Sourheads, make note: May 10 has been announced as the date for third installment of the infamous sour beer festival known as the Berliner Bash, or Floridaweisse Bash, as it's becoming known.
In a change from previous iterations, the festival will be held at Green Bench Brewing in downtown St. Petersburg (only a couple of hours away). It had previously been held at Peg's Cantina in Gulfport.
For those who look quizzically at the term "Berliner" or "Berliner weisse," it's a soured wheat beer of low alcohol content that was a popular drink in 19th-century Prussia, and, as the name implies, Berlin. The "Florida weisse" style takes this traditional beer recipe and adds fruit to the later stages of conditioning, giving a hugely tropical spin on the otherwise supertart and acidic brew.
Jonathan Wakefield, one of the brewers behind the fruited sour beer trend, is a major player in this festival. In fact, the date couldn't be finalized because of looming equipment arrivals at his under construction brewery in the Wynwood district of Miami. If all goes to plan, then this west coast festival will be the first for the independent and newly opened brewery.
While details have yet to be announced, I wouldn't expect it to be any different from in the past: an open festival with a pay-by-the-pour ticket system. If that is still the case, expect about $4 for an eight-ounce pour, and bring cash for your purchases.
Last year, festival participants included Cycle Brewing, J Wakefield Brewing, 7th Sun Brewing, Cigar City Brewing, Funky Buddha, Rapp Brewing, Gravity Brewlab, Intuition Ale Works, Proof Brewing, Angry Chair Brewing, and Green Room Brewing.
Expect some of the new standards of Floridaweisse (the neon-pink-colored Dragonfruit Passionfruit and the guava-based Miami Madness), including all manner of sours, wild ales, and all the funky stuff.
Green Bench Brewing is located at 1133 Baum Ave. N. in downtown St. Petersburg. If you're a sour fan, it's a great excuse to make a trip out to the Tampa area.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.
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