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Craft Beer Experts Tell Us The Wheat Beers They Drink Any Time Of Year

While wheat beers are popular in the spring and summer months, there’s really no wrong time of year to enjoy a standard wheat beer, witbier, hefeweizen, weizenbock, dunkelweizen, lambic, or even a salty, fresh gose. This top-fermented beer style — which technically makes it an ale — has a place in every season. Just ask the Bavarians who still down a half-liter of hefeweizen for breakfast every day.

Chris Collier, the brewer at Biggerstaff Brewing in Atlanta, opts for old-world styles when he’s thirsty for a wheat beer. “It’s hard to go wrong with a traditional unfiltered Belgian witbier or German hefeweizen.”

“Belgian wits are traditionally made with orange peel and coriander resulting in elegant citrus and perfume characteristics, paired with complex spiciness from the Belgian yeast,” Collier explains. “German hefeweizens have a fluffy and bready mouthfeel and a distinctive banana and clove flavor from the unique yeast strain used and fermentation temperatures employed.”

Like most beer styles, wheat beer is rooted in centuries-old traditions. But with so many different variations, there’s sure to be a style that appeals to any contemporary beer drinkers’ palate. To prove it, we asked a handful of well-known craft beer experts, brewers, and beer professionals to tell us the one wheat beer they drink any time of the year. Their answers included a nice mix of classic European and crafty American takes.

Schneider Weiss Original

Schneider Weiss Original
Schneider Weiss

Greg Deuhs, director of brewing, batching, and quality at Sprecher Brewery in Glendale, Wisconsin

ABV: 5.4%

Average Price: $5 for a 16.9-ounce bottle

Why This Beer?

I like the traditional German wheat beer that has the banana isoamyl taste that also isn’t over-clove-like but has other fruit tastes to them. This flavorful and memorable wheat beer will make you forget what you think about the style.

Westbrook White Thai

Westbrook White Thai
Westbrook

Zach Fowle, advanced Cicerone™ and head of marketing at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. in Phoenix

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $13 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

It’s hard to picture a better beer for a warm day than Westbrook White Thai. A witbier by way of Southeast Asia, it’s brewed with lemongrass, ginger root, and Japanese Sorachi Ace hops for spritzy lemon flavor with a hint of ginger spice. Keep it cold and you won’t find many more refreshing beers on the planet.

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen

Paulaner Hefe Weizen
Paulaner

Dan Lipke, head brewer at Clown Shoes Beer in Boston

ABV: 5.3%

Average Price: $9 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

While I drink it all year long, my favorite time of year to drink hefeweizen is on a sunny spring afternoon. Classic versions like Paulaner’s have aromas of clove and banana, a spritzy mouthfeel that’s reminiscent of summer brews but fuller in body to keep any chillier days at bay.

La Rana Dorada Blanche

La Rana Dorada Blanche
La Rana Dorada

Marshall Hendrickson, co-founder and head of brewing operations at Veza Sur Brewing in Miami

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

La Rana Dorada Blanche is my pick. I worked for La Rana Dorada years ago, and to this day it’s my favorite Belgian-style witbier. The beer has an amazingly smooth mouthfeel from all of the wheat and oats used in the mash. The brewers use freshly dried orange peels in the brew to give it a nice citrusy finish. It’s truly a fantastic beer.

Bell’s Oberon

Bell’s Oberon
Bell

Nancy Lopetegui, taproom general manager at Wynwood Brewing in Miami

ABV: 5.8%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

It’s hot all year round in Miami and this beer is a perfect thirst-quenching choice. The citrusy, orange zest in this wheat ale is perfect for warm weather and sunshine. It’s only available in the spring, but I’d drink it any time of year.

Allagash White

Allagash White
Allagash

Ryan Pachmayer, head brewer at Yak and Yeti Brewpub & Restaurant in Arvada, Colorado

ABV: 5.2%

Average Price: $9.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Allagash White has a really nice spicy, peppery flavor and a touch of citrus that adds a nice layer of complexity. The flavor depth goes well on colder days, while the lower ABV and dry finish really lend it to a warmer day. That being said, it’s a great choice all year long.

Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat

Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat
Boulevard

Todd Bellmyer, head brewer at Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver

ABV: 4.4%

Average Price: $7.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

A craft classic, any time I want a light American wheat beer, I pick up a twelve-pack of Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat. Light in ABV but big in citrus and wheat flavors, it is supremely smooth and crushable. There’s a reason it’s the most popular craft beer in the Midwest.

Creature Comforts Athena

Creature Comforts Athena
Creature Comforts

Eddie Leal, head brewer at Ellis Island Casino, Hotel & Brewery in Las Vegas

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: $12.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

One of the best wheat beers to drink all year long is Berliner Weisse. It’s perfect for the warmer weather but still hits the spot on a cooler night. It’s light in alcohol and refreshingly tart. I enjoy adding different flavored syrups to add some sweetness and additional flavors to it. You can enjoy this beer all day long. One of the best American versions is Creature Comforts Athena. This classic take on the German-style beer is tart, lactic, and filled with citrus flavors.

Writer’s Pick: Weihenstaphaner Hefe Weissbier

Weihenstaphaner Hefe Weissbier
Weihenstaphaner

ABV: 5.4%

Average Price: $10.50 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer:

Germany’s Weihenstephaner is touted as being the oldest brewery in the world with its history dating back to 1040. In almost a thousand years, they’ve had a chance to perfect their beers, especially their Hefe Weissbier. This flavorful beer is filled with notes of ripe fruit, banana, clove, citrus, and slight pepper flavor that pulls everything together.

Writer’s Pick: Funky Buddha Floridian

Funky Buddha Floridian
Funky Buddha

ABV: 5.2%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

This unfiltered wheat beer was made in the German style. Great on a hot day or literally any time of year, it’s highlighted by flavors like cloves, ripe bananas, bubblegum, and tart citrus. It’s refreshing, complex, and a perfect beer to get acquainted with the style.

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