Beer School

Beer Styles: What is a Dark Wheat Ale?

The American version of the Dunkelweizen. Learn all about American Dark Wheat Beers, what they taste like, what’s food goes best with them and more.

Beer Styles: What is a Dark Wheat Ale?

What is an American Dark Wheat Ale?

Dark wheat ale aka the ‘American Dunkelweizen.’

Dark Wheat Ales (aka dark wheat beers) are essentially the American version of the German beer style, Dunkelweizen(the dark version of the hefeweizen/pale wheat ale). These beers are dark in colour, but are light in taste. Similarly to most wheat ales, these beers are brewed using wheat as opposed to barley, however, what separates them from pale wheat ales are the addition of dark malts. These beers offer dark fruity aromas or sweeter notes, like caramel malt.


Dark Wheat Ale Essential Information:


Style Region of Dark Wheat Ales:

North America

Appearance of a Dark wHEAT Ale:

Dark wheat ales often pour a medium-brown to deep/dark brown in colour with cloudy, long-lasting heads.

Pale Wheat Ale Flavour & Aroma:

The hop presence in dark wheat ales is quite low. However, they possess a high maltiness and ale yeast help balance the hop character (10-30 IBU). Dark wheat ales often contain flavours of caramel, dark fruits, such as berries, and malt.

Palate & Mouthfeel:

Dark ales are light to medium bodied beers. Due to the use of wheat instead of barley, dark wheat ales have a smooth and gentle finish.

Alcohol Content of Dark Wheat Ale:

Similarly to pale wheat ales, dark wheat beers typically contain an ABV of 4-7%.

What foods pair well with dark Wheat ales?

Dark wheat ales are the perfect pairing for spicy foods like, buffalo wings or spicy ramen. For dessert, dark wheat beers complement fruity pastries and tarts beautifully.

How to serve a pale Wheat ale:

Dark Wheat Ales are typically served in a Pint Glass or Weizen Glass. Like other wheat beers, they are typically served at about 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now that you’re an American Dark Wheat Beer expert, learn more about other beer styles below:

Amber Ale / Dark Ale
Amber Lager / Dark Lager
Belgian IPA / White India Pale Ale
Berliner Weisse
Double IPA / Imperial IPA
Golden Ale / Blonde Ale
Golden Lager / Pale Lager
Gruit Beer
India Pale Ale (IPA)
Pale Wheat aLE
Sour Ale / Wild Ale
Strong Ale
Wheat Beer

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