Archive for the 'Hefeweizen' category
Honestly, we don’t do too much with the folks at Shiner. I mean, I like their Bock – it was one of the earlier good American beers I got into. They also make a decent dunkelweizen. This is the first time I’ve tried out there hefe – during these hot summer months, you really can’t beat a good wheat beer, so I took a few of these to a cook-out recently and saved one for the site.
This one pours a hazy yellowish golden color with a dense white head that is surprisingly healthy and long-lasting for a wheat beer. The aroma is fairly, rich – chock full of clove and banana with some sweeter yeasty tints. In the mouth, I’m surprised at how flavorful this stuff is. There is a lot of yeast, giving this a sweet and syrupy mouthfeel at times. In addition, there is a ton of banana – a trait that some would say indicates an imperfect wheat beer, but I’m liking it. There is a decent amount of spice here, going along with that clove aroma. Also, there’s a good shot of citrus, though it tends to take the back seat here. All in all, it’s a decent wheat beer. It isn’t quite as refined as some, and it honestly reminds me of a couple of homebrew wheats we’ve made here at SevenPack Central. However, for the price and availability, this is a pretty killer summer beer…
Next up from our Magic Hat shipment is the Odd Notion offering for Summer ’09. This one appears to be a hefeweizen to me, which is usually a good thing. However, let’s let the taste speak for itself. Here’s a word or two from Matt, Dave, and I:
This one pours a slightly cloudy light golden color with a dense white head. The aroma is very nice, carrying hints of banana and a wheaty/yeasty sweetness. In the mouth, this is certainly a hefeweizen. There are heavy notes of banana here, and the yeast complement is strong enough to be noticed, but well-balanced enough to not be overpowering. It is extremely flavorful, with a solid wheaty backbone, but washes relatively clean, leaving the palate refreshed but with some solid banana notes in the aftertaste. Frankly, this is one of the best Magic Hat beers I’ve had. I love a hefeweizen, and this is a tasty one – perfect as the weather begins to heat up in NC…
Alright another Odd Notion! I have really enjoyed the Odd Notion line in the past. They tend to be a little different, opening one’s pallet to different things, but enjoyable too. The Odd Notion pours almost champagne in color, if not a little richer in amber-golden color. Continuing along the “champagne” characteristics, the white head dissipates quickly to nothing, but large bubbles continue to course through the beer’s body. In the nose I am reminded of sweet white wine, along with a mixture of wheat and yeast. Intriguing combination to say nothing else. In the mouth the beer is slightly syrupy feeling on the tongue. A light pilsner like malt grabs the tongue to being with, with a flavor progression to banana sweetness, wheat and yeast. Washes clean with little aftertaste. More complex then the Wacko and I like that. Again another good spring or summer drink. I would reach for this one over the Wacko.
We all know I’m a sucker for Stoudt’s lately. So, needless to say, I was excited to see Stoudt’s summer seasonal wheat beer hit shelves. It doesn’t get much better on a summer day than a good ol’ Bavarian hefe. I can’t wait to see what Stoudt’s has done with the genre.
This brew pours a hazy white golden color with substantial residual debris and a dense, pillowy white head. In the nose, there’s a gigantic sweet yeast note along with some light hints of citrus and banana – a huge aroma for a wheat beer, and quite rich. In the mouth, this contains the typical Bavarian hefe flavors in spades. There is an initial yeasty sweetness on the tongue that enriches itself with banana richness and clove spiciness around the center of the mouth, balancing itself with some light lemon sourness. Down the back of the tongue, we catch some richer light malt flavors, ending with an aftertaste that is primarily banana and yeast. All in all, a delicious beer, and richer than many of the genre. In addition, the mouthfeel is silky, the beer coating the tongue and sides of the mouth, leaving you with tons of flavor even after the beer is long gone. This surely isn’t an ‘imperial’ in alcohol content, but I’d be willing to give it that label on flavor alone. This is delicious, refreshing, and as blatantly flavorful as the biggest of this genre.
Hefeweizens, specifically those from the folks at Franziskaner, were probably my gateway into ‘good beer culture’. When in Germany, and subsequently in the States, I would seek out Franziskaner brews like a pig after truffles. That got me started figuring out a few other genres, and the disease quickly spread over the next several years until, now, when I’ve probably enjoyed over 1000 different beers in my day. So, needless to say, there’s a special place in my heart for these brews. Whenever I spot a new one, I gotta try it… Immediately. So, I found the Miltenberger at Brawley’s in Charlotte, NC during a recent visit and made a quick impulse by.
The Miltenberger pours a lovely light golden color full of fine, dense debris and a thick, pillowy white head that sticks around for quite some time after the pour. The aroma of this brew is light and sweet. It is almost flowery in it’s sweet subtleness, but contains light tints of citrus, as well. In the mouth, this beer is a pleasure beginning to end. At the tip of the tongue, there’s a tiny carbonation burn that’s just enough to give this beer a little pizazz. On through the mouth, the citrus develops slowly into a subtle but tasty flavor that is almost like a lemon drop. It gets all the great bits of sweet citrus zest without any of the sour rind. Furthermore, this beer has a silky smooth mouthfeel that coats the tongue and walls of the mouth, really spreading the flavor around. Down the throat, this beer hits us once more with a big burst of lemon zest and some flavors of yeast before going down the throat, the flavor gradually diminishing during the next several seconds. The flavor of this one is akin to the Wittekerke, which I early dubbed the “world’s best beach beer”. Well, Wittekerke will hold onto that title only because it comes in a can. However, I really think the Miltenberger takes the cake for flavor. It’s delicious, subtle, and has no negatives for me. I DO think there are better hefes out there, but this is the best I’ve had in many months.
Everybody who’s anybody knows that I love a good weiss beer. Hacker-Pschorr is a weiss that I drank a fair amount of during my European travels, but not one that I see frequently in the States. However, when I see it, I’m inclined to have a sip.
This one pours a hazy deep golden color with a fairly luscious white head, for a wheat beer. The aroma of this is considerably richer than most weiss beers – it contains small hints of sweet citrus, but also brings a notable aroma of warm banana. In the mouth, this is also a bit richer than you might expect from a weiss. When I think of most weiss beers, I think of sharp citrus, sweet wheat flavors, and a crisp refreshing finish. This, however, leaves the citrus flavors in the background and instead presents flavors of banana and butter. This, combined with a thicker mouthfeel and a texture that coats the mouth with it’s decadent rich sweetness, makes for what I would consider more of a dessert weiss than anything. It is fairly refreshing, but it’s thick mouthfeel and warmer flavors means that it won’t be quite so pleasant on a hot summer day. However, on a balmy Detroit night, it actually hits the spot pretty well. Definitely a good beer to try out if you’re looking for a weiss of a different breed.
Today we’re doing part II of the Hefeweizen tasting – this time a Bavarian take on the genre. Personally, I’m much more into the Bavarian. So, even though this is an American-brewed beer, I expect I’ll be more satisfied by this than I was yesterday’s brew.
The Flying Dog pours a hazy dark golden color with a very meager wispy white head. The aroma of this has a mild level of citrus but is mostly concerned with a heavy yeasty scent. I’ve tried my damndest to describe this yeasty scent to people in the past, but I really don’t think you can get it until you’ve tried a good Bavarian-style hefeweizen. It’s a unique aroma – sweet and full and it can have some banana hints – but it has characteristics that I just can’t attach to anything else, so I’ll quit trying. Anyway, this beer has that. In the mouth, this beer is immediately bigger and ‘warmer’ than it’s American counterpart, and I don’t mean temperature wise. To me, there is an interesting fullness and hearty mouthfeel to these Bavarian versions that beats out the crisper and more metallic Americans. The first flavor is just a mild sweet malt. Soon thereafter, we’re hit with a big dose of that malty flavor, including a decent dose of banana-like sweetness. The banana here isn’t too heavy, which is generally good. This flavor can be the result of a too-warm fermentation and can occasionally be overwhelming. However, in a small dose like we have here, it adds a lot to the beer. On through the mouth, we get a slight bit of citrus before the beer disappears, leaving a sweet and lightly syrupy flavor at the back of the throat. This beer doesn’t have near the citrus levels of yesterday’s Sam Adams version. I consider this a good attribute, as I like my Hefeweizens with a slice of orange (or lemon), and I think a citrusy beer plus a citrus fruit can be a bit much – I prefer to let the fruit handle that by itself. This is a pretty decent take on the genre, although a bit darker and a bit more syrupy than some versions I’ve tried. Nevertheless, I must admit to liking this much better than the Sam Adams Hefeweizen yesterday. But, as I’ve said, this is less about the quality of the beer and more about a style preference. Both good beers, but I’ll always reach for the Bavarian…
Just a couple of days ago, Matty alluded to the fact that I may have a good grasp on the difference between an American and Bavarian style Hefeweizen. Well, I don’t know that I’m such a grand judge on this topic. But, I was just at the beer store and bought a sixer of each style, which I’ll be reviewing tonight and tomorrow night. Soooo, if you’re interested, these may indicate a couple of those differences, from the point of view of some kid who pretends to know a thing or two about beer.
This Sam Adams brew is from the ever-changing “Brewmaster’s Collection”, and it pours a hazy unfiltered golden color with a resilient thin white head. The aroma of this brew is sweet with light malts and has a pronounced lemon zest aroma – overall very crisp and pleasing. In the mouth, this beer has a medium level of carbonation. It immediately gives us a tart lemon flavor on the tongue that makes me want to pucker up just a bit. However, the lemon zest is almost immediately met by a soft and sweet malty flavor that brings this down to a medium level of sweetness that is a little reminiscent of a sweet lemon candy. Around the back of the mouth, we do get a dose of hop – it’s not a big serving, but it’s enough to toss a bit of metallic bitterness into the blend, making this fairly complex for a hefeweizen. Down the throat, the lemon essentially disappears, leaving only the flavor of a sweet nickel, or put otherwise, a metallic flavor that rides on top of the remaining bready sweetness. Overall, this is a pretty decent beer. It’s not really my cup of tea, but I’ve always been an advocate of the Bavarian style. For an American, though, it’s complex and crisp and refreshing, but it also has a rather full mouthfeel and enough substance to give it some punch.
Up next from the Summer Vacation Mix is the UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen. Anyone wanna take a guess at how this was made? Hmmm…let’s see, take the original UFO, throw some raspberries in the pot and voila’, you have an unfiltered fruit beer.
This beer is the same color as a grapefruit. The head on this pour was much less pronounced and didn’t add to the aesthetics of the glass. It smells like raspberries; nothing more, nothing less. The taste is bitter, sweet and carbonated. If you’ve ever had raspberry flavored seltzer water you’ve had this beer. I generally don’t mind fruit beers but for some reason this one is just not sitting well. It’s not refreshing, and I certainly couldn’t drink more than one at a time. If you don’t like the taste of beer then you hate America and you could possibly get into this brew and enjoy it. But I’m having a hard time finding any beer qualities, other than alcohol content, and thus can’t recommend this to any true beer lover or anyone that has testicles. I don’t mean to be sexist but any man that brings a sixer of this to a party should be forced to put on a skirt immediately.
So Ben’s not the only one that can buy a variety pack. This “Summer Vacation Mix” is compiled of the Harpoon IPA, the UFO Hefeweizen (aka Unfiltered Offering), the Raspberry Hefeweizen, and the Summer Ale. Harpoon has quite an eclectic production, from their “grocery store” offerings to their more unique microbrew-style beers such as their 100 barrel series. I guess it’s important to establish a solid foundation for revenue purposes and then branch out and entice the more critical, beer-snobbish crowd. I believe this is what Sam Calagione set out to do with Dogfish Head but now everything they make is so off the wall that it is almost cliche’ and to be honest I would be more surprised if he made something simple than if he made beer out of old tires and jolly ranchers. That being said Harpoon generally makes a good product and thus I think it’s appropriate to delve into their more common selections.
I would have bet my life that we had already reviewed the IPA, I thought during an IPA challenge, so I didn’t save one for the purposes of critiquing it. But alas I didn’t check the site before drinking the last one so you’ll just have to wait for my opinion on that one for a little while longer.
Thus that brings us to the UFO hefe. When we visited the brewery during our beercation last year I believe the hosts told us this was one, if not, the most purchased of all Harpoon beers. It’s an unfiltered wheat beer and as such pours a hazy golden yellow. The head is frothy and quite significant although I can’t say the same for the color. It does has the characteristics of an unfiltered brew but the hue isn’t nearly as deep as I have seen from similar hefeweizens. It’d more of a pale gold than I would have imagine. The smell is critrusy but not overly sweet, with lemon taking precedence over the orange peel and corriander. The taste is riddled with malty sweetness that mellows as it moves through the mouth. In the end you are left with a zesty and bitter lemon flavor complimented by the underlying hop additives. It is sharp, light and easily drinkable. I’m not as in tune to the difference between the Bavarian and American hefe as my blogging counterpart but I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is of the American variety. I may be totally off base but it doesn’t have the bold, rich flavoring that I like in, say, a Franziskaner or Ayinger. This beer is pleasing to the palate and would be very appropriate for social gathering but you could certainly go elsewhere for a better interpretation.
Second up in this month’s batch from the Beer of the Month Club is an Ur-Weisse from Germany that I’ve not yet seen or tried. It’s no secret that I’m a giant fan of the Bavarian wheat varieties – they’re one of my consistent favorites – so I’m mighty excited to give this bad boy a try.
The Bischoff pours a typical hazy mellow gold (note the Beck reference) with a very thin white head that quickly dissipates, but sticks moderately to the sides of the glass. The aroma of this beer is pretty typical Bavarian wheat, with the exception of an interesting sourish paper pulp aroma. I know that this might sound a bit odd, and it is. There are all the trappings I’m accustomed to – a soft sweet wheaty aroma, a light bit of citrus, some mild banana hints. And then there’s this sour papery aroma that kinda kicks it in the teeth – frankly, not too pleasant, but passable. The flavor of this beer is better than the aroma but, frankly, is a bit of a disappointment. The mouthfeel of this is thicker and sticker than most wheat beers, which isn’t a bad thing. There is a good bit of sugar sweetness, a bit of lemon, very little of the banana we sometimes sense. But, then, here we go again, there is this sort of sour flavor at the back of the mouth that tastes like something gone bad. And, frankly, I think this might be the case. The negative flavor here simply doesn’t taste like something that the brewery intended, so I think that I may have gotten a bad batch. So, for that reason, I’m not going to diss this beer – there are a ton of good flavors here that would make for a delicious treat were it not for the intrusive negative flavors. I’ll say that this bottle is a bit of a disappointment, but I have a feeling this might actually be a pretty good beer.
After a slight change with a New England Brewery offering and then a retro-beer, I have come back to a Butternuts Beer & Ale brew. This time it is their Heinnieweisse beer, which has a great can logo of wheat stalks surrounding a hop cone.
The beer, poured into a Weizen glass, had a quickly dissipated finger of white head. The body of the beer was a hazy yellow-orange with a nice amount of bubbles rising at a moderate pace from the bottom of the glass. The aroma of the beer was of slight black pepper, heavy clove and yeast, and a fair touch of lemon to round things off.
In the mouth, the beer’s body was light in feel with some bubble action on the tongue. For taste, the clove and yeast hit pretty hard towards the front and middle of the mouth, with a sour lemon taste following towards the back.
Though I found the clove and yeast to be a little bit much, I found this to be a pretty fair beer. I have had better hefeweizen, but I have also had worse. I could see myself enjoying a can of this around the grill or after a nice hike during the warmer months.
Alright, folks – I’m gonna break off a quick one for ye. Recently, I found myself coming into a variety pack from the folks at High Falls Brewing Co. More specifically, these folks make the JW Dundee’s Honey Brown that you’ve all probably had during your college undergrad years. Turns out, they may also make a number of other beers, including the Hefeweizen you see here. I’m hoping to review each of the beers in the variety pack, if I can find the time. So, while I’m not sure about the history or origination of these beers, I’ll let you know what I think of ‘em.
The Hefe pours a relatively clear light golden color with tons of debris in the bottom of the glass – if you were to agitate this adequately, you’d probably get a much denser beer. The aroma is sharp and SweeTart-ish. In the mouth, this beer is both sweet and tart all the way through the mouth. The journey starts with a tartness that then moves to a light wheaty sweetness around the middle of the tongue, and then the sharp tartness revisits us at the back of the mouth and sticks in the aftertaste for quite some time. All in all, this is a simple beer. It’s tasty, but only offers a couple of decent sensations. Granted, it’s an American Hefeweizen, which (in my opinion) often fades in comparison to their Bavarian counterparts. So, you can’t expect me to be crazy about it. Soooo, I guess it’s pretty good for an economically priced American wheat. But, I wouldn’t write home about it.
Okay, guys. I’m in Florida right now on business and I picked up a six-pack of this Stoudt’s Weizen because I’ve been craving good Hefeweizens. So, this is going to be a short review, ‘caues I gotsta hit the bed.
So, the Stoudt’s pours a hazy golden color with tons of debris. The aroma is sweet and yeasty with a light hint of citrus. In the mouth, this beer is quite delicious. It has a lot of the traditional flavor of a Bavarian Hefeweizen, including a nice yeast sweetness, the smooth wheat flavor that is characteristic of the style, and just a light citrus hint (that could be increased by tossing a lemon wedge into the beer). Through the mouth, this beer doesn’t change a lot, although it does exhibit a burst of spice at the back of the mouth that only leaves your mouth watering for more. All in all, I’d love to have more of this beer. It’s an excellent interpretation of the Bavarian version of this beer – maybe as good as I’ve had from a US brewer. This will be extremely refreshing on a hot summer day, but I’d be just as happy to taste this any time of year
Matt - September 16, 2007
Official time is 12:10 so I have been 27 for 10 minutes now and thus it is time for yet another stellar review from yours truly. This beer comes to you from one of my original favorite breweries. Pyramid is very accessible, even to the novice good beer drinker, and I fell in love with their regular hefe before I knew what a “good” beer was. I found this beer at Sam’s Blue Light today and was stoked that they ventured out past their typical four varietals of the hefe, the curveball, the apricot, and the thunderhead. I’ve never actually had their amber so I can’t comment on it but their snowcap ale is always a safe winter seasonal. The imperial hefe is the first 22oz I’ve seen from them so I’m very excited to find out what it has to offer…
It has the very opaque yellow hue of a typical wheat beer but the smell is quite contrary to what I expected. I smells more like a domestic lager, almost like a bud or busch light. I haven’t actually tasted it to this point and right now I am very saddened by what may “lie” ahead, pun intended. As Ben said it doesn’t give away any of its characteristics through the aroma. After the first taste I can’t help but turn my nose up to this beer. I tastes like a “regular” beer with little to no outstanding flavor. There is nothing that I would consider a hefe quality and quite frankly the only thing that separates it from a typical domestic is it’s apparent alcohol size. There is a milky undertone that wants to be a hefe but the bitter, skunkiness takes center stage and makes this beer quite a disappointment. I know the folks at pyramid tried to make a big beer but this tastes more like a malt liquor than a quality high gravity brew. I love the pyramid brand but i can’t recommend this in any way shape or form. I had high hops for the Imperial Hefewezien but alas it has fallen short. thanks for making my first beer of my 27th year on this earth a terrible one!
Well, Happy Birthday to SevenPack! It’s almost like the folks at Spaten knew that we just celebrated our 500th beer review, and so they sent us a present in the mail. Just a few days ago, we received the lovely box pictured full of a Franziskaner glass, some coasters, a bottle opener, and (best of all) a tall bottle of Franziskaner Hefeweizen. We always enjoy a surprise in the mail here at SevenPack, and this was no exception. Everything was packaged very nicely, and the beer arrived in prime condition.
Now, I gotta be honest with you folks – it’s a veritable miracle that no Franziskaner beer has been reviewed on SevenPack during the past 500+ beer reviews. While I haven’t yet tried the Franzy Club-Weiss filtered wheat, both the Hefeweizen and the Dunkelweizen were paramount in my discovery of ‘good’ beer. In fact, I could probably label the Franzy Dunkelweizen as the definitive beer in my life that made me realize what goodness can be stuffed into a glass. So folks, if you enjoy this blog, then you likely have Franziskaner to thank for it – I’m not sure it ever would’ve existed otherwise. That being said, I was especially excited to receive this package, and I’m terribly excited to finally get a chance to review the Hefeweizen – I’ll try to follow suit with the other varieties sometime in the near future.
This beer pours a hazy golden color with substantial carbonation and a full frothy white head. The aroma of this Hefe is full of banana and spice with light hints of sweet malt. In the mouth, the Franzy with a sweetness that is non-descript, but eventually becomes redolent of banana and clove around the middle of the tongue. Towards the back of the mouth, you’ll notice some hints of citrus and a finish that sticks to the top of the mouth and is again mostly consumed by the banana and clove earlier. Honestly, this bottle of Franzy has more banana to it than most I’ve had in the past. This may be due to the facts that a) I am drinking it without the typical slice of orange or lemon and b) it was shipped through rather warm circumstances and has been sitting in the fridge for a couple of months. But, nevertheless, it’s still very tasty. However, in my past experiences with Franziskaner, there has been more of the citrus and spice and a bit less banana. It’s good to know that, whatever bottle you may have the fortune of getting, it’s going to be a tasty treat.