What Do You Know About Wheat Beers?

Wheat beers are considered to be one of the most ancient styles of beer. Did you know that the term “Weizenbier” means “Wheat beer”? Did you know that it’s German law that a wheat beer be made up of at least fifty percent wheat? If you’re interested in wheat beers and want to know more about the different styles, look no further!

American-style Wheat Wine Ale

 

american-wheat-wine-ale
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Surprisingly this American-style ale is not derived from grapes as its name might suggest. This full-bodied beer is made with at least fifty percent wheat malt. The ale offers bready and candy flavors, finishing with a great deal of malty sweetness. Sometimes the Wine ale can be oak-aged with a small amount of darker malts added.

Belgian-style Witbier

 

belgian-witbier
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What makes the Belgian-style Witbier interesting is that it is usually brewed with unmalted wheat, including oats and malted barley. Although this style dates back hundreds of years, it became irrelevant to beer drinkers until it was revived by the Belgian brewer Pierre Celis in the 1960s. The Witbiers or “Wit” are spiced with coriander and orange peel.

Berliner-style Weisse

 

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The Berliner is a German-style wheat ale that presents a strong balance between yeast and lactic acid. The style is low in alcohol, refreshingly tart and in most cases served with a flavored syrup (Ex. raspberry). In most cases these beers are unfiltered, giving them a cloudy look and pale color. Over the years this style has had increasing popularity among brewers in the U.S. because they are able to incorporate traditional and exotic fruits to the beers formula, creating flavorful finishes with colorful hues.

German-style Dunkelweizen

 

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Many beer fanatics consider this style a cross between a German-style Dunkel and a hefeweizen. Unlike the American Wheat style, these beers use Weizen ale yeast which gives it banana and clove esters. The German-style Dunkelweizen is known for its sweet maltiness and chocolate-like character.

German-style Hefeweizen

 

german-hefeweizen
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The German-style Hefeweizen ranges from straw to amber in color. It is brewed with at least fifty percent malted wheat, but there are multiple variations to this type of beer. The aroma and flavor of a weissbier are due mostly to the yeast, making it fruity and phenolic. Filtered versions are referred to as “Kristal Weizen,” while darker versions are called “Dunkels.”

American Wheat

 

american-wheat
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The American Wheat has been known to be hoppier than a German Hefeweizen and does not include banana or clove flavors. This style is unique because it can be made using either ale or lager yeast. For these beers, the yeast is typically served in the bottle and pours cloudy. Known as a refreshing summer style beer, the color ranges from pale to light amber. The American Wheat is generally brewed with at least thirty percent malted wheat.

Test Time!

  1. What do you think “Wit” in Witbier mean?
    • White
    • Light
    • Witty
  2. What is the most important ingredient when making wheat beers?
    • Hops
    • Fruity esters
    • Wheat
  3. Which beer do you think is an American wheat beer?
    • Strawberry Wheat
    • Golden Monkey
    • Penn Weizen
  4. Out of the six beers listed in this blog post, which one do you think has the highest alcohol content?
    • Belgian-style Witbier
    • American-style Wheat Wine Ale
    • German-Style Hefeweizen
  5. What would be the perfect dessert pairing for a German-style Dunkelweizen?
    • Peach sorbet
    • Tiramisu
    • Banana Cream Pie

Make sure to save your guesses and check back on Friday for the answers!

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