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Hefeweizens That Are Perfect For Outdoor Drinking As The Weather Turns Warmer

We’re going to go ahead and say it. Spring is the best season of the year to drink beer. Sure, winter is prime time for the rich, high ABV, chocolatey notes common to porters and stouts, but once you leave Christmas beers behind there’s not much else to drink besides this dynamic duo (and their various offshoots). Fall and summer definitely have their fair share of seasonally appropriate styles too, but spring is so overloaded with great options that there are hardly enough days to try them all.

Plus the weather is turning, the beer gardens are opening up, and brewers are eager to trot out their best stuff after a slow few months. It’s a great time for beer lovers, is what we’re saying.

The champion of spring imbibing is the iconic hefeweizen. Also known as the Weizenbier, this classic German-style wheat beer is yet another brew with its roots in Bavaria. Hefeweizens are made with larger than normal wheat to barley ratio. The result is a highly aromatic, subtly spicy, almost banana-like flavor that’s well suited for wet-but-steadily-warming spring weather.

Since we plan on spending the next few months drinking our fair share of hefeweizens, we figured it only made sense to list ten of our favorites. These beers are so refreshing, crisp, and flavorful that we promise you’ll want to drink them well into summer.

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier

Weihenstephaner

ABV: 5.4%

Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

No hefeweizen list is complete without Weihenstephaner, the oldest brewery in the world. Hefe Weissbier is 5.4% ABV, cloudy, rich, and filled with yeasty, refreshing flavors. In the pantheon of hefeweizens, it’s hard to beat this classic offering.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of banana candy, spicy cloves, and sweet malts. The palate is overflowing with more cooking spices and ripe bananas as well as very slight bubblegum-like flavors and a nice malty backbone. The finish is hazy, unfiltered, and ends with aromatic spice.

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for classic, Bavarian flavors, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier totally fits the bill.

Funky Buddha Floridian

Funky Buddha

ABV: 5.2%

Average Price: $7.99 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

When it comes to unique, flavorful hefeweizens, you probably don’t immediately think of Florida. But Funky Buddha’s Floridian is the brewery’s outstanding take on the unfiltered German style. It’s a perfect combination of full flavor with a light, easy drinkability.

Tasting Notes:

Take a whiff and you’ll find noticeable aromas of citrus zest, cooking spices, and just a hint of overripe banana. On the sip you’ll be greeted with hints of bready sweetness, orange peel, cloves, and banana bread. It ends with a nice mix of sweetness and bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

This might be the most crushable hefeweizen on this list. Period.

Night Shift Fürth

Night Shift

ABV: 5.5%

Average Price: $13 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Night Shift’s version of the German-style hefeweizen is brewed with a traditional Bavarian yeast strain and named for yet another beer-loving German city.

Tasting Notes:

The aromas present are those of fresh-baked bread, coriander, and orange peels. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of bright citrus zest, subtle banana, baking spices, and sweet yeasty fruit. The finish is light, refreshing, and ends with more sweet wheat.

Bottom Line:

While this beer is full of flavor, it’s lighter than most of the beers on this list. If you’re looking for something easy to drink on a warm day, this is your jam.

La Cumbre A Slice of Hefen

La Cumbre

ABV: 5.4%

Average Price: $10.99 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

This beer was created to be as authentic as possible. Made with Pale, Munich, Acidulated, and White Wheat malts, as well as Hallertau Mittelfrühe hops and Andechs Weizen yeast, it’s rich, refreshing, and perfectly hazy.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the scents of crisp apple, spicy clove, subtle vanilla beans, and ripe banana. The palate is swirling with freshly baked bread, bananas, coriander, and various other spices. It all ends with a dry, refreshing, creamy finish.

Bottom Line:

If you’re only going to drink two beers on this list, make it Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier and La Cumbre Slice of Hefen and really take time to compare the flavors associated with each.

Troegs Dream Weaver

Troegs

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $12.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Utilizing open-top fermentation, this hefeweizen might be made by a well-known American craft brewery, but it’s German through and through. Made with Pilsner and Vienna malts, and malted wheat as well as German Northern Brewer hops and German Wheat, it’s unfiltered, hazy, and subtly tart.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of tropical fruits, cloves, bananas, and an earthy freshness. The taste is slightly tart and swirls with spicy cinnamon, clove, bananas, and just a hint of cracked black pepper. The end is a nice mix of tart, sweet, and sour refreshment.

Bottom Line:

Dream Weaver is everything you could want in an Americanized hefeweizen. It’s fruity, slightly tart, and well-suited for spring drinking.

J Wakefield El Hefe

J Wakefield

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $13 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

El Jefe begins as a classic, German-style hefeweizen with traditional ingredients. But in true Florida fashion, it turns the style on its head with the addition of fresh coconut flakes.

Tasting Notes:

Give this a proper nosing before taking a sip and you’ll be met with coconut, tropical fruits, and spicy clove. The palate is brimming with hints of sticky bubblegum, cloves, banana, and a subtle marzipan flavor reminiscent of Almond Joy candy bars. The finish is sweet, subtly sour, and finishes with more tropical fruit flavor notes.

Bottom Line:

This is past meets present to the extreme. If you’re open to completely changing your assumptions on hefeweizens, buy a few cans of this unique brew.

UFO Hefeweizen

UFO

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

UFO stands for unfiltered offering and that’s exactly what this is. It’s super cloudy, yeasty, and filled with fresh citrus and floral flavors.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’re gonna get crisp citrus zest, sweet wheat, and faint banana cream. Take a sip and you’ll be greeted with bright grapefruit, ripe orange, lemon curd, and spicy clove. The finish is all citrus zest and juicy tropical fruit flavors.

Bottom Line:

If you’re a fan of adding fruit to your beer, this is a great choice. We prefer a slice of lemon, lime, or even blood orange with this particular brew.

Odell Easy Street

Odell

ABV: 4.6%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

This is an American hefeweizen made in the German style, using American hops, a proprietary yeast strain, and pure Rocky Mountain water from Cache la Poudre River. It’s cloudy, unfiltered, and as easy to drink as the name implies.

Tasting Notes:

Before taking a sip, take a moment to breathe in the scents of bright yeast, baking spices, and bold citrus zest. Sipping this beer will reveal a myriad of flavors including sweet wheat, subtle vanilla, spicy clove, and clean, musty, fruit flavors. It all ends in a crescendo of vibrant citrus undertones.

Bottom Line:

This is as Americanized as the classic hefeweizen can get (without adding unique ingredients). It’s similar enough to the German style to appeal to traditionalists and contemporary beer fans alike.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Sierra Nevada

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $9 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Sierra Nevada is well-known for its generation-defining pale ale. But if you’re looking to branch out this spring, opt for its Kellerweis. Made with Two-row pale, Munich, and Wheat malts, as well as Sterling and German Perle hops, and Hefeweizen Ale Yeast, this is a 4.8% hazy, highly crushable beer well-suited for spring drinking.

Tasting Notes:

Give this beer a nosing and you’ll find hints of baked bread, ripe banana, clove, and cinnamon. Take a gulp and you’ll be immersed in a world of slightly bitter, floral hops, bubblegum, sweet wheat, and just a hint of spice. It all ends with a sweet, mellow, creamy finish.

Bottom Line:

Sierra Nevada enjoys making authentic German-style beers. Its Kellerweis hefeweizen is no different. It checks all of the classic wheat beer boxes.

Widmer Brothers Hefe

Widmer

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: $8 for a six-pack

The Beer:

This award-winning hefeweizen gets a ton of flavor from the liberal use of Pale, Wheat, and Extra Special malts as well as the trio of Cascade, Willamette, and Alchemy hops. The result is one of the most well-balanced hefeweizens you’re ever going to taste.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of fresh-baked banana bread, zesty yeast, citrus zest, and a healthy hint of spice. The palate is full of biscuit, cloves, tropical fruits, and ripe grapefruit flavors. The finish is chocked full of citrus and yeasty notes.

Bottom Line:

With the addition of floral, citrusy Willamette hops and other local flavors, this is the best example of the Pacific Northwest-centric hefeweizen.

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