Krazy Pucker Berliner Weissbier
Single 500mL bottle, 3.6%
Purchased at the brewery, Stratford – Thanks Shaun!
Look at that picture! Talk about “Champagne of the North!” If I’ve had 1,000 beers in my lifetime, this may be the lightest-colored one of all. It just looks “krazy.” Upon seeing it, my wife asked, “What the hell is that? Is that beer?”
And really, as with all Berliner Weisses, I was forced to say, “sorta.” I mean, of course it’s beer. But it’s a very different kind of beer. And, more importantly, it is a very different type of beer for Two Roads to put out.
To which I say, bravo! We know the head brewer in Stratford knows what he’s doing. Phil Markowski is a bit of a legend in the New York/Connecticut beer world. Two Roads is sort of the culmination of the guy’s life-long career in brewing. So for the first year of the brewery’s existence, I’ve been sort of waiting and wondering when his true skills would start to show themselves.
They did a bit with the No Limit hef. And they did with the Worker’s Comp Saison. Would they with an oft-botched style like a Berliner?
Two Roads says:
Once produced exclusively around Berlin and dubbed the “Champagne of the North” by Napoleon’s troops, Berliner Weissbiers are wheat based sour beers that are tart, low alcohol and refreshing.
That’s all true, though I haven’t really researched if Napoleon’s troops actually said that. But let’s pretend they did.
The tight champagne bubbles are here. They practically tickled my nose. No hops, no malts, just straight wheat and slight lemon. I wouldn’t call it pungent, but the aroma is definitely strong – but good.
This isn’t a bad effort, but something is amiss. The bones of a Berliner are here. Actually, the bones of a true, classic Berliner are here. Super low ABV, light, drinkable – dare I say, refreshing? And it would be a great bear if not for… something.
Too much buttery diacetyl? Maybe that was it. Two Roads has been guilty of rushing their beers before, and this would be one outcome of a rush job. Note: I did drink my bottle within two weeks of release, so it’s not like it’s my fault.
I’m not even sure that’s what it was, but something was flawed here. Something beyond the $10 price, which let’s face it, was ridiculous. If this wasn’t a “limited release,” and it was distributed like a typical Two Roads beer, it would be half that price – or they would sit for months on the shelves.
And therein lies the usual Two Roads marketing genius. Only bottle 690 of these things, jack the price up to absurd heights… and sell them out in a few hours. Gotta love it.
(All the while, superior Berliners ARE sitting on shelves in stores for far, far less money.)
And yet, Two Roads marches on, crushing everyone in the marketing arena . So there’s that.
Overall Rating: C
Rating vs. Similar style: C-