The golden hue of wheat beer and smooth sweetbread taste sings to us like a siren sings to a sailor—dangerous yet beautiful, its allure is undeniable. A well-made wheat beer (brewed with a high percentage of wheat in addition to malted barley) caresses the tongue like silk—the last sip is just as good as the first, which leads to another and a vicious cycle begins if you can’t stop yourself. Our favorite styles of wheat beer are Hefeweizen and Belgian Witbier.
Unfortunately, wheat beers often get overlooked by Americans partly due to the booming popularity of craft beer’s darling—the India Pale Ale. However, with Thanksgiving just days away, can you really imagine drinking an IPA with your roasted turkey and stuffing? That’s a nuclear bomb of alcohol being dropped on your palate. Forget about that creamy pumpkin cheesecake waiting for you after dinner. Your taste buds will be out cold for the remainder of the evening.
Wheat beers can hold their own in almost any food pairing from hearty fare like a juicy blue cheese burger with potato fries to a classic Greek salad so let’s raise a frothy glass filled with one of these year-round favorites. Which one will you choose?
- Hoegaarden (Witbier, ABV 4.9%): is a pale yellow, light-bodied beer with a clean taste that easily floats in your mouth, which is a good option for those that don’t usually like to drink beer. However, due to its lightness it tends to lose flavor in draft.
- Blue Moon Belgian White (Witbier, ABV 5.4%): is another light-bodied beer that has a smooth fruity taste with subtle hints of spices and orange peel.
- Spaten Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse (Hefeweizen, ABV 5%): is a unique medium-bodied beer you won’t easily forget, especially with a bottle label that shows a friar holding a beer mug. It has a hazy amber color and a rich wheat taste that is velvety smooth.
- Sierra Nevada Kellerweis, (Hefeweizen, ABV 4.8%): is a medium-bodied beer with faint hints of banana and citrus and a fragrant smell that conjures memories of fresh whole wheat bread.
- Paulaner Hefe-Weizen (Hefeweizen, ABV 5.5%): is a medium-bodied beer that goes down smooth and has a sweet wheat finish with a touch of citrus.
- Hofbrau Munchen Hefeweizen (Hefeweizen, ABV 5.4%): is a medium-bodied beer with a soft creamy taste and an aroma reminiscent of sweet biscuits, an excellent choice if you’re looking for a beer with extra flavor that isn’t overpowering.
- Erdinger Hefe-Weizen (Hefeweizen, ABV 5.6%): a medium bodied beer with a flavorful medley of clove, wheat and banana but like most wheat beers it has a lot of carbonation so gradually ease into the pour and let it settle for a few minutes then enjoy!