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Happiest Hour: Draught Works' Berliner Weisse

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What you’re drinking: About two weeks ago, Draught Works debuted one of its zanier seasonals to date. The “Ich bin ein Berliner” Weisse is a yeasty, citrusy little wheat beer with an ABV of 3.6 percent and a backstory firmly rooted in the beer gardens of Germany’s capital city. But it’s not the pleasant start-to-finish tartness of the Berliner Weisse that separates it from the rest of Draught Works’ seasonal line. It’s what happens after the pour ...
ALEX SAKARIASSEN
  • Alex Sakariassen

A fruity flair:
During Berliner Weisse’s 19th century heyday as the most popular alcoholic beverage in Berlin, establishments would typically tame the brew’s sour side with either a raspberry- or woodruff-flavored syrup—sort of the beer world’s answer to the Italian soda. The story is no different today at Draught Works, where drinkers have the option of cutting their Berliner Weisse with raspberry syrup. One shot turns an already splendid pint of sour into the kind of sweet, effervescent brew ideal for hot summer afternoons. You can drink it straight, of course, but that wouldn’t be the most conventional choice. “When I was in Germany,” says brewer Adam Bulson, “I ordered it without syrup and I got weird looks.”

Just the beginning: The “Ich bin ein Berliner” Weisse not only revives a once-storied style for the benefit of Missoula beer palates, it also marks the first in a series of forthcoming sours from Draught Works. The popularity of sour beers nationwide has been trending up in recent years, and Montana breweries like Carter’s and Flathead Lake have already caught on. Next up at Draught Works will be a sour brown ale, Bulson says. Until then, the Berliner Weisse should hold out for another month.

Where to get it: Draught Works is located at 915 Toole Ave.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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