Schell’s Scores with Berliner Weisse Series

Jim Lundstrom

This bowling pin of beer has been calling my name from the magic fridge for months now. 

A dreary, drizzly Sunday afternoon seemed the perfect time to uncork Apricot Vista, a Berlin-style wheat ale aged on apricots, one of the Noble Star Collection from the August Schell Brewing Co. of New Ulm, Minn. Turned out to be the perfect drink to brighten up the day.

This is a delicious Berliner Weisse, with a lovely sour apricot finish. I have to say the best beer I have had so far this year is a limited release sour beer called Ahna-Peach, from the Ahnapee Brewing Co. of Algoma, Wis.  Crisp, clear, refreshing, light and yet packing an impressive 8.5 percent punch – it’s an incredible beer that was almost gone when I had a single glass of it, so not much use waxing about its greatness.

So, in lieu of Ahna-Peach, I’ll take Apricot Vista. Aging this traditionally sour beer on apricots allows the sweet-tartness of the apricots to shine on the finish. The beer is the color of apricot juice.

The Noble Star Collection is a completely new direction for the 157-year-old brewery. They are creating Berliner Weisse-style sour beers that are aged in cypress wood lagering tanks that have been used since 1936 for the production of Schell’s Deer Brand American lager.

The apricot version was released in 2016. The list of what they’ve made so far in this series will make your mouth water ¬– Black Forest cherry, blackberry, gooseberry, dark malt (instead of the traditional pale barley and wheat), rye, peach, Marzen-style and lager-style.

I would suggest buying whichever of these sour beauties you can find.