July 23, 2009

On Tap Now: Hefeweizen

Hefeweizen is a cloudy wheat ale that originated in Bavaria/Germany. The direct translation is: hefe (yeast) & weizen (wheat). Yeast in the name refers to the fact that this beer is unfiltered and remains cloudy thanks to the suspended yeast. This yeast also contributes to the unique banana & clove qualities to the aroma and flavor of Hefeweizen.

Ironically enough, Hefeweizen, one of the most popular Reinheitsgebot-breaking beers styles, was born in Bavaria and survived despite the law due to a bureaucratic loophole that was intentionally introduced by the rulers of Bavaria, the Dukes of Wittlesbach. Apparently, the royals had a taste for Weissbier ("white beer"), a refreshing style also known as Weizenbier ("wheat beer"), that was brewed using malted wheat in addition to the usual malted barley. So in 1520, they mandated that a single brewery, overseen by the Dukes of Degenberg, would be allowed to brew Weissbier. The Degenbergs continued as the exclusive Weissbier brewers - and paid a hefty fee for the privilege - until 1602, when the final Duke of Degenberg died without an heir and the family's assests were given to the ruling Wittelsbachs under feudal law.

Brewer's specs:

Pale 2-row malt
Vienna & Munich malts
Lots of malted & unmalted wheat

Fermented with a German Hefeweizen Yeast strain

5% ABV

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