Summer School #3: Wheat Beers.

20 Jul

Purely in the interests of academic integrity, I spent a little time out and about this weekend. The subject: Wheat Beers.  A Wheat Beer is a beer that has a significant portion of their malt grain wheat (30% to 70%) The Naked Pint tells us that wheat beers all share a few characteristics, “Wheat has a lot more protien than barley, which contributes a cloudy haze, and creates a thick, long-lasting head”

So, we start with the most popular style of wheat beer, a Hefeweizen. A Hefeweizen is a majorly wheaty beer (50% -70%) with a special yeast strain left unfiltered. I went with Weihenstephaner’s Hefe Weissbier:


Here’s what I came up with.

Appearance: Medium gold color, hazy. Big foamy head (the photo is after it calmed down a little!)

Aroma: I could smell the unfiltered yeast first, then a citrusy/fruitiness, and then something with a bit of a spice. Not a SPCIY spice, but something clove-y.

Texture: It was definately a creamier texture, with a little little driness, and a good amount of carbonated tingle.

Aftertaste: fruity, banana, clove (go, nose!) and a slight tang after.

Overall: I’ve had hefeweizens before, so I kind of thought I knew what to expect going in, but I was wrong! Up until now, I’d always been served a hefe with a big old lemon or orange wedge, and although fruit is delicious, it definitely masked a lot of the flavors going on in this beer. But now, knowing the different flavors that can come out in this beer, I’ll never use a lemon again!

And the second half of the Wheat Beer lesson moves us along to Witbiers. Witbiers, I guess are basically the same as Hefe’s in the sense that they’re unfiltered, made with wheat malt, and light in color. But unlike Hefeweizens, they don’t stick to the purity laws of the good old Reinheitsgebot (google it). 

On Saturday I went to Toronado and got a Konings Hoeven Witbierimage:  

Since I forgot my trustly little notebook, I don’t have the best notes. Oops. Here’s what I DO have:

Aroma: Fruity and quite spicy.

Appearance: yellow, hazy, lots of carbonation.

Body/texture: tingly with a creamy texture.

Aftertaste: something spicy, and a lot of fruitiness.

Lets see what Tasting Beer says should have been apparent: I should have smelled spicy yeast, with subtle notes of orange and coriander; noticed a milkshake texture that’s a touch dry. Hmmm…

Also, because I wasn’t an A+ student with my note taking I did some extra curriculars:

-Alpine Nelson

-Green Flash Matt’s Bitter

-Russian River Pliny the Elder

-Green Flash 30th St. Pale Ale

-Ommegang Hennepin


-Alesmith Horny Devil:

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