There are many different styles of wheat beers and wheat beer was very popular in the U.S. before “the great experiment” of prohibition. I recall sampling American Hefeweizens while I lived in the Pacific NW and these were; and still are, a very popular summertime beverage. The primary wheat styles that I have tried are Hefeweizen and Belgian Wit. A classic Hefeweizen has hints of clove and banana due to the yeast and a Belgian Wit usually contains spices (coriander) and fruit (curacao orange rind) that coupled with the Belgian yeast, provide a distinct taste.
Tibor and Nicole prepared excellent food selections of watermelon and deviled eggs for appetizers and dinner of brats steamed in beer, corn on the cob, asparagus, and pretzel rolls. Dennis brought over a turtle cake and I brought over baked beans. Everything was very tasty and it was an excellent meal with friends. The brats were Johnsonville brats and the steeping in Twisted Pine’s Ghost Face Killah (a chili beer) transformed them to another level. Tibor also grilled some buffalo jalapeno cheddar brats from Continental Sausage located here in Denver and they were fantastic. The pretzel rolls were a recent addition to the Costco lineup and these were very tasty. Again, everything served was very good.
The beer lineup is as follows:
1) Horton’s Homebrew – After Midnight Porter (not a wheat beer - covered in a previous post)
2) Twisted Pine – Ghost Face Killah (not a wheat beer – a chili beer)
3) Odell – Easy Street Wheat
4) Dry Dock – Hefeweizen (a favorite and a previous medal winner)
5) Tommyknocker – Jack Whacker (fermented with lemongrass)
6) Sam Adams – Cherry Wheat
7) Shock Top – Pumpkin Wheat
8) Shock Top – Lemon Shandy
9) Shock Top – Belgian White
10) Avery – White Rascal
11) Widmer Brothers – Hefeweizen
12) Boulder Beer – Sweaty Betty
Probably needless to say, but we did not drink full pours of these beers as we wanted to be able to do things the next day. The other helpful factor is these wheat beers are typically lower in ABV than many other beer styles. The take away is there are a number of really good wheat beers. None of these were bad and there were a wide variety of flavors – everyone had ones they liked. On a side conversation with Tibor, we agreed that the Dry Dock Hefeweizen was our favorite – it is just a fantastic beer and brewed to style perfection. I can understand why they have won awards for this beer.
Next month we focus on Amber Ales.