Hefeweizen - A German classic
Hefeweizen - the German beer landscape would be unthinkable without it and it has been part of the Craft Beer world from the very beginning.
Beer style facts: Hefeweizen
- Appearance: Light yellow to light amber. Cloudy.
- Aroma: Characteristic of a wheat beer yeast notes of banana and clove. Soft and creamy in the mouth. On the palate, the already mentioned characteristic flavors can be complemented by hints of bread, cereal, vanilla, caramel and honey. Full-bodied and hardly bitter.
- Alcohol: 4.9-5.5%. Weizenbock and Weizenendoppelbock 6-8%.
- Classic Beer: Weihenstephaner Hefeweißbier
The classic Hefeweizen (the terms wheat beer or wheat beer are used synonymously) is a straw-yellow to amber-coloured beer, which stands out for its fine-pored, consistent head and intensive carbonation. A Hefeweizen is fermented with a top-fermenting yeast and has a wheat malt content of 50% or more. This yeast also produces the typical banana and clove aromas of this beer style. Traditionally, wheat beers have hardly any hop bitterness. They are rich in carbonic acid mainly due to bottle fermentation. This is why they are also served in tall, slightly curved wheat beer glasses. This allows some of the carbonic acid to escape during pouring.
From Bavaria to the world
Brewing wheat beer was a privilege in Bavaria in the 16th century. After all, wheat was there to secure the food supply of the population. Beer was therefore brewed primarily with barley malt. As time went by, the number of wheat beer breweries increased and the beer style became established. In 1872 Georg Schneider (Schneider Weisse) revived the style in Munich and gave it its current character.
Well-known and popular variations are the clearly filtered Kristallweizen, the dark Hefeweizen or the more alcoholic Weizen(doppel)bock. But also wheat beers based on current trends are making a name for themselves on the market. The best example is the wheat of Tilmans beers from Munich. A wheat with distinct hop aromas of citrus fruits and flowers. They are the result of cold hops with so-called aroma hops and give the beer an additional, exciting level of aroma and flavour.
The dark Hefeweizen - the original
For a dark Hefeweizen or wheat beer a small amount of roasted malt is used. This is actually how it was made in the original sense. After all, until the 19th century it was not widespread in Germany and often not possible to produce malts gently and without roasting aromas. This is why these Hefeweizen are often referred to as Urweiße or Original Weiße.
The strong version - Weizenbock
But a Bavarian beer style without Bock beer is unthinkable. That is why there is also a seasonal wheat bock or even wheat doppelbock for wheat beer. These are even more strongly brewed and often have an alcohol content of over 7%.
More than just Weisswurst companions
Without a doubt, a Hefeweizen is the perfect accompaniment to a Bavarian snack or to a Weißwurst breakfast with pretzels and sweet mustard. It also goes very well with light salads, obazda or goat cheese. The typical aromas of banana and clove also go wonderfully well with spicy curries from India and Asia. Dark Hefeweizen on the other hand goes very well with hearty dishes with dark sauces.
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