A Hefeweizen (“hay-fuh-veyt-sssenn”) is some what of an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of style names. Since “Hefe” means “with yeast" and “weizen” means “with wheat”, the brews can also be referred to as a Weissbier, Weizenbier, Weizen, or Wheat Ale. Germans, however, tend to prefer calling the brew a Weissbier, while North Americans are more partial to the term Hefeweizen.
Brewed in the South of Germany, this style of wheat beer is customarily made with at least 50% wheat in combination with a yeast that gives it the unique and definitive flavor-style of a classic Weissbier. Cloves, bananas, spices and even notes of apple can be found on the palate and nose with an often sharp, dry edge to it. They have a moderate ABV range of 4.0 - 7.0% and not a lot of hop bitterness. Hefeweizens are unfiltered which results in a cloudy appearance and have a fairly long-lasting head. Oftentimes these beers are served with a lemon wedge to cut through the wheat or yeast sharpness, however, since this presentation was popularized by Americans, many still prefer ordering without the lemon.
Our Craft Beer Club is happy to have featured the classic, German-style brew from Church Street Brewing Company in Itasca, Illinois as one of our monthly Beer Club shipments. This excellent session beer would pair wonderfully with our featured recipe for Bratwurst with Apples, Onion and Sauerkraut!
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