As per usual, I am going to provide a bit of a background for the beer I am reviewing. It is my belief that the historic rootedness of a beer often translates into the richness of the flavour, so bear with me if you find that it is a useless enterprise. The particular beer that I am reviewing today is brewed by Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan (in English-Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan). This brewery can claim roots that date back to 768, when a hop garden in the area was paying tithes to the abbey (known as Weihenstephan Abbey). In this way, the brewery claims (quite reasonably) to be the oldest brewery in the world. It was initially operated by Benedictine Monks, until it became the Royal Bavarian State Brewery. It now operates in conjunction with the Weihenstephan Science Centre, creating beautifully crafted beers and working to expand the science of brewing. The brewery produces quite a range of beers, which I will not list here, but they are definitely worth trying.
The beer that I am reviewing is the staple of the Brewery-their wheat beer (Hefewizen means unfiltered wheat beer). This beer is an excellent example of the more enjoyable wheat beers brewed in the Bavarian style, in which part of the malted barley is replaced with malted wheat. Not to be confused with a witbier wheat brew-which uses gruit instead of hops, hefewizens do utilize hops and often have hints of hop flavours, but are much more subdued then most other pale and blonde beers. For this reason, this is a good beer to try if you want to enjoy something lighter than a stout or porter, but prefer to avoid the hops-heavy beers such as what is often found in lagers and IPAs.
Brewed by: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, Germany.
Brewed by: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, Germany
Style | ABV
Hefeweizen | 5.40% ABV
Appearance: As is typical of a Hefeweizen due to the unfiltered nature of the beer type, the Hefeweissbier has a mirky and cloudy nature. It is a golden hue that collects the light-no beading whatsoever, but a solid half-inch head that is nice and foamy.
Nose: The nose is rich and sweet, with a nice honey and barley base, and a high note of chestnut. As I mentioned, there is a hint of hops in the nose, but nothing particularly overwhelming.
Taste: It is a deliciously sweet beer that has a strong honey flavour. The chestnut does persist from the nose, but subdued. Mixed nuts come out in the aftertaste as well as, surprisingly, a pleasant hint of rosemary which gives the beer a nice texture.
Mouthfeel: The carbonation of this beer is perfect-it is not so powerful that it overwhelms your mouth, but it provides a nice zing to the experience. The natural foaminess of the beer sinks into the back of your mouth and provides a smooth finish.
Overall: This is a very enjoyable beer. It is very drinkable, and would be ideal to enjoy with a nice meal. The brewery suggests a lightly flavoured meal-particularly emphasizing veal sausage as a good option to pair this beer with. Although I have never had the pleasure of enjoying veal sausage, I concur with the suggestion of pairing with a light food choice. I could also picture myself enjoying this beer on a hot day sitting outside. I recommend it as a nice summer beer, especially for those of you who dislike a strong hoppiness (a preference I can relate to).
My rating: ◊◊◊◊◊◊/◊◊◊◊
Availability: Year-round. bottle (1910), on-tap (187), growler (5), can (1).