Beer Squared #9: Hefeweizens

Posted: June 21, 2011 in Beer Squared, Beer: Hefeweizens
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The beers.

On a nice, warm spring day, I woke up, watched my beloved Arsenal fail, mowed the grass, played with my infant daughter, cleaned the kitchen, took my wife shopping, bought a pick a six from Friar Tuck’s, and visited with my in laws.  Being over there seemed a good enough reason to have another round of beers. My mother in law asked if we could all sit out side while we had our beers…and that seemed a like a very good idea and we then changed from very dark beers, to light wheat beers. So, this is our first Beer Squared in the sunlight. We chose a selection of Hefeweizens (also known as Weissbiers in Germany.)

Hefeweizen is a Bavarian specialty beer in which a significant proportion of malted barley is replaced with malted wheat.  By German law, Weissbiers brewed in Germany must be top-fermented. Specialized strains of yeast are used which produce overtones of banana and clove as by-products of fermentation. (source)

Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat (4.7% ABV)

In-Heat Wheat

Nik: We started off with Flying Dog’s hefeweizen. I’ve had a little experience with their beers in the past and didn’t come away too thrilled. They seem to put a lot more stock in their labels than in the beer, but that didn’t stop me from trying this one out. It poured quite well with a foamy head that dissipated quickly. (I found out that I was pouring these beers wrong… so… please forgive me.) It had a very pleasant fruity aroma and taste and it was very smooth going down, which is great for a summer style beer. It had a very cloudy color to it. All in all, I have no complaints about this beer, but I found that it tasted exceedingly average, which based on my earlier dealings with Flying Dog, is a step up.

Bob: Hmmm. Not too sure about that name. What am I about to drink, anyway? Poured with a nice head, but it didn’t last long due to its relatively large bubbles. Color in the glass was a nice gold, with cloudy haze typical of these wheat beers (long protein chains, they say, but that’s getting too technical for me.) The aroma was mildly fruity, as was the taste. Had a mildly zingy aftertaste. Drinkable, I guess, but nothing that would make me want to buy more.

Tin Mill First Street Wheat (4.4% ABV )

First Street Wheat

Nik: Here we were trying another of the excellent Tin Mill’s beers. I have yet to try one of their beers that I didn’t like and in our first pilsner tasting, they were my favorite.  It was very foamy and again quickly dissipating. It didn’t have the strong aroma of the Flying Dog, and it had a bitter taste to it instead of the fruity taste of the Flying Dog. It tasted more floral and also had a bit of a lager smell instead of the yeast fruit smell. It also had an unusually clear color and as I drank it, I began to enjoy it less with each sip. The first taste is the best. The bitterness of this beer really builds up and is a bit unpleasant at the end.

Bob: Is there some law that says the name of a wheat beer has to rhyme? You’d think so based on these first two we tasted. Another nice head, but, again, not long-lasting. Mild fruity aroma typical of many wheat beers. More bitter than the Flying Dog, but otherwise similar in overall character. More carbonated, though, with a slightly unpleasant aftertaste that turned me off.

Erdinger Hefe-Weizen (5.3% ABV)


Nik: We had this one last, and I’m glad we did. It had the best head, full of small bubbles and it lasted the whole beer. Like the Flying Dog, the Erdinger had a very cloudy color. This didn’t have the floral smell of the Tin Mill, but it did have a wonderful floral flavor and a smoothness that made this beer very easy to drink and perfect for a warm spring or summer day. It really didn’t have much of an aroma, but that didn’t take anything away from the experience of this beer. This is by far the best wheat beer I have ever had. This beer had the successes of the other two, but with none of their failings.

Bob: Aaaaah! My current Hefeweizen go-to. They’ve been making it since 1516, so I guess they’ve pretty much figured out how to do it right by now. Very nice head, with tiny little bubbles. Good golden color, with typical wheat beer cloudiness. Little aroma, but the taste is subtle, rich and complex. Good not only for a wheat beer, but for any kind of beer. Pleasantly mild aftertaste. It’s bottle fermented, with much smoother carbonation than Flying Dog or Tin Mill. Overall rating: Excellent! I will definitely buy more of this beer.

  1. blackpoolmike says:

    Good stuff man! Had a great O’Fallon wheat beer at ITAP tonight. Looking forward to the USA game tomorrow night now! ITAP rocks baby!!!

  2. Bill Bowman says:

    Anyone know how to locate a store that sells Erdinger Hefeweisen in the St. Charles or St. Louis area? It must be here somewhere, I’ve had it in Germany, but I’d like to find a source here. Thanks for any help/advice…


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