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Wheat Ales Beer Styles Guide

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American Wheat: Examples:
These beers are like an American version of a German Hefeweizen. They are usually pale yellow to gold, although there are some dark versions out there. Typically, they will look much like a Hefeweizen. American Wheat ales typically use a hefty amount of wheat which gives a fairly strong wheat flavor. They have a low to moderate hop bitterness and hop flavor is typically on the low end, usually giving off a citrus flavor. Despite often having "Hefeweizen" in their name, these beers lack the banana and clove flavors of a Hefeweizen and have much higher carbonation. American Wheat ales are often served with a lemon wedge. The ABV is typically between 4-6.5 and IBUs between 15-30. These beers do not age well.
  • Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen
  • Odell Easy Street Wheat
  • Rock Bottom Walleye Wheat
  • Pyramid Hefeweizen
  • Berghoff Honey Wheat
  • Bells Oberon Ale
  • Samuel Adams Hefeweizen

  • Berliner Weiss: Examples:
    This is a very rare beer style that you won't come across too often. This style has its roots in Munich, Germany and was referred to by Napoleon's troops as "The Champagne of the North" in 1809. It is a German wheat ale that is characterized by its very wheaty and very sour flavor. Hop bitterness is usually low and hop flavor is typically non-existent. This style is light-bodied with very high carbonation. These beers are often served with a raspberry syrup (himbeer) or woodruff syrup (Waldmeister) which help cut the sourness. Another thing that sets this beer apart is its very low ABV that ranges from 2.8-4.5. IBUs are usually in the 3-8 range. These beers do not age well.
  • Breughel Berliner Weisse
  • Weihenstephan 1809 Berliner Style Weisse
  • Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Style Weiss
  • Dogfish Head Festina Peche
  • Iron Hill Berliner Weisse
  • Redoak Berliner Weisse
  • Baron Berliner-Weisse

  • Dunkelweizen: Examples:
    Dunkel means "dark" and weizen means "wheat". Dunkelweizens are a traditional unfiltered Bavarian wheat beer that is light copper to mahogany brown in color. The taste is malty, usually featuring banana and clove with an optional vanilla and/or bubblegum flavor. In addition, these beers have bready wheat flavor. The hop presence and bitterness are very low and usually exist for balance. Dunkelweizens are medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Alcohol levels are typically from 4.5-6 and IBUs between 10-18. These beers do not age well.
  • Paulaner Hefeweizen Dunkel
  • Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel
  • Kapuziner Weissbier Schwarz
  • Ayinger Ur-Weisse
  • Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel
  • Tucher Dunkles Hefe Weizen
  • Great Lakes Lorelei Dunkel Weizen

  • Hefeweizen: Examples:
    Hefe means "with yeast" and weizen means "wheat". A Hefeweizen is an unfiltered German wheat beer that is pale straw to dark gold in color. These beers are cloudy because of the yeast and the high protein content of the wheat due to not being filtered. Hefeweizens have banana and clove esters that come from special yeast. They can optionally have a vanilla and/or bubblegum flavor. These flavors are accompanied by a bready wheat taste and some pilsner malt. Hop taste and bitterness are very low. These beers are medium bodied with high carbonation. They are easy to drink and a summer favorite. Alcohol is usually between 4.5-6.2%, although some new "Imperial" versions of the style are much higher. IBUs are usually between 8 and 15. These beers do not age well.
  • Ayinger Brau Weisse
  • Schneider Weisen Edel-Weisse
  • Erdinger Weissbier Hefe-Weizen
  • Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Hell
  • Schwelmer Hefeweizen
  • Paulaner Hefe-Weizen
  • Andechser Weissbier Hefetrub

  • Kristallweizen: Examples:
    The first thing of note about these beers is that many leading publications including the BJCP mispell this style Kristal instead of Kristall. Just look to the right and see how authentic German brewers spell it. This style is a filtered Hefeweizen which means that it is clear instead of cloudy. They are generally fruitier and have less clove/vanilla/bubblegum flavors than hefeweizens. They have the same bready wheat flavor, hop character, carbonation, ABV, and IBUs. These beers do not age well.
  • Weihenstephaner Kristallweissbier
  • Hofbrau Kristall Weisse
  • Allgauer Furstabt Kristallweizen
  • Tucher Kristall Weizen
  • Hacker-Pschorr Kristall Weisse
  • Paulaner Weissbier Kristallklar
  • Schneider Weisse Kristall

  • Witbier: Examples:
    This Belgian wheat style is 400 hundred years old. It was virtually unheard of by the 1950s, but was resurrected by Pierre Celis at Hoegaarden. These "white beers" are pale straw to light gold color and are cloudy. The taste tends toward the sweet side with orange peel/orange citrus and spice (usually coriander) flavors. Other spices may be present. Hop presence and flavor is very low and the carbonation is high. These beers finish slightly dry and often a bit tart. Most of the beers in this style have an alcohol range of 4.5-6% with the majority being at 5%, however, there are some newer double/imperial versions with higher alcohol. The IBUs are typically 10-20. These beers do not age well.
  • Hoegaarden White
  • Celis White
  • St. Bernardus Witbier
  • Hitachino Nest White Ale
  • Allagash White
  • Avery White Rascal
  • Victory Whirlwind Witbier

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