While you might be tempted to fill your cooler with traditional Lager style beers this fall, we recommend you opt for two wilder German styles instead: Berliner Weisse and Gose.
Berliner Weisse is a wheat beer, lightly soured with Lactobacillus bacteria, with low levels of alcohol and hops. The crisp and refreshing brew was extremely popular in the 19th century when nearly 700 breweries were producing it in Berlin alone. Meanwhile, Gose (pronounced "GO-suh") is the wheatier, meatier and sometimes funkier cousin of Berliner Weisse. The style went extinct in the mid-20th century, but was resuscitated in the 1980s. Gose traditionally includes a light addition of salt and coriander.
This fall, Bay Area brewers are updating these traditional German styles by including a wide variety of stone fruits, berries, herbs and spices and you're likely to see both Berliner Weisse and Gose popping up all over local menus this fall. Here's where to sip some of our favorites.
Berliner Weisse Brews
21st Amendment is currently brewing their first Berliner Weisse, Golden Sunshine, in collaboration with Florida-based Cigar City Brewing. The brew will include Lactobacillus bacteria to provide sourness, 200 pounds of Valencia oranges for citrus notes, and Citra hops to enhance the orange essence. The draft-only beer will be be tapped on October 5th, exclusively at 21A in San Francisco and select locations. // 563 2nd St. (SoMa), 21st-amendment.com
Old Bus Tavern brewmaster Ben Buchanan is working on a unique Berliner Weisse that will be available in mid September. Expect a dry, light-bodied and tart ale, soured with lactobacillus and generously dry hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon to give it fruity notes of mandarin orange and honeydew. // 3193 Mission St. (Mission), oldbustavern.com
1809 Berliner Weisse by Prof Fritz Briem
Healthy Spirits manager Angus Higgins recommends this classic German-brewed Berliner Weisse afor all your fall activities. The cloudy, straw-colored brew has a milky, rustic and tart aroma mixed with lemon citrus. A refreshing and lively mouthfeel meets a soft sweet wheat flavor and finishes with a tart bite. Pick up a case at Healthy Spirits in the Castro. // 1042 Clement St. (Castro), healthyspiritssf.com
The Kimmie, The Yink and The Holy Gose
Anderson Valley Brewing makes several Gose style beers every year. This year's thirst quencher boasts a light mineral aroma with a hint of lemon zest and tropical fruit. The finish is tangy, dry, effervescent, and lemony. We're digging the name too. // 17700 Hwy. 253 (Boonville), avbc.com
Salty Dog Gose
Local Brewing's take on the traditional Gose includes a hint of pink Himalayan salt and a touch of seasonal tart cherry to create a light, crisp brew with a lingering finish of pithy grapefruit. Get it while you still can! The beer has been very popular and the last few kegs are on tap now. // 69 Bluxome St. (Mission Bay), localbrewingcom
Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Gose
If you're looking for something more authentic, Angus Higgins also recommended this classic German-brewed Gose for its strong aroma of bright lemon, floral coriander, and briny sea spray. The refreshingly dry beer is only slightly tart and carries a little bit of malty sweetness to back it up. // 1042 Clement St. (Castro), healthyspiritssf.com
Sierra Nevada Brewing puts a crazy California spin on the traditional Gose this fall by adding a local blend of native-grown prickly pear cactus and grapefruit. The result is a slightly sweet yet tangy brew you won't want to miss. // 1075 East 20th St. (Chico), sierranevada.com