Weissbier

BJCP 10a

Overall Impression
A pale, refreshing German wheat beer with high carbonation, dry finish, a fluffy mouthfeel, and a distinctive banana-and-clove yeast character.
Comments

These are refreshing, fast-maturing beers that are lightly hopped and show a unique banana-and-clove yeast character. These beers often don’t age well and are best enjoyed while young and fresh. The version mit hefe is served with suspended yeast; the krystal version is filtered for excellent clarity. The character of a krystal weizen is generally fruitier and less phenolic than that of the weissbier mit hefe. May be known as hefeweizen, particularly in the United States.

History
While Bavaria has a wheat beer tradition dating back hundreds of years, brewing wheat beer used to be a monopoly reserved for Bavarian royalty. Modern weissbier dates from 1872 when Schneider began production. However, pale weissbier only became popular since the 1960s. It is quite popular today, particularly in southern Germany.
Ingredients
By German brewing tradition, at least 50% of the grist must be malted wheat, although some versions use up to 70%; the remainder is typically Pilsner malt. A decoction mash is traditional, although modern brewers typically don’t follow this practice. Weizen ale yeast produces the typical spicy and fruity character, although high fermentation temperatures can affect the balance and produce off-flavors.
Commercial Examples
Ayinger Bräu Weisse, Hacker-Pschorr Weisse, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen Naturtrüb, Schneider Weisse Unser Original, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier