This classic fine example of a South German style Hefeweizen comes from the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan (Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan) in , of course, Bavaria, Germany. It began as a brewery set in a monastic abbey (Weihenstephan Abbey) from a rather disputed time period in the middle ages, possibly in the 1100’s and possibly earlier. The brewery claims to be the world’s oldest working brewery based on this. In the early 1800’s this abbey was dissolved into government ownership, and its brewery was adopted by the Bavarian state. Government ownership continues to this date, and a university has sprung up around the brewery grounds that features a notable horticultural garden.
The brewery produces a number of fine beers, some of which I will also feature in the near future. These include various wheat beers, a dopplebock, a lager, a pilsner, and a Festbier. The Hefe Weissbier is a classic example of the style, which embodies unfiltered cloudy yeast suspension in a wheat ale. This differs from Weizen beer in the north and western regions of Germany, where the beer is filtered and clear. This style is emulated by brewers the world over, with many fine examples in Belgium and North America. Germany still holds the top place honors for finding the best of this style.
Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier is a 5.4% ABV golden-yellow beer with a hazy complexion, pouring with a dense foamy head and tasting of the requisite banana, clove, and malt found in this style. It can be found in 6 packs of 12 ounce bottles or as single larger half liter bottles. I find this beer quite refreshing while standing next to my grill on a warm spring or summer day waiting for meat to cook. As it is now quite cold here in Indiana as I write this during a bitter January, I am very much looking forward to the warm weather this evokes for me.
Like Paulaner Hefe-Weizen which I featured previously, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier should be served in a hefeweizen glass, which again incidentally is the go-to larger size glass for many American sports bars serving any and all of their beers, regardless of whether the glass is appropriate to the beer style. When pored properly, the head of this beer is thick and nearly tops the glass, with the cloudy beer resting invitingly underneath.