German Weissbier

Glassware: Weissbier vase
  • Germany
  • Ale
  • ABV = 4.3 – 5.6% (Normal)^
  • IBU = 8-15
  • SRM = 2-6
A gold-coloured, wheat-based German ale with a distinctive banana-and-clove yeast flavour.

Appearance:

  • Colour^ = Straw to gold
  • Clarity = Unfiltered; hazy

Key Aromas & Flavours:

Aroma
  • Malt = Low to moderate; bready or grainy wheat
  • Yeast = Moderate to high; banana-like esters, clove-like phenols
  • Hops = None to low; floral, herbal or spicy, if present
  • Other = (Optional: low to moderate vanilla and/or a faint bubblegum character)
Flavour
  • Malt = Low; bready or grainy wheat, plus a grainy-sweet malt character
  • Yeast = Low to moderate; banana-like esters, clove-like phenols
  • Hops = None to very low; floral, herbal or spicy, if present
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Low
  • Other = (Optional: low to moderate vanilla and/or a faint bubblegum character)
  • Balance = Towards the malt; the perception of sweetness is more due to the absence of hop bitterness than actual residual sweetness
Aftertaste/Finish

Well-rounded, flavourful palate with a relatively dry finish

Mouthfeel:

  • Body = Medium; suspended yeast may increase the perception of body, but it’s never heavy
  • Carbonation = High to very high; effervescent
  • Creaminess = The texture of wheat imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = 50-70% malted wheat, plus Pilsner malt
  • Yeast = Weizen ale yeast
  • Hops = German hop varietals
  • Process = Decoction mash is traditional

Historical Development:

Bavaria has a wheat beer tradition dating back hundreds of years, but brewing wheat beer used to be a monopoly reserved for Bavarian royalty. Modern Weissbier dates to 1872 when the Schneider Brewery began production in Munich. However, pale weissbier only became popular since the 1960s.


Commercial Examples:

Schneider Weisse Original (Tap 7), Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen Naturtrüb


^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.


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