Style: Berliner weisse with fruit
Brewery: Friends Company
To give the tasting some variation, I knew I wanted to have at least one sour beer in the line-up. I remember one sour beer being particularly popular a few tastings back, so I decided to choose a beer from the same series. Friends Company was founded in 2016 and based in Helsingborg. This is the most recent release in their Smoojee series of beers, with this version produced using blackcurrant, blackberries and sea salt. Berliner Weisse is a style of beer that rose to prominence in Northern Germany in the 16th century, characterized with a tart taste, cloudy appearance and traditionally around 5%. If I’m honest though, this is quite far away from a traditional Berliner Weisse so I would say it is that style in name only. One sip of this though proved that success wasn’t just a one time occurrence for this brewery, as this was just as good as the previous beer.
It was deep red to purple when poured, with a lovely candyfloss pink head that held well. It was noticed that the beer was much thicker as it got to the end of the pour, so it is definitely a beer you want to invert a few times before pouring. The carbonation was medium to high and coated the glass on the inside like a real smoothie. This clearly had a massive amount of fruit in it, as the aromas that emanated from the glass were strong and pungent. Big juicy blueberry and blackberry notes sprung from the glass, coupled with raspberry, redcurrant, cherry and a dash of salt that came through lastly. Upon sipping, you could easily mistake this for a “health” smoothie, with the alcohol nowhere to be found. In its place was a mountain of red and blue fruits, with a lovely acidity backing up the jam like qualities to the beer. It was so thick it was almost chewy! The fruit tasted fresh and not artificial, and these fresh notes carried on into the aftertaste, along with the salt edge also again making an appearance.
This was absolutely delightful. Massive, fresh berry notes coupled with a balancing sour hit that never became overpowering. The price is maybe a bit steep for some, but I would pay it to enjoy this again sometime. I look forward to seeing if I can find a few more beers from this series in the near future!