We all know how Germans are mad about beers, but did you know that they consider Weiss a breakfast beer? That’s true. They serve it with mustard, boiled sausage, and pretzels. Doesn’t that sound like a king’s breakfast to you? Weiss is not only famous in Germany for that, but it is also known as an excellent top-fermented ale.
Are you already asking yourself, ‘what is Weiss beer?’ It is a German wheat beer also referred to as Weissbier. This beer is brewed with unrefined yeast and wheat, which probably makes its banana, clove, and bubblegum flavors distinctive. Why do we like Weiss beer? There is no better highly carbonated drink like Weiss. Not to mention, while drinking, it gives you a fantastic creamy, fluffy mouthfeel.
Do you know what else is exciting about this exceptional style of beer? Keep reading to find out!
The origin of Weiss beer
Weiss beer is one of the oldest beers you can find in the market today. It was first brewed in Bohemia and belonged to Bavaria’s 500-year long tradition. Initially, it was referred to as “Weisses beer,” meaning white beer, and the only beer made from the wheat during summer. For that reason, Weiss beer became very popular from the 16th to 18th century.
However, the popularity swiftly decreased at the end of the 18th century due to the availability of higher quality brown beers and pilsner-style light beers. It was until the 1960s when Weiss beer started to undergo restoration. Presently, Weiss has become popular again and is considered a favorite drink for a hot day.
What does Weiss taste like?
While different types of Weiss have a distinctive taste, you’ll notice a balanced clove and banana flavors that range from low – strong for all of them. Before you make your first sip, you’ll see a creamy foam that builds at the head of the glass. The beer is all cloudy because it contains high proteins loaded in wheat. We believe this cloudiness is what will attract you the most to get started.
Some moderate bubblegum and vanilla-like characters are perceptible, with a sweet roundness emphasizing the banana flavor. Malt is a Weiss beer that is soft with grainy and bready textures to enhance sweetness. Since there is a little hop, you might not notice the bitterness in this beer as it ranges from very low to low.
Weiss beer is, however, always effervescent due to its creamy fullness and incredible mouthfeel. The aroma is also appreciable as the flavors used are light, with minimal vanilla and tart-citrus. Not to mention, you’ll have an excellent dry finishing. Would you like to taste your own brewed Weiss beer? We’ve got a handy recipe to guide you on every step.
Which are the types of German Weiss?
Before we dive right into these fantastic German wheat beers, you need to know that they are all ale style (top-fermented) and contain a unique yeast strain that gives them exclusive flavors. The taste may, however, vary depending on the ale. If you want the finest Weiss beer, here are the main types to choose from:
The appearance of this classic German wheat ale will excite your taste buds. It is cloudy and pale golden to gold, and its alcohol content ranges from 4.5%-6%. Hefeweizen contains a high ratio of wheat, and part of the name “hefe” means yeast, which shows that it is made with unfiltered yeast.
If you did not know, a beer that contains unrefined yeast is a little more nutritious, and it’s why Hefeweizen comes at you all cloudy and super delicious. Isn’t that a bonus point? Who doesn’t love their drink tasty and pleasant? Of course, that’s what we all want!
This type of beer ranges from bready and malty to fruity, making it pretty tasty. You’ll also notice bitterness, one of the hop’s characteristics. While there are several flavors to appreciate in this German ale, we think Torulaspora delbrueckii, ahem, a special yeast is the most important one as it imparts aromas like clove, banana, and hints of bubblegum.
Another thing we acknowledge in Hefeweizen is the presence of lively bubbles due to its bottle conditioning. Besides that, after filling your glass, you’ll have a delightful interpretation of all the flavors included in this classic wheat beer.
Kristalweizen results from what you get after filtering the yeast (“hefe”) out of Hefeweizen, which we have just discussed above. You might perceive it as the same beer, but it is a little clearer. The color of Kristalweizen looks clear to dark gold, making it look a lot like crystal Pepsi.
Although it has a great taste, the filling is less because the yeast has been removed. With a beer made of unfiltered special yeast strain like Hefeweizen, you’re assured of distinctive flavors. On the contrary, removing the yeast minimizes the banana’s flavors, bubblegum, and clove in Kristalweizen.
On the positive side, this Weiss beer still has so much to offer in flavor and aroma. Kristalweizen is fermented at high temperatures, and that’s why the wondrous yeast activity produces exceptional clove-like phenol and aromatic, fruity esters. As you pour the beer into your glass, you can’t help but notice the rise of bubblegum, banana, and citrus flavors from the formed foam.
Dunkelweizen is a darker version of Hefeweizen, whose part of the name “Dunkel” means dark. It originates from the culture of Bavaria, which is commonly known for dark wheat beers. Dunkelweizen tastes remarkably delicious, probably due to the high amount of wheat, with added Vienna malts or Munch. We also like how cloudy it is and the copper to rich brown color.
Like with Hefeweizen, this beer is made of Torulaspora delbrueckii, a special yeast strain mentioned above. You might find the name complex, so you don’t have to beat yourself hard memorizing. You can note simple flavors like clove, banana, bready and malty taste, as well as hints of caramel. The ABV (alcohol by volume) is quite friendly as it ranges between 4.5% and 6.5%.
Some of the things that you might overlook at all include a sense of roastiness and hops. However, as you have a pretty dry finish, you might sense a delicate tartness. Overall, the balancing of flavors is quite impressive, with a mixture of rich malty complexity and first-class Weizen yeast.
Unlike other German wheat beers, Weizenbock is both stronger in alcohol and body. It contains an ABV of 7%-10% and has a color of dark amber to dark brown. Any beer lover would appreciate this ale because it is wheat-based, fruity, spicy, chocolaty, bready, and malty, with a perfect combination of most delicate malt and yeast essences of dark or pale Weissbier.
Since Weizenbock is also brewed with special yeast strains, you will notice clove and banana flavors showing up in plenty. The richer body comes from Vienna malts or Munich, barely bitter or hoppy, but quenchingly tart. Apart from being complex and delicious, Weizenbock is an exclusive beer, richer and more robust than Hefeweizen or Dunkelweizen. The only thing they have in common is the yeast character.
Food pairings for Weiss beer
When it is a question of food, Weissbier is an incredibly versatile drink. You can pair it up with any food, as long as you don’t mind the banana and clove flavors that complement it. Weissbier does not only go well with lighter foods like chicken, sole, or salads, but also with spicier meals like Vietnamese Cuisine, chicken Vindaloo, or Thai dishes. Our two favorite foods are Tandoori chicken and omelets.
To prepare Tandoori chicken, marinate skinless thighs and legs of a chicken in a mixture of lime juice, yoghurt, and spices like cayenne pepper and clove before grilling. The reason we love it this way is that it complements clove flavors in Weissbier.
The crisp cleansing power of a Weiss beer also matches perfectly well with omelets (eggs). We love how the acidity and carbonation of Weiss beer cut through the yolk of an egg and the additional cheese. To further complement this beer, consider topping your omelet with bacon, ham, mushroom, or spinach. Besides, you won’t go wrong by adding a green pepper for bitterness.
Remember, you’re not limited to those two foods as there are various options to choose from. Don’t have an idea? Try any of these brilliant wheat beer pairings.
Weiss beer is an exclusive German wheat ale that offers everything that you need. It has a noticeable taste of clove, banana, and bubblegum flavors. Being a wheat-based beer, it is rich in proteins, and it is quite evident from the formed foam after pouring it into a glass.
With this beer, you’re not limited to one type, and that’s the most adorable thing about it. You can choose from the four main types: Hefeweizen, Kristal Weizen, Dunkelweizen, and Weizenbock. Each of them is delicious and has an incredible taste that pairs well with any food, including spicy and lighter dishes.
From the above information, which part did you find the most interesting? Please don’t hesitate to tell us! We also don’t mind answering some of your questions.