city of Berlin, it seems only fitting that the team would take an interest in exploring the style in its purest and most authentic form.”
Availability – 6-packs of 0.33l cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready