Coppertail is no stranger to creating innovative versions of the Sunshine State’s beloved style of beer, the Florida Weisse. For those of you that have never heard the term, it’s our (Florida’s) take on the traditional Berliner Weisse style.
Berliners are an age old, tart, German wheat beer that traditionally served with sweet, flavored syrups. The syrups, typically woodruff or raspberry, are added to cut the sourness and as a result add color. Serve it up in a large glass referred to as a “bowl” and top it off with a straw … yep, a straw.
Florida brewers have taken this concept to a new level. We are not adding syrup (no straws either), the beers are aged on fresh fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables. This gives each combination a unique fruit flavor and in some cases brilliant vibrant colors.
We have used ingredient combinations like guava/passionfruit, mango/key lime, cucumber/lemon, cara cara/hibiscus and blueberry/habanero. The possibilities are endless.
We’ll brew 50 barrels of our base Berliner (Dangerous Frank) at a time and break that down into a few 10 barrel batches with different treatments. We’ll break them down even further and keep layering flavors or treat the base with its own ingredients. This is how we are able to keep such a wide variety of them available in the tasting room at all times.
We’ve asked a few members of our staff what their favorite Florida Weisse recipes were and why.
Casey Hughes, Brewmaster
“Whoops or Let it Lingor … Whoops because “Happy Accident” was too big for a tap handle. Whoops was supposed to be another beer altogether, but I pumped Berliner into the treatment keg by accident and it came out great (note: Coppertail continues to make Whoops on a regular basis and distributes it in Florida and Philly). Let it Lingor is made from lingonberries. We are across the street from an Ikea. We have to make a Lingonberry beer when you are across from an Ikea.”
Matthew McKinnon, Brewer
“Slappy … Strawberry, dragon fruit and grapefruit. This combo smells and looks like fruit punch. The red dragon fruit gives it it’s color. You can’t really peg either fruit. It’s a weird combination of things that turn out different than you think.”
Michael Lukacina, Brewer
“Pie ‘Til I Die or Guava Pasteles … Pie ‘Til I Die is a cool combo of mango, lime and coconut that just screams Florida. Guava Pasteles because it’s a play off of the Guava Pastries you can get at all the Cuban delis in Tampa. Lots of vanilla, raspberry and guava. Was also cool because we made it exclusively for a local bottle shop called Jug & Bottle Dept.”
Tyler Sankey, Packaging Lead
“Seasons Greetings …. Cherry, vanilla, oak and cinnamon. It’s real Christmas-y and tasty.”
Kevin Kearny, Packaging Team Member
“I Lychee Hot or Mango Hot Pepper … I like the way that the spicy plays off the sour. It makes for a great combination with the addition of sweet mango.”
Gary Kost, Marketing Director
Jessica Lindholm, Event Coordinator / Assistant tasting Room Manager
“Kiwi Khaleesi … Kiwi, passionfruit and dragon fruit. It was delicious. The color was amazing and the name is wonderful!”
About Coppertail Brewing Company
Coppertail Brewing Co is a production brewery and tasting room in the Ybor neighborhood of Tampa, FL. It was founded by local home-brewer and reformed attorney, Kent Bailey, and professional brewer, Casey Hughes in 2014 out of a desire to bring more quality, Florida-brewed beer to the thirsty masses.
Florida Inspired, Tampa Brewed.
Visit the Coppertail taproom and take a tour. For more information visit and to follow on social, check out CoppertailBrewing.com.