Origin: Berlin, Germany
Date: 2 October 2000
Another review from the archive written for the pioneering Oxford Bottled Beer Database (OBBD). I’ve left it uncorrected — so please read it in that historical spirit. For an update on the fate of the brewery since this was published, see the Waldmeister review mentioned below. Of course the reason aspartame is used rather then real sugar is because using the latter would risk an unwanted further fermentation in this unfiltered beer.
This is a ready-mixed combination of the sour low-gravity Berlin style of wheat beer with its traditional additive, a flavoured syrup. It’s a companion product to the bright green Waldmeister variety reviewed elsewhere on the database with considerable background detail, and many of the same remarks apply, though in this case the flavouring is raspberry – also a popular addition to beers from other parts of the world, and with good reason.
The perfumed dryness of the fruit is a very good match for the characteristics of beer in general, and proves a particularly welcome combination with the sour, thin base beer found here. This version exhibits the same curious barley-sugar aroma noted in the Waldmeister, but it’s less cloyingly sweet than its green cousin and the distinctive sourness comes through much more clearly as a result; the raspberry flavour is aromatic and subtle and overall the product (which according to the Reinheitsgebot cannot actually be labelled a beer) is much less soft-drink like.
Interestingly, the ‘syrup’ used in both this and the Waldmeister turns out to be sweetened with aspartame rather than real sugar: I don’t know if this is for economic reasons or to make the beer more attractive to kilojoule-counters. I’m so used to the stuff in soft drinks that I didn’t bat an eyelid at its presence here, but purists and those prone to health-scare panics might object.