Beer Styles 201: What is a Wheat Beer?
Wheat Beers: where they come from, their appearance, flavour & aroma, palate & mouthfeel, food pairings and serving suggestions are all explained in this Beer Styles 201 article.
By The Beer Community on Mar. 22, 2016
What is a Wheat Beer?
Brewed mainly in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, this beer gets its name from the large amount of wheat it contains as opposed to the small amount of malted barley.
Brewed with 30% – 70% wheat malt, this tangy ale has a unique flavour and pale hue. It’s bubblier than other beer styles, wonderfully aromatic and comes out naturally cloudy.
Wheat Beer Essential Information:
Germany and Belgium
These straw-coloured, cloudy beers have a full and fluffy white head.
Wheat Beer Flavour & Aroma:
The German variation of Wheat Beers tend to be sweeter and maltier while the Belgian tradition uses coriander and orange peels, but both versions are tangy and refreshing. The wheat malt gives them a fresh fruity and bready character.
Wheat Beer Palate & Mouthfeel:
These effervescent beers have a creamy texture and refreshing mouthfeel despite having a medium weight. Their finish is often a little tart.
What foods pair well with Wheat Beers?
Due to their refreshing mouthfeel these beers tend to go best with Quiches, shrimp and sweet and spicy Thai dishes.
How to serve Wheat Beers:
In North America, it has become common to serve wheat beers with a lemon or orange wedge to highlight their fruity character, but Europeans tend to frown on this practice.
Common Wheat Beer Styles:
Now that you know more about Wheat Beers, learn more about other beer styles:
What are Beer Varieties? – The Origins
David Nuttall is an instructor at the Alberta Beer Festivals’ Beer School. He has worked in almost all aspects of the liquor industry. He is the current Judging Co-ordinator for Calgary International Beerfest and completed the Beer Judge Certification Program in 2012. He is passionate about beer and beer culture. This article is the first of a fascinating series on different beer styles.
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