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Freigeist Bierkultur Pimock Rhineland Hefeweizen

Where in Town: Pizzeria Paradiso, 2003P St. NW

Price: $12/500 ml

Deutschland Über Alles?

Try to name a place on the planet where you can’t find a German-style Pilsener. The county has had a profound influence on the beer world. Yet most Germans—braumeisters and beer guzzlers alike—seem impervious to evolving ideas about what beer can be. But the “free thinkers” at Freigeist and dozens of like-minded brewers are reinterpreting or even ignoring the Reinheitsgebot, a purity law that prohibits putting fruit, spices, and other nonessential ingredients in beer. It seems a revolution is brewing in the Fatherland.


The natives of Cologne, Germany, have a name for an outsider who tries to speak the local slang: Pimock. The pejorative is also what one of the city’s only non-Kölsch breweries calls its take on a beer brought to the Rhineland from the south. A tall glass of freshly poured Pimock has a typical Bavarian wheat beer’s cloudy, caramel appearance complete with a thick, foamy head. But with more hops and a Kölsch yeast, this poseur shook off the banana and clove characteristics of its roots. The unique brew has a nutty wheat bread flavor that is clean, dry, and a little tart—a surprise some may find hard to stomach if expecting a more traditional hefeweizen.

Photo by Tammy Tuck