Craft Beer Spotlight: Hefeweizen

Apr 30, 2014Kyle Westfall

How much do you know about Hefeweizens? Here is almost everything and anything you would like to know about delicious Hefeweizen craft beer.  Might as well pour yourself a glass to enjoy while you read up!

Hefeweizen Brands, Image Via

Image via

Pronunciation: hay-fuh-veyt-sssenn *It is suggested to NEVER pronounce it as “haffie-vi-zon”.

Description: Originated in the south of Germany, Hefeweizen is a top-fermented, unfiltered, bottle conditioned wheat beer with a yeast sediment and cloudy appearance.   Historically, Germans prefer to call it Weissbier or white beer.  Its creation came about when brewers increased the wheat content in beer, lightening the color and thus creating pale ales and lagers.  Most beers prior to this invention had been dark.  North Americans adopted the term Hefeweizen as “Hefe” prefix means “yeast” and “weizen” suffix means wheat.   Hefeweizen is a full body beer that features high carbonation with sweet and fruity flavors such as banana, clove, apple, or bubblegum.  There is little hop bitterness and a moderate level of alcohol.   The ratio of wheat to barley malt is typically 50:50, but the wheat level can often rise up to 70%. 

Glass: Hefeweizen is typically poured into a traditional Weizen glass, tall with thin walls and large headspace.  The shape showcases the beer’s color and impressive tall, white creamy head while locking in the aromas.  The average size glass is .5L. 

The Serving: In America, Hefeweizen is typically served with a lemon slice to cut the wheat or yeast edge.  While some believe this helps the flavor, others find it an insult that damages the beer’s true taste and interferes with the head retention.  The suggested serving temperature is 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. The average ABV (alcohol by volume) range is 4.0 – 7.0%.

The Pour: For a less turbid appearance, pour the entire bottle into a tilted, rinsed glass.  If you like it a little cloudy, pour ¾ of the bottle into the glass.  Then very carefully roll the bottle on a flat, horizontal surface to loosen the sediment.  Pour the remaining liquid into the glass. (Image to right via Harpoon Brewery, of their popular UFO Hefeweizen)

Storage: It is best to store Hefeweizen standing up in a cool, dark place. The suggested storage temperature is 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit. Excessive cellaring is not recommended unless the alcohol content is higher than the average range.

Food Pairings: Hefeweizen is great with lighter foods such as salads, seafood, sushi, and poultry.  Cheese suggestions include goat cheese, herbed spread such as Boursin, Edam, and feta.  Dessert pairings include strawberry shortcake, key lime pie, and fruit trifle.  Click here for ten tasty recipes to pair with this light, bubbly brew. 

Brewing: Hefeweizen breweries are largely found in Germany and America.  Premium home brewing kits are also available, but it is extremely important to splurge on a high-quality kit to ensure desired professional craft beer results.   Check out our Hefeweizen kit. You will not be disappointed!

Now that you are a little more versed in delicious, fruity Hefeweizen craft beer, you should probably grab another.  Maybe this time, roll it around for the sediment.  Enjoy!

Blog by Craft A Brew

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