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Friday, June 15, 2012

Weihenstephaner | Hefe Weissbier

A rare Friday off work this week means I get to crack open a beer while the sun is still up! And with the sun out shining, the perfect choice sitting in my fridge is Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier. A Bavarian style wheat beer from the "oldest brewery in the world," brewed since 1040. At least they claim all that, who knows if it really is the oldest brewery, but it's definitely older than any brewery in the USA.

Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass, Weihenstephaner has a cloudy dark golden color with a very large frothy white head. As with most wheat beers, this is a very attractive beer. Not too much lacing, but the high carbonation keeps the big foamy head around for most of the…. how-you-say… beer drinking experience.

The aroma, like most traditional wheat beers, is dominated by banana, clove, bubblegum, and light toasted grain. The banana aroma is the strongest out of the bunch.

The taste starts off very mild with a nice blend of banana and bubblegum sweetness mixing with light malt. A light hint of spice kicks in while the toasted cracker-like malt flavor intensifies through the finish. Earthy yeast, biting carbonation and a barely noticeable grassy hop bitterness finish just a little on the dry side.

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier is a wheat beer that sets the bar extremely high for the style, and makes it a very difficult style to improve upon. With centuries, if not millennia, of brewing tradition in Bavaria, it's no surprise that the wheat beers from that area are all world class, including the likes of Hacker Pschorr, Schneider, Ayinger. Some of which are harder to find than others. Of course there are American breweries that make a great Hefeweizen, but the Germans still make the best. It's a style we haven't quite mastered like we've done to the IPA style.

With all that being said, it's summer, drink a Hefeweizen!

Personal: 9/10
Style: 9.5/10

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