Sunday, July 31, 2011
Day 6 (7/30/2011): Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
This will be another quick one. I'm off to a beer event in an hour. Don't worry, I'll tell you all about it later this week.
Yesterday, I decided I needed a season appropriate beer. Something refreshing, but still substantial. Luckily I had grabbed a bottle of hefeweizen earlier in the week. When I think hefeweizen, Weihenstephaner is what I think of. Despite this, strangely enough, I've never actually tried it. Part of that is that I'm not a huge hefeweizen fan and part of that is that I just don't drink enough beer imported from outside the United States.
Pouring from this bottle, the first thing I noticed is how nice it looks. It is a pale, cloudy honey color, with a brilliant, billowing white head. It took me a while to pour the bottle since the head was so large, and the picture below was after I had got most of the bottle into the cup.
The smell is great; tons of bananas and cloves, with pale malts. This is definitely the classic smell I look for in a hefeweizen.
The taste is an explosion of the different smells, with the bananas and slight spiciness of the cloves from the Belgian yeast taking over. It's a substantial taste without being overpowering. I'm sure it opens up even more as it warms, but I enjoyed it so much that there was no danger of it getting warm. It was gone well before then.
Medium carbonation that somehow seems low. A really smooth drinking beer. I wouldn't mind drinking this all day (or night).
This is probably the perfect summer beer. The crispness, great taste, and relatively low ABV makes this an amazing choice. It is great tasting and, at the same time, accessible for those new craft beer drinkers who don't want a 100 IBU hop bomb or a 15% imperial stout. The next time you're out grilling, pass your buddy a bottle of this instead of a Bud Light. They might not care for it, but then again, they might. And if not, you can always finish the bottle for them. The brewery which makes this beer has been operated for almost 1,000 (!!!) years, so they have the recipe pretty much perfected by now.
I give Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier an A rating. It is probably the best Hefeweizen in the world (or at least the best I've tried). A great beer which is cheap, widely available, and seasonally appropriate. I need to find this on draft.
Beer Advocate: A/A+
Ratebeer: Source: 99/100
Purchased from Party Source for $2.00 a single. Six packs also available for just under $10 apiece. This is a pretty common import, so you should be able to find it in most places.