American Pale Wheat Ale
This beer is the American version of a German Hefeweizen. It is distinguished by a pale to golden color, a long lasting head and a light to medium body. A big difference between the traditional Hefeweizen and the American Pale Wheat Ale is that the former is known flavors of clove and banana and the American version is well balanced leaning towards more citrus notes of orange or lemon.
The use of wheat in American beer was a natural since it is more familiar grain here than barley. The wheat provides a smooth gentle finish and a light quenching flavor. Most wheat ales tend to be quite light (4.2 ABV) but some American brewers have started to “soup them up” to as high as 7.0 ABV.
In many corners of the country you will find pale wheat ale being enhanced with a wedge of lemon. It is not unusual to find American Pale Wheat ales looking cloudy in the glass. Most offerings contain a high percentage of wheat malt, neutral ale yeast, and a hop character ranging from low to high. Most brews are moderate on the bitterness scale (10-30 IBU). Wheat Ales are usually served in a pint glass.
An excellent example of a delicious American Pale Wheat Ale is Peak Organic Brewing Company's Summer Session Ale brewed with locally-grown organic wheat. They recently became the first brewery to received Non-GMO Project verification for its beer.
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