Friday, November 5, 2010

The Session #45- Wheat Beers

This month's version of The Session is hosted by Beer Taster and dips its feet into Wheat Beers:

"We have the honour of hosting the 45th session which allows us to choose the topic we will all be exploring, we wanted to get back closer to the roots of the Session and pick a topic which was simple and yet gives a wide range of interpretations so we chose, simply (or perhaps not so simply), Wheat Beers.

Feel free to take this topic in any direction you like, specific reviews, historical information, or any other twist you'd like to use. Wheat beers are a pretty wide topic and actually cover German style Weizen, Heffe Weizen, etc. along with Belgian style Witbier and even Flavoured Wheat beers.

There are very few guidelines here, just have some fun drinking Wheat Beers in the fall instead of the summer."
What I would like to highlight is the last part of the last sentence- "just have some fun drinking Wheat Beers in the fall instead of the summer".  What turns me on about this sentence, is that I have never really felt you must drink certain beers in certain seasons.  Sure, I love a good crisp pilsner (Victory Prima Pils) after mowing the lawn on a hot day.  I love sitting infront of our fireplace with a nice coffee stout (Southern Tier Mokah). But more often than not, I just go for whatever I am in the mood for.  I try to keep a nice balance of beers on hand.

This year, I have been drinking a lot of Saisons.  What was one of the beers that I had during the Christmas festivities last year?  I went with an Ommegang Hennepin.  Multiple times I grabbed a Guinness while sitting outside for lunch during the summer, and one of the best beer experiences this year was having an Organic Shade Mountain Oatmeal Stout (Selin's Grove Brewing) while chatting with my brother on a very warm April day (sure April is still a "dark beer" month, but it was very warm and we were sitting outside in the sun).  Hopefully, I am getting my point across that I like all beers in all weather.

As for the Wheat Beers, I do love them.  But when I started my journey, I strayed away from them.  Why?  Blue Moon and Hoegaarden.  Blue Moon was a Miller rip off.  I had strong feelings against BMC.  (I understand there is a lot ok with BMC- you know what you are getting, everytime.  Too bad it isn't something good.  Blue Moon is standable, but I would rather not have it.)  Hoegaarden was good, but I viewed it as the Belgian Macro.  A beer that you could obtain a million places (well now looking at it, it is good and I don't blame those places for having a very drinkable beer on tap).  Now I have been keeping Wheat Beers (more Belgian then German) in my rotation.

A couple of the "usual" wheat beers that fill the beer box include: Allagash White, Hitachino Nest White Ale, Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat, Sierra Nevada Kellerweis and The Bruery Hottenroth.

I love drinking these beers year round, and look forward to opening my next.  What do you suggest drinking?  How do you feel about drinking certain beers during the seasons?


  1. Oh, you mentioned one of my favorites there, Hottenroth. Just an amazing beer in my opinion in an incredibly under-utilized style (berliner-weiss).

    I just made a comment on another blog about it, but anything you can get from Weihenstephaner I find excellent. They do wheat beers and they do them right.

    As for when to drink beers, like you I tend to drink what I feel like, although in general, I go lighter in summer and heavier in winter, but that is more just a fact of what is available than anything else. I have no problem pulling out a nice barrel-aged scotch ale during the middle of July, or grabbing the last summer saison in January. It's all good as long as the beer is good.

  2. @Barroomhero- Weihenstephaner makes great beer, just not stuff I normally try to keep around or find.

  3. I've liked the Hoegaarden/Blue Moon style of beer as long as I've been into drinking craft beer. About a week ago I had a chance to get a bunch of different belgian whites. Avery Brewing's White Rascal and John's Celebration Ale by Millstream Brewing were my two favorites from that assortment.