Wheat beer is becoming a more and more popular type of beer.However, much like other types of beer, no two wheat beers are the same. Do you know the differences?
What makes wheat beer different is the easiest part, and that’s simply the use of wheat in the brewing process. A typical wheat beer is brewed with 30-70 percent wheat malt. The remainder is barley malt, the same kind used to brew other types of beer.
According to About Food that wheat also delivers additional protein to a beer, versus the regular barely. This also creates a haze in the beer itself, and contributes to thicker, long lasting heads on the beer. Added to that is the delivery of a silky, effervescent, light taste to wheat beers, that often makes them an ideal beer to drink on a hot, summers day.
There are two common forms of wheat beer: German white beer (Weißbier in German), which is a beer made with at least 50% wheat to barley, and Dutch white beer (witbier in Dutch), which is beer that uses flavorings such as orange peel and coriander, to give the beer itself a slightly different taste.
Wheat beer made in English speaking countries either follows the traditional styles of wheat beer, or is occasionally a hybrid with a more common form of beer.
Less common, but rising in popularity, are dark wheat beers, which as the name suggests, are indeed darker, and have a deeper flavor. The two primary types of dark styles include Dunkelweizen, and Weizenbock.
Both beers include malts that contribute a chestnut brown color, while delivering rich roasted flavors of both the malt itself, and often banana and clove notes from the yeast.
For those who may not be huge fans of stronger beers, the Krystal style of wheat beer may be your best bet. It is a clear wheat beer, that unlike other forms, is filtered. The filtering removes much of the richness of the beer’s flavor, so they are a lighter drink but they do retain some taste.
Whatever your fancy, if you’re a beer drinker, there is a wheat beer out there that is ideal for you.