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Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hefe Weissbier

Hefe Weissbier is a Hefeweizen brewed by the Weihenstephan Brewery in Freising, Germany. I wrote a little more about the brewery when I reviewed their dopplebock.

Let's do some translating, Hefe is yeast, and Weissbier is white beer or in our vernacular, pale ale/lager, and weizen is wheat. For centuries all beers were dark until the invention of modern malting techniques that allowed for the creation of pale or white malts. Most beer use various forms of malted barley, but Hefes use malted wheat as well, usually a 1-1 ratio.

A special kind of yeast is used to create the fruity and spicy flavors of a hefe. Yes, all the non-malt flavor comes from the yeast. German brewers do not add spices or fruits to their hefes, its against the German beer purity laws. And despite how they are served in the US, you do not serve German beers with slices of lemon or orange.

I bought this at the Pangaea Bottle shop for $3.49. It has an ABV of 5.4%.

I beer pours a hazy dark orange with a thick, that has good retention and lacings. The aroma is subtle with sweet wheat malt, and notes of spice and citrus. The taste is a nice mix of the wheat and barley, earthy and citrus tones and citrus. There's also some hints of clove. It's medium bodied, well carbonated, and a dry, yet smooth finish.

You will not find many Hefes in my reviews. It's just not my style, however this one made me give a second look at the style. My turn-off to most Hefes is the funk, call it spice, or yeast or whatever, but in my opinion many Hefes, especially American-made are too funky. This one only has a hint of the funk which it balances well. If you like Hefes this is a Must Have It as its a a great example of the style. If you're not a fan, give it a try at some point, its a good beer.

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