American Wheat Beer

STANDARD AMERICAN BEER

# OG, P OG, sg FG, P FG, sg ABV, % IBU SRM

min

10.0 1.040 2.0 1.008 4.0 15 Yellow (3-4)

min

13.6 1.055 3.3 1.013 5.5 30 Gold (5-6)

Overall Impression: A pale, refreshing grainy, doughy, or bready wheat beer with a clean fermentation profile  and a variable hop character and bitterness. Its lighter body and higher carbonation contribute to its easy-drinking nature.

Aroma: Low to moderate grainy, bready, or doughy wheat character. A light to moderate malty sweetness is acceptable. Moderate esters optional, usually a neutral profile; banana is inappropriate. Low to moderate citrusy, spicy, floral, or fruity hop aroma. Not typically dry-hopped. No clove phenols.

Appearance: Usually pale yellow to gold. Clarity may range from brilliant to hazy with yeast approximating a Weissbier. Big, long-lasting white head.

Flavor: Light to moderately-strong bready, doughy, or grainy wheat flavor, which can linger into the finish. May have a moderate malty sweetness or can finish quite dry and crisp. Low to moderate hop bitterness, sometimes lasting into the finish. Balance is usually even, but may be slightly bitter. Low to moderate citrusy, spicy, floral, or fruity hop flavor. Moderate esters optional. No banana. No clove phenols.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Medium-high to high carbonation. Slight creaminess is optional; wheat beers sometimes have a soft, ‘fluffy’ impression.

Comments: Different variations exist, from an easy-drinking fairly sweet beer to a dry, aggressively-hopped beer with a strong wheat flavor.

History: An American craft beer adaptation of the Weissbier style using a cleaner yeast and more hops, first produced by Anchor in 1984 and later widely popularized by Widmer.

Style Comparison: More hop character and less yeast character than Weissbier. Never with the banana and clove character of Weissbier. Generally has the same range and balance as Blonde Ales, but with a wheat character as the primary malt flavor.

Commercial Examples: Bell’s Oberon, Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer, GoodLife Sweet As! Pacific Ale, Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Widmer Hefeweizen


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