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Wheat Beer

HAs anyone tried out a Hefeweizen from Two Palms? I bought a six pack for this evening and I'm wondering if I should have bothered.

While i'm at it anyone got any really good suggestions for decent Wheat Beer's? Nothing is going to top a good glass of Hoegaarden I know, but what alternatives are there?

My reading has told me that the two palms is more of the German style of Hefeweizen (hence my hesitation over it) I'm much more parcial to a nice white Belgian style to be honest. Think the best micro brew alternative I'm come across has to be Blue Moon, the Pyramid one isn't to bad and the Trader Jo's (isn't it Gordons?) is passable at a push.

So alternative micro brews or even imported Belgaian beers? Tried a number of German imports and never really found one to my liking.

the more I think about it I think I'll be stopping for an emergency alternative six pack at the store on the way home

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  1. I think you can top Hoegaarden, actually. Brooklyn Brewery's Blanche de Brooklyn beat it at the World Beer Cup.

    Avery's White Rascal and Hitachino Nest White Ale are two other really good witbiers.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      I think you can top Hoegaarden as well.

      Allagash White
      Celis White
      Ommegang Witte
      Unibroue Blanche de Chambly
      St. Bernardus Witbier

      Technically, I don't consider Coors Blue Moon to be a witbier since it is made with malted wheat instead of unmalted wheat.

      1. re: LStaff

        I second the Ommegang Witte. Hoegaarden may be from another country, but saying it's great is like someone in Germany going on and on about MGD.

      2. re: Josh

        I haven't had the Blanche de Brooklyn but the Avery and Hitachino Nest recommendations are the two I would make if I were seeking a witbier in your area.

        1. re: brentk

          I finally tried Allagash White, I was a little disappointed in it. Kind of thin-tasting.

          1. re: brentk

            Hitachino Nest is the best beer out there. The Blanche du Chambly from Unibroue in Quebec is very nice too. Domestically, the Sunshine Wheat from the Fat Tires is delicate, inoffensive, and nice on a summer day.

        2. To be clear a distinction can be drawn between Witbier and Weisse or Weizen. Where both are made with around 50% wheat, Witbier is additionally brewed with a variety of spices including orange peel and coriander.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chinon00

            Some of the bigger brewers in Munich are using up to 70% wheat in their hefewiezens.

          2. I like Erdinger and Franziskaner Heffeweisens.

            1. Ayinger Brau Weiss and Ur Weiss are excellent. So is Schneider. All should be available here.

              1. definitely you can top hoe - all belgian wits and belgian-wit-style micros mentioned so far are great suggestions. blanche de chambly was always one of my favorites when i was in the throes of my wit phase ;)

                bavarian wheat beer has more body...more chewiness than a wit style. my favorites in this style are Paulaner and Weihephstephaner (sp?)-- as mentioned Ayinger's weisse style is also quite tasty. but when i used to be able to find Maisels Weisse it was my all time favorite bavarian wheat.

                good bavarian style american micros are few and far between in my (granted limited FL) experience. Bell's Oberon was really good a few years back, but i think they must've changed the recipe cause last time i had it it was less bavarian and more belgian wit. (we were able to get it while visiting indianapolis, never here in FL) so if you can get Oberon, you might really enjoy that one!

                1. I've been a big fan of German Wheat beers, but it is really more of a summer drink (though I'll dring one at any time).

                  There are different styles of German Wheat beers. The basics are Kristal (clear and usually served with a slice of lemon), Hefe (with added yeast and never served with a - though American bar tenders seem to think otherwise) and my favorite, Hefeweizen Dunkel (dark wheat with the yeast).

                  1. Try Baltika 8--really nice Hefe-Weizen style. It's much smoother that Blue Moon, which I find to have a grassy taste I don't like.

                    1. Bells also has their "Wheat Project" line. I've had a number of them and been very happy. One of them, I forget which, was very different and way stronger than any wheat I've ever had.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MOREKASHA

                        Those "Wheat Project" beers were all brewed in 2005 and are well past their prime now, with the exception of the one you recall, called Wheat Love, that was a Wheat Wine with an 8% ABV.

                      2. Well thanks for all the suggestions, I'll definetly try and work my way through some of them.

                        Just as a follow up, the two palms sucked, it was bland tasting and simply not exciting enopugh - I had to resort to the back up cans of Boddington's!!

                        1. I've never had Hoegaarden, but if it's any better than Paulaner out of the bottle I would be very impressed.

                          Keep in mind you have to POUR these beers, you can't drink them straight out of the bottle and get the proper flavoring and aroma... Also they are very foamy anyway so give them a hard pour then let the foam recede.

                          My absolutel single-favorite wheat is Julius Echter on tap, but you're not likely going to find that. Paulaner is alot more accessible.

                          Other top-shelf wheats: Weihestephaner H-W, Ayinger BrauWeisse... both on tap are sublime.

                          A couple "very goods": Konig-Ludwig and Wiehensetephaner Kristall.... these are tap ratings. The K-L from the bottle is a bit more interesting than Kristall, IMO

                          Those are all imports. There are also quite a few great domestic wheats... Boulevard Wheat and Goose Island are very good. So is Summit.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Chicago Mike

                            I never give a wheat beer a hard pour as there is plenty of carbonation already.

                            Also, you don't want to mix the residual yeast in the pour. Best to let that settle on the bottom of the glass and then swirl it in at the end, if you prefer.

                            1. re: brentk

                              That's the problem... until that carbonation opens up you don't get full flavor, much like decanting a wine.... that goes for all beers, not just wheats.

                              And there's far less residual yeast in wheats than, say, a big IPA that has yeast swimming in it.

                              1. re: Chicago Mike

                                But a hard pour with a wheat beer would quickly lead to foam all over the counter. I'm drinking a Bell's Winter Wheat right now and get about 50% foam with a moderate pour.

                                1. re: brentk

                                  You're absolutely right... you have to be careful with the stuff, most wheats are foamy as &^%$#... and it takes awhile for the suds to subside...

                                  If it's a really "thin" wheat then you can adjust the pour, but most quality wheats open up with alot of lemon and clove when their aereated....

                            2. re: Chicago Mike

                              Hoegaarden is a Belgian witbier, which is not the same as Bavarian hefeweizen. Witbier is seasoned with orange peel and coriander. The two styles are dissimilar enough that they aren't really comparable.

                              1. re: Chicago Mike

                                By the way -- not sure if you heard that Blvd is putting out some new brews this year after their facility expansion, including a dunkel weisse called "Lunar" due out in April.

                              2. i adore germanic hefes and belgian wits. of what is commonly available:

                                1. Hoe
                                2. franziskaner dunkel
                                3. franziskaner hefe
                                4. paulaner hefe

                                1. If you're in search of a good Hefeweizen I would recommed either Franziskaner (made by Spaten) or Paulaner. Both are enjoyable wheat beers. However, if it's a Belgian Witbier you're after, you cannot go wrong with Ommegang White. The beer itself is brewed domestically in Cooperstown, NY, but lest we forget that Ommegang is a subsidiary of Duvel, a magnificent company and the creators of the astoundingly good Duvel Golden Ale.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: ShangysFan

                                    I just had to chime in. You can't blame the good quality of Ommegang on Duvel. They only bought in after it was a successful, up and running brewery.

                                    1. re: JMF

                                      But they were involved from the beginning.

                                  2. among my favorites:

                                    Julius Echter
                                    Live Oak (regional and non-bottled in Texas only)
                                    Weihenstephaner
                                    Schneider Weisse
                                    Koenig Ludwig

                                    slammer here: Aventinus wheat icebock ("eisbock")..12% abv and delicious..from the people who brings you schneider weisse

                                    not a big fan of any american wheat (aside from live oak). doesnt have the body or depth of the germans. also, no lemon wedges in my beer please!! =)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: paleogeek

                                      Yeah, Aventinius is super-nice but a much richer brew than these Hefe-Weises.

                                      And, FWIW, I used to be a lemon-wedge hater but gotta admit for my tastes it does enhance most wheats.

                                    2. ooooh ooooh (horseshacking)

                                      how could i forget about aventinus??!!! one of my favorites!!!

                                      i also wanted to suggest to the original poster that they may want to branch out into more of the 'herbed' ales (traquair jacobite, fraoch, etc)

                                      heck, try anything once!!!!

                                      1. 'Herbed ales' ? That I'm not so sure about, I'll have to do some reading and serious thinking about that one, but thanks for the tip!

                                        Would they be like friut ales? Now there is a beer road I'm not willing to travel on.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: rob133

                                          i was just reading about ancient scottish heather ale...supposedly brewed for the last 2000 years. Lots of different herbed varieties.
                                          Then there are spruce ales, brewed by Ben Franklin--Yard's in Philly has a good one.
                                          Hops are sort of an herb, after all...

                                          1. re: kenito799

                                            is that scottish ale that you're referring to fraoch heather ale or traquair jacobite?

                                            i'd love to try more 'herbed' ales given how much i like those two.

                                            i also recently (within last 6 mos) stumbled upon belhaven st.andrew's ale and i love the tinge of smokiness it has. (just a hint, not like the liquid bacon ales) unfortunately, that's another one i'm having a hard time finding here in FL

                                            had one in savannah at molly's scottish pub, served by a man in a kilt no less ;)

                                            1. re: hitachino

                                              Belhaven St. Andrew's is one of my favorite beers, as is the Traquair Jacobite.

                                              If you like those then I'd suggest seeking out Fantome Saison, which is one of the best herbed beers out there.

                                        2. no, not fruity - herby! ;) and no, not that kind of herb. though i believe there is a hemp ale available someplace. i could be wrong. ;)

                                          traquair jacobite (scottish ale) is.....sublime? divine? yum. another great scottish ale for the wheat/wit fan is belhaven's st. andrews.

                                          i have always frowned on fruit flavored ales myself, but i'm quite fond of sea dog blue paw and their apricot wheat. and dogfish's aprihop.

                                          like i said, try anything once!

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: hitachino

                                            I think fruit beers have gotten a bad rap from the likes of Lindemans and Sam Adams. Traditional Belgian fruit beers are awesome, and not sweet and syrupy.

                                            1. re: Josh

                                              actually, you're naming the two that i've tried that i didn't like.

                                              lindemans framboise and sam adams cherry wheat.

                                              i was like, somebody shoot me now if this is beer, cause it's gawdawful.

                                              :0)

                                              but hey, i tried 'em!

                                              do you have any suggestions for a 'fruity' beer that a non-fruity beer type might like?

                                              1. re: hitachino

                                                I figured that was the case. Lindeman's is best consumed as a dessert beverage and not a beer.

                                                As for suggestions, it kind of depends on how much tolerance you have for sour beer. I love sour beers, so I'm a big fan of traditional lambic. It is definitely unusual, and not to everyone's taste.

                                                I suggest looking for Cantillon's Lou Pepe Kriek, or Haansens Artisinaal Oude Kriek. These are both flavored with sour cherries, though the cherry flavor is more of a hint than a strong presence. There are other wild aromas coming though that make these two of the most interesting, challenging beers around.

                                                I would not suggest the Lou Pepe Framboise. The last release was too tart to handle. The same goes for Cantillon's Fou Fonne, made with apricots. Insanely tart stuff.

                                                Drei Fonteinen also makes a sour cherry kriek that's awesome, though much fruitier than the other two I mentioned. However, it's still very tart and not sweet and syrupy.

                                                The challenge you'll face in trying to find these is that they are quite rare. If I want any of these beers there is only one store I know of in my area that sells them. Whole Foods sometimes has Cantillon, but not always the fruit varieties (though they ALWAYS stock the dreaded Lindemans).

                                                1. re: Josh

                                                  i had a 'challenging' beer once. duchesse de bourgogne. it was so challenging i had to pour it out. ;) it tasted like straight up vinegar. shudder.

                                                  i'd have to find a place featuring those kinds of beers for tasting.

                                                  buying several $8 - $15 bottles of beer and really disliking one or all is too much for me to risk.

                                                  1. re: hitachino

                                                    I love Duchesse. One of my favorites. I'd suggest giving it another shot - if you know going in that it's sour, then you won't be thinking vinegar. I don't think it's anywhere near vinegar, really. All the Belgian sours are among my favorite all-time brews.

                                                    The only ones I've had that make me shudder are the Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise, and their Fou Fonne.

                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                      How long ago did you try the Fou Foune? I just had one that was bottled in 06 and I thought it was perfect, the sourness balanced by intense waves of flavor and aroma. I just bought more (yeah it is so expensive!) I liked it more than the Organic Gueuze. If you are ever in Philly you have to try their Monk's Cafe Cuvee Gueuze on tap--I found it fresher and more delicious than the bottled Organic. I admit I have fallen hard for Cantillon so I like the sour bite. I am looking forward to trying the Rose de Gambrinus, although I have heard its even more sour.

                                                      1. re: kenito799

                                                        I had the Fou Fonne on draft, so that may be part of the problem. I've noticed that Belgians are often better in the bottle. I just had a crazy sour one from Cantillon, the Bruocsella 1900 Grand Cru. It's 3 years old, and aged in oak. Had zero detectible carbonation, and was unbelievably sour.

                                                        I like a lot of what Cantillon does, just something about the Fou Fonne was a little too mouth-puckering for me. I may have to try the bottled version and see if there's a difference.

                                                        I had the privilege of sampling Rodenbach's Grand Cru last weekend, and that's an excellent sour beer. I also had a really good sour made in Michigan of all places, by a place called Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. La Roja, which tasted very similar to the Monk's Cafe Flanders Red. I'd definitely recommend seeking it out.

                                                        http://www.jollypumpkin.com/beers.htm

                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                          Funny, when I visited Monk's I also had Rodenbach Grand Cru, my first taste of the flanders style. It was great stuff, I liked the winy fruitiness along with the sour. I will be trying more red ales, definitely the Monk's one the next time I am in Philly. I will also look out for jolly pumpkin if they are ever available in NYC.

                                                2. re: hitachino

                                                  I didn't like Cherry Wheat either. There's just not enough expression of Cherry in it and it comes across and dullish and bitter.

                                                  My absolute fave domestic fruit-infused beer is Leinenkugels Berry Weisse. If anything it's overly-fruity so if you find it too much just mix it 50-50 with a plain weisse... delicious stuff.

                                                  1. re: Chicago Mike

                                                    Do you have other fruit beer recommendations? I've never come across a fruit/berry "flavored" beer that I liked. My bias kept me away from trying the exxxpensive belgiums. Leine is hard to find here and the only style they offer isnt too impressive

                                                    1. re: paleogeek

                                                      The only ones I've had that I've enoyed are the Belgian offerings. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.

                                            2. I made a few decent discoveries in the area of American Wheat Ale. American Wheat Ale is sort of like wheat beer without the ester-clove-banana thing working and with increased hops. I find them a pleasant American alternative to bigger American style beers. Widmer and Sierre Wheat are a couple out there that epitomize the style. On the other hand an American Wheat Ale that falls inline with (and maybe beyond) the Bavarian style was Troegs Dreamweaver. This beer have clove, banana and even pineapple notes. Nice!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                Just to get back to the original post, the Two Palms is listed on Beer Advocate as an American Wheat, not a German style hefe (nor a wit). Judging by rob133's follow up I'd say that is pretty accurate ;)

                                              2. i just tried a leine sunset wheat and it's quite tasty. definite citrus/orange thing going on, but no coriander (ie, it's not a blue moon clone). as far as US non-bavarian style wheats go, it's not bad at all!

                                                edit, i just read the ratebeer listing for this beer and they do say it has coriander. i couldn't taste the coriander at all. but the orange was certainly there.