Total Score: 7.9/10
This is one brew I’ve been looking out for as it was (for a while) the highest rated Aussie beer on BeerAdvocate, and a Berliner Weissbier – a style I had yet to try. Let’s talk about Berliner Weissbier: They are quite an oddity in the beer world as they’re top fermented (i.e. Ales) that have that cold refreshing sensibility of a Lager, with a mouth puckering tart/sour slant (like a Gueuze which is a Lambic beer), and around 3% ABV (that’s mid-strength territory there). Another thing to note is that they’re traditionally served with a syrup to cut through the sourness: “Himbeere” (or raspberry) and “Waldmeister” (or woodruff).
Poured from tap into a Schooner (425ml glass).
A: Cloudy pale straw, almost white body, with a thin white lace on top. Bang on for the style. 8/10.
S: The nose is interesting with what I perceived to be white pepper with notes of Watermelon and sour acidic candy. I say “perceived” as none of the other reviews I’ve read on this picked up on the white pepper, maybe my nose is off? 7/10.
T: Remarkable mix of sour candy acidity (which is quite tart but not overbearing like the Lindemans Kriek Cuvée René), white pepper, and a hint of Watermelon at the back. Finish is a touch spicy and reasonably sour. There is a vinous white wine note in there as well. I’m not blown away with watermelon, it hints but it never really gets to be more of a hint, oh well. 8/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a medium carbonation. A lot more body than I was expecting given the ABV, top marks to Feral. 9/10.
D: Both oddly refreshing and not at the same time. I’m not however sold on how high it is rated on BeerAdvocate though. Hop Hog definitely still the best offering from Feral, this is just a nice eccentric Ale, like a gentleman wearing golf trousers at a yachting luncheon. If Feral did decide to make this beer readily available I would definitely recommend it for a typical hot Australian summer day (35 Celsius aka 95 Fahrenheit). 8/10.
Food match: Seafood or pasta with creamy sauces would make an intriguing pairing with this brew, the sour and vinous notes will cut through almost any cuisine on offer though.