Fastest Growing Segment in the Industry!

December 8th, 2011
As the fourth largest selling style and fastest growing segment in the beer industry, wheat beers have enjoyed worldwide popularity for centuries. From the beginning, breweries would use wheat instead of barley because it has a much quicker process. Unlike barley, wheat does not require a very long maturing time so that it is available for consumption of the ales soon after brewing. Wheat beers are usually top fermented and deliver a very refreshing taste. Distinguished by their creamy texture and sweet flavor, wheat beers are usually cloudy and pale in color but can be made clear with filtration. !/system/artwork/0000/0043/DB_Shiner_Dunkelweizen.jpg!: !/system/artwork/0000/0047/DB_Shiner_Hefeweizen.jpg!: Germany’s culture takes pride in their highly diverse assortment of German beer. The most common and celebrated German wheat beers, Weisse (white) and Weizen (wheat) traditionally have distinctive clove, or banana-ish aromas and flavors. The alcohol content is usually between 4.7% and 5.5% ABV, giving these beers a medium to full body. !/system/artwork/0000/0049/DB_SA_s_White_Ale.jpg!: !/system/artwork/0000/0051/DB_Hoegaarden.jpg!: Belgian wheat beers are frequently labeled witbier or biere blanche and often use orange peel and coriander seed to enhance their very distinct and slightly fruity flavor. Belgian witbieren (white beers) get their name from suspended yeast that causes the beer to look hazy, or even white when cold. Raw wheat is also a key ingredient in Belgian beers, opposed to the malted wheat found in most. !/system/artwork/0000/0031/DB_L-K_Honey_Weiss.jpg!: !/system/artwork/0000/0035/DB_Blue_Moon_Honey_Moon.jpg!: American wheat beers include developed international classics as well as many created to form their own unique and innovative style of wheat. These light-bodied, refreshing, and crisp ales sometimes include additional ingredients such as honey or various fruits. The wheat beers that have evolved on the west coast usually have more bitterness than those in the rest of the country. Here are some interesting facts associated with a few of those popular wheat ales: * White or Wit Beer White or Wit beer is a style of flavored wheat added in the form of curacao, orange peel and coriander that is usually white and hazy. * Hefe Weizen Hefe Weizen brews with at least half wheat in the mash and contains a spicy, clove like flavor. This highly carbonated beer gives off a medium to meduim-full body. * Weizen Bocks Weizen Bocks are winter wheat beers that can be pale gold to brown and deliver warming personalities with a crisp finish. * Wheat Ales Wheat Ales generally attribute more distinct hop accents than traditional German weizen styles and are often more dry. Although there are many variations, they all use a proportion of wheat in the mash to add a distinctive protein haze. !/system/artwork/0000/0063/DB_Hops.jpg! * Dunkel Weizen Dunkel Weizen wheat beers are styles created by the use of dark malts in the non-wheat ingredients to attain a richer, darker beer with fuller malt flavors. * Flavored Wheat Ales Flavored Wheat Ales are an increasingly popular specialty category with endless possibilities. Fruit and honey are the most common ingredients added at different times to create extra sweetness. * Kristall Weizen Kristall Weizen gives a clean and delicate flavor with fruity aroma. It is generally clear with a medium to medium-full bodied character. Wheat beer has been around for a long time and sees a continuing increase in popularity. With numerous type and styles, consumers have the ability to choose from a wide range and diverse selection of wheat ales to find the perfect drink for each occasion.