Wheat Beer on the Rise

December 8th, 2011
!/system/artwork/0000/0039/Wheat_Beer_Glass_Full.jpg! America's 1400 small brewers have revived the ages-old practice of making beers with wheat in addition to barley. The resulting brews contain two-thirds wheat malt and one-third barley malt and are typically pale colored and often cloudy with fruity and sometimes spicy flavors. Wheat beers also make a great base for beers that contain fruit such as cherries, raspberries, and even apricots. The characteristics of wheat beers make them great for summer drinking and many well known American wheat beers are seasonal brews. Other breweries find this style so popular that they produce it year-around with examples that include Leinenkugel Honey Weiss:http://destinationbeer.com/beers/leinenkugels-honey-weiss , Leinenkugel Summer Shandy:http://destinationbeer.com/beers/leinenkugels-summer-shandy, Blue Moon Honey Moon:http://destinationbeer.com/beers/blue-moon-honey-moon , Blue Moon Harvest Moon :http://destinationbeer.com/beers/blue-moon-harvest-moon , & Samuel Adam’s Summer Ale:http://destinationbeer.com/beers/samuel-adams-summer-ale . Some wheat beers display unique flavors because of special yeast used in fermentation. These weizen yeasts are unlike those used in making lagers or regular ales because they accentuate clove and fruity flavors. The aroma of a classic hefe-weizen will display varying levels of clove, nutmeg, banana and other fruity traits. These beers typically have a low level of bitterness as the spicy clove flavors balance the maltiness of the beer. The American cousin of this style, wheat ale, displays a low level of fruitiness and lacks the clove and spicy flavors produced by the weizen yeast. These beers focus on the soft almost nutty flavor of malted wheat in the mouth and may display a pronounced bitterness depending upon the preferences of the brewer. A third type of wheat beer, called wit or white hails originally from Belgium. These beers display fruity and spicy flavors that often come from additions of spices and herbs such as coriander and orange peel during brewing. !/system/artwork/0000/0035/DB_Blue_Moon_Honey_Moon.jpg!:http://destinationbeer.com/beers/blue-moon-honey-moon !/system/artwork/0000/0031/DB_L-K_Honey_Weiss.jpg!:http://destinationbeer.com/beers/leinenkugels-honey-weiss Finally, there is a very rare type of sour wheat beer, which comes originally from Berlin. The Berliner Weiss beers are fermented with organisms that produce lactic acid, giving this low alcohol brew a tart and very refreshing flavor. Wheat beer is becoming increasingly more popular worldwide and wheat is now a year round category that continues to grow. Wheat Beer. (2007). American Craft Beer Week. Retrieved November 8, 2007, from http://www.beertown.org/events/acbw/wheat.html