Summer is upon us, and what better time to feature Wheat Beers! These crisp and refreshing beers are perfect for this time of year. They feature low alcohol content, but do not come up short on flavor. There are many modern versions of wheat beers that vary from fruit infused to hop crazy. We’ve featured what we hope is a nice balance of old and new world examples of this classic style of beer. Here’s a tiny snippet of background information, just so you’re not flying blind here:
Wheat beers fall into two major categories: German weizenbier, of which the better known hefeweizen is a type, and Witbier, the Dutch version which is based on the Belgian brewing tradition of using coriander and orange peel to add depth of flavor profile. The main characteristic of wheat beers however, is that they use at least 50% wheat in the grain bill, cutting down on the malted barley used. The increased amount of wheat, containing higher protein than barley, result in a thicker, longer lasting head, as well as a ‘phenolic’ character which comes across as flavors of spice, banana, and sometimes herbs.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wheat beers, as berliner weisse, gose, and lambic are also included under the umbrella of wheat beers, among others. But, it’s hot and we’re thirsty so here’s our line up for Wheat Beer Week at the shop:
Hofbräu Hefe Weizen
5.1% ABV – Munich/Germany
Back in 1602 Weissbier could only be brewed by ducal privilege. It was Munich’s first Hefe Weizen. Hofbräuhaus enjoyed this exclusive right for nearly 200 years, thus holding a monopoly on Weissbier in Bavaria. Characterized by its sparkling rich foam and distinguished by its unforgettable refreshing and fruity taste.
4.9% ABV – Hoegaarden/Belgium
500 years went into making this beer that features the aroma of orange peel, coriander and herbs that the merry monks imported from sunny Curacao. Light yellow and naturally murky, and the soft foam adds a cloudy finish. Then there’s the soft taste, light and slightly sweet and sour and with subtle citrus notes.
Selkirk Abbey Chapel
4.9% ABV – 20 IBU Post Falls/ID
Selkirk Abbey’s classic Belgian witbier is light in body and delightfully easy-drinking; brewed with orange peel and coriander to provide a kiss of citrus that’s sure to be refreshing any time of the year.
Highlander Wolf Point Strawberry Wheat
5.0% ABV – 18 IBU Missoula/MT
This classic fruit forward wheat beer from Highlander Brewing features a huge strawberry aroma, mild fruit taste, and soft mouth-feel. Look for biscuit overtones and a smooth, creamy head.
Lone Peak Raspbeery Wheat
3.9% ABV – 23 IBU Big Sky/MT
No overwhelming sweetness here, just crisp raspberry goodness. Adding the Oregon raspberries while our yeast are still active means the little guys take care of all that extra sugar before it gets into keg. The result is a refreshing beverage meant for the heat of summer.
Meadowlark Teddy Roosevelt – American Badass – Barrel Aged Wheat Imperial IPA
7.9% ABV – 95 IBU Sydney/MT
Brilliant gold topped with a mountainous white foam head. This Imperial Wheat IPA is smooth-bodied with hop characteristics of pine and stone fruits. Oak-aging lends a vanilla or almond-like flavor and aroma and smooths out the beer’s bitterness and warmth.
Flights of 6 for $12, or available by pint