Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Weisse not...

Hmm yes... You may hear me occasionally denouncing light wheat beers.

I'm not right keen on em see and there are only a few that I really enjoy and only at specific times.

I'm not that keen on overripe bananas either - they belong in cake. It's something to do with that ripe ester stench, something shared by many wheat beers.But I'm not a total refusenik when it comes to white weisse and Belgian style wit though.

I do find them one of the most palatable drinks when you have one of those crackling, mother fuckers of a hangover.
I'll clarify slightly just to say when it comes to darker wheat beers (Schneider Original being at the lightest end of this spectrum) I'm all over it. I talk a lot about balance in great beers and that extra roasted malt in darker brews for me provides that balance alongside, usually, a higher alcohol content.

But as a little guide for those types of people who are turned off by cloudy bright yellow wheat beers, here's a few that work every time for me.

Standard Weihenstephan is pretty good - it's got the thing I need in weisse which is that touch of acidity that the great ones have, it's brisk and full bodied. Snappy and thirst quenching on the finish.

Beyreuther Bio also has this citric edge that provides balance to the softer fruit flavours. The biggies like Paulaner Hefe that are becoming more and more common in the UK in places like Bierkeller are too cloying for me and that is not something that I want in beer. I can go a few rounds with Erdinger Urweisse and Oktoberfest, they are pretty meaty and celebratory!

If you're looking at Belgium then I'd go for one of the following... Brugs Tarwebier is super refreshing, the Belgians are much softer than their german counterparts but the best have some great bonus flavours that usually come from the addition of orange peel, coriander and other herbs and spices. Another to look out for is Watous Wit, which is interesting for its toffeeish quality.
You might see some places serving this type of beer with fruit, I'd avoid it in general. It is practiced in Germany, Belgium and Holland and if you try it and feel it's better then go for it. But beware - for me the addition of lemon, lime or orange is often used to bulk up the flavours that should be prominent in the original beer. Blue moon being a particularly shitty example of this habit/marketing tactic.

I haven't ever had a brilliant US version but Sierra Kellerwiesse works and Flying Dog do a decent job too.

So to summise then; some are better than others, but don't be put off if you try one and don't like it try some more. Once you've tried lots you can then form an opinion. How's that for lazy blogging...?

1 comment:

  1. The Paulaner beer is the best known and is also good in taste, loving typical Bavarian.