We’ve talked plenty about the new, well, everything of the re-launched Berghoff: much-need splashes of color on the labels, new beer names and even a new contract brewer. The one thing we haven’t talked about yet is what Berghoff’s beer tastes like.
Berghoff’s new lineup consists of five year-round beers, two seasonals and an initial offering from their Uberbier series. We got our hands on the five everyday offerings, a seasonal and a Uber and can report back, with some degree of certainty, that the beers definitely have changed. Some for the better, others not so much.
Dortwunder Lager: This might be the most approachable of the offerings and the one I would happily get again. Floral hops in the aroma, a crisp body with touches of honey and cracked pepper finished off with a grassy hop notes. Pairs well with a muggy summer night.
Germaniac Pale Ale: Berghoff revived a long-dormant style to create the first beer in its Uberbier series. The nose is accented by honeydew and mint. Crisp apple hits the palate along with a touch of honey and some grassy hops. There’s molasses in there and it adds a wrinkle that is slightly out-of-place.
Sir Dunkle Dark: I so badly wanted this to be like the Berghoff Dark I blandly enjoyed over a decade ago, but it wasn’t. Burnt toast aroma, homemade root beer consistency with notes of dark cherries and plums. The label says Dunkle but the style is more like an Altbier. Perhaps, Sir, you are a bit too complex for your own good?
Reppin’ Red: Quite possibly the most balanced of the bunch, Reppin’ Red employs a pleasant carbonation to stir up flavors of caramel, toffee and a piney hop bitterness. A hat tip to the rye for creating a finish that is spicy and dry.
Solstice Wit: Classic Wit beer; orange peel and soggy dishcloth on the nose, lemonade, oranges and coriander on the palate. Voted most likely to drink like you would expect it to.
Straight-Up Hefe-Weizen: If I am to take the name of this beer literally, that this is a legit Hefeweizen, then it’s a tad deceiving. Hefe it partly is, straight-up it is not. Sure, it has the signature cloudy appearance with banana and clove aromas and flavors, but the tradition stops there. The body is a bit watery throughout, as opposed to creamy, and the finish is lackluster. Perhaps I am being too harsh, after all I do like my Hefe’s very Hefe-y.
Overall, a fairly solid rollout for the historic — and some would argue — obsolete Berghoff label. We weren’t blown away by the offerings, but I am not sure that is what they were going for with this re-branding. Most of the beers are approachable and their label art sets them apart just enough that an adventurous beer drinker who is just dipping their toes into the craft beer waters would give it a try.