What are the best Hefeweizen beers to try this year? What is a Hefeweizen? Where did they come from?
Hefeweizens are hazy and golden with notes of banana and clove but very low hoppiness. They are full-bodied and highly carbonated with medium-low ABV. Some of the best Hefeweizen beers to try in 2023 are Ayinger Brau-Weisse, Erdinger Weissbier, Bell’s Oberon, Dancing Man, Hacker Pschorr Hefe Weisse, Great Lakes Lemon Wheat, and Troegs Dreamweaver.
Read on to find more about the Hefeweizen style, the best ones to try in 2022, and specific details for each of those beers.
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What is a Hefeweizen?
What makes a Hefeweizen, a Hefeweizen? It has everything to do with its composition – the two main components being wheat and yeast.
Hefeweizen is a white beer that is made from at least 50% wheat. They have potent banana esters and clove phenols with a hazy straw to amber body. They have thick and persistent heads and are highly carbonated. They typically have a full body and mouthfeel from low-flocculating yeast, although some iterations are clear-bodied.
Some specific characteristics of the style include:
- Color – Hazy straw to amber; 3-9 SRM
- Common flavor – Bananas and clove, sometimes with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, or bubble gum
- Aroma – Banana and wheat
- Mouthfeel – Thin or full, highly carbonated
- IBUs (Bitterness) – 10-15, hop flavor is very low or unnoticeable
- ABV – Medium-low; 4.9-5.6%
History of the Hefeweizen
The Hefeweizen has seen its rough patches, particularly when it was first crafted and popularized.
The Hefeweizen has been around for centuries, originating in the 1520s despite the Reinheitsgebot purity law mandated that all beer brewed in Germany must contain only water, barley, and hops.
The style is still enjoyed today and there are many iterations of the style that we see in the US and across the world.
The best Hefeweizen beers to try in 2023!
These are the best Hefeweizen beers to try in 2023. Although most of these beers have been on the market for some time, they are ones that you absolutely should try to get your hands on before the year’s end.
Here is a list of the most recommended Hefeweizens:
- Ayinger Brau-Weisse
- Erdinger Weissbier
- Bell’s Oberon
- Dancing Man Wheat
- Hefe Weisse Hacker Pschorr
- Great Lakes Lemon Wheat
- Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat
- Widmer Hefe
- Pyramid Hefeweizen
- Two Roads No Limits
Let’s get into the details of each of these beers!
1. Ayinger Brau-Weisse
- Brand: Ayinger Privatbrauerei
- From: Bavaria, Germany
- ABV: 5.1%
- IBU: 13
- Featured Hops: Hallertau
- Taste: Crisp with notes of spice and grains. Semi sweet with a hazy golden straw body. Full mouthfeel and a crisp finish across the tongue. Banana esters are prominent.
- Where you can find it: bottled in various states across the U.S.
2. Erdinger Weissbier
- Brand: Erdinger
- From: Erding, Germany
- ABV: 5.3%
- IBU: 13
- Featured Hops: undislosed
- Taste: A slight sweetness and very little to unnoticeable bitterness. Very mild banana flavor with a wheat taste. Strong head, crisp finish. An overall more mild, but still flavorful, beer for this style.
- Where you can find it: bottle in various states across the U.S.
3. Bell’s Oberon
- Brand: Bell’s Brewery
- From: Comstock and Kalamazoo, Michigan
- ABV: 5.8%
- IBU: 26
- Featured Hops: Hersbrucker and Saaz
- Taste: Spicy hop tastes with a mixture of fruity esters and phenols. Very smooth mouthfeel. Bright citrus flavors, perfect for the summertime. Full mouthfeel and beautiful haziness
- Where you can find it: packaged in liquor stores and beer distributors across the US, on tap at bars and restaurants as a summer seasonal.
Bell’s encourages beer drinkers to brew this beer themselves! Check out their blog post for tips on how to replicate this signature brew.
4. Dancing Man Wheat New Glarus
- Brand: New Glarus Brewing Company
- From: New Glarus, Wisconsin
- ABV: 7.2%
- IBU: 12
- Featured Hops: European hop varieties
- Taste: Notes of clove and cinnamon with a mixture of fruity tastes and aromas. Full and hazy appearances and mouthfeel with an exceptionally smooth taste. A little bit of a lingering finish.
- Where you can find it: Wisconsin and other midwest states in the US.
5. Hefe Weisse Hacker-Pschorr
- Brand: Hacker-Pschorr
- From: Munich, Germany
- ABV: 5.5%
- IBU: 12
- Featured Hops: Hallertauer Herkules and Hallertauer Taurus
- Taste: Esters of wheat, citrus, and banana with a hint of clove. Fuller mouthfeel with less carbonation than others in the style. Hazy golden-orange body with persistent and hearty white head
- Where you can find it: packaged in stores across the US; possibly at bars and restaurants on tap or bottled.
6. Great Lakes Lemon Hefeweizen
- Brand: Great Lakes
- From: Cleveland, Ohio
- ABV: 5.1%
- IBU: 25
- Featured Hops: Mt. Hood
- Taste: Upfront notes of lemon and banana with a bit of spiciness. Very light body and mouthfeel with a frothy head. Traditional notes of clove are masked by lemon and citrus presence.
- Where you can find it: seasonal beer found during summer at bars and restaurants in the Northeastern U.S.; packaged in beer distributors and liquor stores where Great Lakes distributes.
7. Trӧegs Dreamweaver
- Brand: Tröegs Independent Brewing
- From: Hershey, Pennsylvania
- ABV: 4.8%
- IBU: 15
- Featured Hops: German Northern Brewer
- Taste: Hazy gold and cloudy with a full mouthfeel. Upfront notes of banana, apple, and clove. More subtle tones of lemon and black pepper. A slightly tart backend. Highly drinkable
- Where you can find it: on tap across the US; packaged in bottles across the US
8. Widmer Hefe
- Brand: Widmer
- From: Portland, Oregon
- ABV: 4.9%
- IBU: 26
- Featured Hops: Alchemy, Willamette, Cascade
- Taste: Noticeable yeast flavor with bright but light citrus notes. Bread and biscuit taste and aroma with subtle banana and clove esters and phenols. Crisp and refreshing with relatively thin mouthfeel.
- Where you can find it: packaged in cans and bottles across the U.S.; on tap at bars and restaurants
9. Pyramid Hefeweizen
- Brand: Pyramid Breweries, Inc
- From: Seattle, Washington
- ABV: 5.2%
- IBU: 18
- Featured Hops: Nugget, Liberty
- Taste: Brewed with two-row pale barley, malted wheat, and caramel malt, this hefeweizen is super smooth and semi sweet. Gold-orange body with thin-medium white head. A mild hefeweizen with more subtle notes of banana and clove.
- Where you can find it: across Northwestern U.S. on tap in restaurants and bars, packaged across Northwestern U.S.
10. Two Roads No Limits Hefeweizen
- Brand: Two Roads Brewing
- From: Stratford, Connecticut
- ABV: 5%
- IBU: 35
- Featured Hops: unknown
- Taste: Pours golden with a large white head. Medium thin body with potent notes of citrus and banana. Complex flavors – brewed with rye malt. Dry and lingering finish.
- Where you can find it: packaged in cans across the U.S.; on tap at bars and restaurants.
Psst…want to learn how to brew your own Hefeweizen beer?
For the web story version of this article check here!