This was originally posted to Let Us Drink Beer, a blog I (B. Kline) guest write for (about once a month). You can view the original article here: Let Us Drink Beer Blog: Beer Review: Esmeralda (Ministry of Brewing). I highly recommend checking out their blog. They are Georgia and Atlanta based and have a lot of great articles, especially if you are visiting that area of the country.
Onto the review:
Hello everyone, its me, B. Kline, from The Beer Thrillers back with another post (my usually monthly post). I took my daughter to the Baltimore Aquarium and we stopped at the Ministry of Brewing in Baltimore. A gorgeous former Cathedral turned brewery, that I had been seeing stuff about on Facebook and really wanted to check out. So I was originally going to do my brewery review for my post… but, felt it would be a bit too negative to do as a guest blog spot, so I’m doing a review of one of their beers instead. I did do a review of the brewery for my blog, which you can check out here: Brewery Review: Ministry of Brewing. Spoiler: I didn’t hate the place or the beer; just the service. But, please check out the review either way, after you’re done checking out the beer review here.
But let’s not dwell on the negatives and instead talk about the positives, like this delicious beer. So that’s why I decided to use this for my monthly guest blog spot on Let Us Drink Beer.
Brewery: Ministry of Brewing
Style: Sour – Berliner Weisse
Untappd Description: Refreshingly tart wheat ale.
They had a few variants of this through the usage of syrups; typical for Berliner Weisse’s. Some breweries will have the plain tap, and then add a cherry, or raspberry, or strawberry syrup to give it a different, more fruity flavor. I had just the original plain.
Appearance is exactly what you expect and what you are looking for in a berliner weisse. Wheat looking, ‘beer looking’ golden hued yellowish beer. A nice white thin lined foam to the head, so you know its well carbonated. Its got a good crisp, clean look that you want in a nice cold refreshing beer.
Aroma is a nice, ‘tart’ ‘funky’ smell. Pretty much once again spot-on or right on target for what berliner weisse’s and other similar style (farmhouse ales, saisons, etc.) should be. It has that distinct ‘sour’ smell, with the notes of wheat, hint of spices, and just a nice smell. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing unpleasant, nothing wrong.
Flavor is refreshing, tart, crisp, relaxed, and not too ‘lethal’ at 5%. They are definitely not lying, this is a refreshing, tart wheat ale. It’s not crazy puckering tart, but there is a nice, clean, crisp, refreshing, tartness to this that provides a nice flavor. Would be interesting to try this with the different syrups to see how much change there is and how much flavor those various syrups add to it. 5% is a great middle-road ABV that lets you enjoy several of these without it becoming overwhelming or too much; that refreshing area where you can have a few and still drive home safely, enjoying them out in the sun at a picnic or baseball game. I believe they had a cherry, strawberry, lime, and blue raspberry for their flavors (though I might be misremembering). I would be interested in trying the lime and blue raspberry (not a huge fan of cherry or strawberry).
I wanted to try several other beers from them, or at least one more, while there, and take another home with a growler, but unfortunately due to them not paying me attention even after being there over an hour, and having strict rules (due to COVID) about getting up, I wasn’t able to get anymore. But… I did really enjoy this beer. Hopefully their other beers are just as good. Maybe some day I’ll get back down to Baltimore and try them out.
As for this, Esmeralda is completely on point, hitting all of its marks. Nothing completely amazing, but does exactly what you want the beer to do, and thats far more than can be said about a lot of beers.
My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 3.62 (as of 8.20.20)
Please check out my full review of The Ministry of Brewing. And as always everyone, thanks for reading, and you can check out my blog – The Beer Thrillers – where Let Us Drink Beer also guest blogs and posts. So be sure to give us both some reads and shares and likes and follows, etc. We greatly appreciate it!
-The Beer Thrillers