Craft Beer Blog

20+ Wheat Beers to Try for Spring & Summer

Posted by Sarah Bedrick on Apr 21, 2014 9:55:00 AM
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There is one style of beer that screams warm weather more than any other - and that is the wheat beer. 

The main reason for that is because extra malted wheat lends itself to a more crisp and light beer that complements the warmer months nicely Also the common flavors like lemon, orange, blueberries, apricot and other fruits are consumed more often in the summer months. Plus, their wheat character is inherently designed to pair better with the lighter foods of the summer. 

So what is a wheat beer anyway?


Well a wheat beer is an umbrella term used when referring to basically three different beer styles of wheat: American, Belgian witbier and German hefeweizens. But simply put, a wheat beer is a beer that's mash is predominantly wheat. Wheat beers usually contain anywhere from 30 - 70% wheat malt while the rest is regularly barley malt. 


A few fun facts to know about wheat beer:


  • They contain more protein than an average beer. This is because wheat has more protein in it than barley and since they have more wheat in them than most beers, it lends itself to higher protein content.
  • The protein mentioned directly above is what usually lends itself to the hazey view of them. Try holding up a wheat beer in front of a light and placing your fingers behind, if your fingers aren't easily visible, then it's most likely a wheat beer. 
  • The extra wheat is also what lends itself to the crisp flavor.
  • Wheat beers are usully marketed as spring and summer beers. So - if you're going to any spring or summer beer festivals, expect to see quite a bit of these. 
  • Before pouring a wheat beer, it is recommended to spin it a few times to get the wheat to permeate the entire beer, rather than simply sitting at the bottom. Learn how to pour one here.
  • Americans have popularized the addition of a lemon wedge which some believe it can cut the edge of the extra wheat yeast - and others believe it can damage the inherent flavor of the style of beer and reduce the beer head.  


Small sized taste of wheat beer. Photo credit FLICKR username: alykat


Now, on to the most popular wheat beers:


American Wheat:

  • UFO (Un-Filtered Offering) Hefeweizen, Harpoon Brewery
  • Blueberry Wheat Ale, Seadog Brewing
  • Summer Wheat Ale, Ottercreek Brewing 
  • A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale. Lagunitas 
  • Redhook Hefeweizen, Redhook Brewery 
  • Slumbrew Happy Sol, Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)
  • Sierra Nevada, Unfiltered Wheat 
  • Summer Breeze, Wachsett Brewing
  • Blueberry Wheat Ale, Seadog Brewing

German, German-Styled Hefeweizen & Belgian Witbiers

  • Blue Moon Belgian White, Coors Brewing Company (Colorado) (Yes, the massive brewing entity.)
  • St. Bernardus Wit, Brou
  • Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
  • Cambridge Hefeweizen, Cambridge Brewing Co. (Cambridge, MA) 
  • Haymarket Hefeweizen, Boston Beer Works (Boston, MA) 
  • Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier (Germany) 
  • Franz Joseph Sailer Oberdorfer Weiss Helles (Germany) 
  • Julius Echter Hefe-weisse (Germany) 
  • Paper City Hefe-wezien (Holyoke, MA) 
  • Paulaner Hefe-weizen (Germany) 
  • Pinkus Organic Hefe-weizen (Germany) 
  • Passionfruit Berliner Weisse, Funky Buddah Brewing
  • Allagash White, Allagash Brewing Company
  • Shock Top Belgian White, Anheuser-Busch (Yes, the massive brewing entity.)

Lastly, I must admit that the different styles of beer still confuse me, and often too. It's easy to remember that there are two major styles of beers: ales and lagers. And if you want to brush up on the rest and find where your favorite wheat beer fits in, there is a great infographic on the different styles of beer found here

Do you have a favorite wheat beer not mentioned here? Let us know with your comments below and we'll be sure to add them to the list. 




Topics: beer styles