Daily beer project

Beer #3: Henry Weinhard’s Hefeweizen

Posted in American Craft Beer by dailybeerproject on January 16, 2010

The hefeweizen was easy to drink. Really easy to drink. It had virtually no bitterness and a very pleasant sour aspect. Alex/Watcher mentioned that “it’s popular with many people who aren’t otherwise big beer drinkers, including many women.” I can see why. I could also see why it’s popular mixed with lemonade–from my very limited experience so far, I would describe it as the lemonade of beers, at least those I’ve tried: pleasantly sour complemented by just enough sweetness. The two flavors would likely go nicely together.

The problem with this beer is that there’s nothing compelling about the flavor profile. It’s pleasant enough, sure, but like a good cup of coffee or glass of wine, for a drink to be something you savor, it has to have a certain degree of complexity. The flavors should stimulate the palate in multiple ways, and I didn’t get that from this hefeweizen.

Alex/Watcher also suggested Spaten Optimator, a dark hefeweizen or dunkelweizen, which I’m looking forward to trying. I expect (hope) this beer to be more multi-dimensional–we’ll see if I like it.

My pouring still isn’t dialed. I left less air between bottle and glass this time and let the glass get 2/3 full before pouring down the middle. I ended up with not enough head. Don’t know if that’s a function of pouring technique, if hefeweizen is less disposed to head development, or if it’s a little of both.

Summary thoughts: I can honestly say I’m coming to enjoy beer and am just barely at the cusp of figuring out what I like in beer and what to look for. I did not expect to come to the point of enjoyment nearly this fast. I’ve got a lot more exploring to do, but I’m thrilled that the experience has gone from difficult to enjoyable in just three days. I also find it interesting that what one might assume to be a simple task–pouring the beer–is proving to be a learning experience as well. I’m looking forward to trying my first European beer tomorrow.


2 Responses

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  1. etiberius said, on January 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Wow- thats a big change in three days.
    You are correct on less head retention with a hefe- I’ve noticed that too.

  2. gregclimbs said, on January 19, 2011 at 7:44 am

    The lack of bitterness you noted is directly related to head retention…

    two primary ingredients of retention are proteins and isomers that hops contribute. while a wheat beer does tend to contain a higher # of proteins, they also tend to be much lower hopped (as you noted).

    this is part of the lack of head retention…

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