Made from cereal grains, beer is one of the oldest and most commonly consumed alcoholic beverages in the world, and the third most popular drink in the world after water and tea. Today, we introduce you wheat beer, a refreshing German-style of beer that is well known around the world.

What is wheat beer?

Some of the main wheat beer ingredients include hops, yeast, water, and barley. Hops bring the bitter flavor and fragrance while improving the beer's shelf life. Yeast is fermenting the beer, converting it into alcohol. Water supplies 95% of the beer content. Grain gives beer its color, aroma, protein, and sugar. Most beers use malted barley as grain, but wheat beers, by definition, have a grain content of at least half wheat. Wheat beer is any beer made up of at least 50% wheat, which is much more than most breweries made mainly from malt, rye, or by-products such as rice and corn. Wheat beers come in many types, but they're light, summery, and fresh in general.

Wheat malts produced for use in beer tend to have a lower protein content than for use in making bread. Although protein is ideal for food products such as bread and baking, too much protein can influence the way grain interacts with yeast and hops. Classic German beers are typically made from red winter wheat.

What is wheat beer

How many calories are there in wheat beer?

On average, a bottle of wheat beer contains from 150 to 170 calories, which is relatively the same as a full-strength beer. Different types of beers contain different amounts of wheat beer carbs and wheat beer calories. The higher the amount of alcohol, the higher the calories. Take these for examples:

  • A 500ml bottle of German Wheat Beer contains 222 calories and 18g of carbs
  • A 330g bottle of Hoegaarden contains 176 calories and 13g of carb
calories in wheat beer

The History of Wheat Beer

Wheat beer history may have started in the Babylonian era or earlier. Ancient Egyptian symbols discovered in many Egyptian tombs show two kinds of grains. The most ancient civilizations to use agriculture most certainly gathered all kinds of grains and brewed with whatever was usable at that specific time. The Bavarian wheat beer of Germany is considered to be the root of modern wheat beer.

The History of Wheat Beer

Wheat beer types

The first modern beer of wheat originated in Germany. Since then, the style has branched out in many different directions. Below are some of the famous well-known wheat beer types around the world:

Weizen, Weizenbier, Weissbier:

Weissbier is the traditional Bavarian wheat beer and one of Germany's biggest and most distinct beer types. Weissbier means "white beer" in German. This name comes from the yellowish color of the wheat and barley malts used to make the beer. Weizen, Weizenbier, Weissbier all relate to the same type of beer of wheat. Weizens are distinguished by their golden-orange hue, consisting of a top-fermented ale including up to 50% malted wheat. This particular style gives a fruity wheat beer taste, which is well known for. 

Weizenbier beer

Hefeweizen

Hefeweizens is a Weissbier, but it's a twist. Hefeweizens became more carbonated from a larger dose of yeast. Made of >50% wheat, this beer is distinguished by a heavy presence of banana and clove, sometimes vanilla or bubble gum, in fragrance and flavor. They're popular for their cloudy beer foam. 

Hefeweizen beer

Hefeweizen is a type of German beer from Bavaria, Germany. 'Hefe' is a German word for 'yeast,' while 'Weizen' means 'wheat,' so simply Hefeweizen is an unfiltered wheat beer with yeast in it. The yeast gives the ale a very bleak and cloudy appearance. Unfiltered yeast and wheat also add additional bitterness to the flavor.

Some worth-mentioning brands are Sierra Nevada Kellerweis, Widmer Hefeweizen, Shiner Hefeweizen.

Kristallweizen

This German beer is called Kristal Weissbier, or Kristallweizen. It is another version of Hefeweizen. After brewing, the ale is processed to extract the yeast, creating a crystal-clear Weizen beer with no shimmery or cloudiness, which now loses all the yeast that was in Hefeweizen.

Kristallweizen

Based on the German word for ‘crystal’, Kristallweizen is not cloudy like a Hefeweizen and is clear instead.

Dunkelweizen

Weiss beers can be crystal-clear, like Kristalweizen, or cloudy, like Hefeweizen, or even brown to amber, like Dunkelweizen. Dunkelweissbier or Dunkelweizen ("dark white beer" or "dark wheat") is weissbier made with the addition of dark ingredients such as caramel, crystal, or roasted malt. 

Dunkelweizen wheat beer

Dunkelweizen is known for its strong malt aroma and dark color.

American Wheat Beer

This ale is not fruity, it is strongly fermented and commonly used as the basis for other fruity beers. 

American Wheat Beer

Commonly referred to as "wheat beer" by brewers, American versions of wheat beers use fresh, American yeasts. These yeasts do not generate the heavy clove and banana flavor of German white beers or the fruity, spicy character of a witbier. American wheat beers can be crystal clear, or cloudy. Like all American styles, these wheat beers also have a more significant hop personality. This usually translates into a crisp texture compared to a witbier or a hefeweizen.

In the mid-1980s, the Widmer Brothers began to brew the Bavarian-style Weizens in Portland, Oregon. They were one of the first to create this beer style here in America. Most of the American varieties of wheat were inspired by the Widmer Brothers of Hefeweizen.

Belgian Wit

Belgian Wit

The Belgian witbier is brewed using unmalted wheat, also oats, and malted barley. Witbiers are flavored with coriander and orange peel. Dating back hundreds of years, this style was almost forgotten until it was brought back by the Belgian brewer Pierre Celis in the 1960s. This style is experiencing a comeback, especially in the American market. "Wit" means the word "white.".

Blue Moon Belgian White, Allagash White, Shock Top Belgian White are some of the famous brands of Witbier.

Bavarian Weizen Flavor Profile

This type of beer is highly carbonated, and it comes with a cloudy foam. An authentic Bavarian Weizen has a distinct fruity smell similar to vanilla or bananas instead of some hop flavors. First, a subtle malty flavor can be noticed, which is then complemented by a spicy feel due to this beer's high carbonation and fruity flavor.

Lambic

After fermentation, whole fruits are added to the beer, which is what made Lambic unique, and easy to drink. It has a low alcohol volume and a strong fruity flavor. Some worth-trying brands of Lambic are Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek and St. Louis Framboise.

Serving classical wheat beer:

The classic wheat beer is served in tall vase-like glassware, chunky at the bottom, knotting in an elegant waist, and then flaring at the rim. High carbonation and high protein in the beer combine to form a thick foam, which is the whole part of the image of the beer and the explanation for the shape of the glass. Bottles of hefeweizen are gently poured to create a perfect mousse-like foam, and then the bottle is swirled with the last of the beer to collect the yeast, which is applied to the container as a finishing touch. 

Serving classical wheat beer

Best non alcoholic beer

While beer is typically made up of alcohol, producers offer the alternative of traditional beer to non-drinkers, which is non-alcoholic beer. This style of beer retains the essence of the beer in terms of its taste, appearance, and scent, minus its alcohol content. 

The name sounds pretty simple-beer that doesn't contain alcohol. However, non-alcoholic beer also contains a smaller level of alcohol than normal beer, which means that it is not yet non-alcoholic. Below are some non-alcoholic beer brands for you:

Wheat Beer Weihenstephaner

Wheat Beer Weihenstephaner

Weihenstephaner, founded in Germany, is one of the world’s oldest breweries. It offers versions of classic brews, like the NA Wheat Beer and NA Original Helles. From the world's oldest brewery, Weihenstephaner, this wheat beer non alcoholic drink tastes like a hefeweizen, with popular lemon and wheat flavors that are mild and soothing.

Heineken 0.0

Heineken 0.0

The famous Dutch brand has released the 0.0 version. This line of product is quite different from the alcoholic version – 0.0 contains 'natural ingredients', like the hop extract, water, and barley malt. Like its alcoholic version, 0.0 has a pure, golden hue of amber. It gives a good head, but it quickly fades. 

The fragrance is similar to the alcoholic version. It's fresh, fruity, and malty.

Hoegaarden 0.0

Hoegaarden 0.0

Hoegaarden 0.0 is India's first alcohol-free wheat beer. This product is bottle-fermented and, when poured, will give a cloudy appearance and a thick creamy foam. Hoegaarden is best enjoyed when served in its hexagonal glass which helps to keep the beer colder for longer. This drink is best served cold.

Some wheat beer cocktail recipes:

The words 'beer' and 'cocktail' do not usually come together, but quality beer makes a perfect product to add length and taste to a spirit-based cocktail. The trick is to choose the main flavors of your brew, and then to combine them with other ingredients to create a strong drink that will soothe your thirst finely. Here are some cocktail wheat beer recipes with wheat beer as the main ingredients:

Radler Paloma

Radler Paloma

Ingredients

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 4 oz grapefruit juice or grapefruit beer
  • ½  lime juice
  • 3 - 4 ice cubes
  • 1 tsp simple syrup (optional)

Steps

  1. Add all of the ingredients and shake with ice
  2. Strain into a glass over ice
  3. Pour the beer on top
  4. Garnish and enjoy

Raspberry wheat beer cocktail

Raspberry wheat beer cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz vegan elderflower liqueur
  • ¼  cup of frozen raspberries
  • 3 oz wheat beer

Steps

  1. Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth
  2. Pour into a glass with ice on top
  3. Pour in the wheat beer
  4. Give a stir and serve garnished with extra raspberries.

Michelada

Michelada

Ingredients

  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime wedge (for decoration)
  • ¼ cup of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch celery salt
  • 12 oz beer

Steps

  1. Mix salt and cayenne pepper 
  2. Rub the lime wedge around the glass’s rim
  3. Dip the rim into the salt-cayenne mixture.
  4. Add lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, black pepper, and celery salt in the glass
  5. Pour the beer and finish on top with the lime wedge

Beergarita

Beergarita

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Tequila
  • 12 oz Tattersall Grapefruit Crema
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 12 oz light beer

Directions

  1. Put ice in the glass
  2. Combine all ingredients 
  3. Pour the mixture into the glass
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge
  5. Salt rim optional

Beermosa

Beermosa

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup wheat beer
  • ⅓  cup grapefruit juice (or orange juice)

Directions

  1. Mix wheat beer, and the juice 
  2. Pour the mixture into a glass
  3. Garnish with a grapefruit slice

Wheat beer brands in the Philippines

Beer drinkers in Southeast Asia have been getting more specific drinks for some time now. Consumer tastes and expectations are moving to better quality products, and craft beer is the solution to the beer drinker's demand for a fresher, more aromatic, and natural beer experience.

The tradition of craft wheat beer Philippines is expanding widely. In the past few years, there has been a rise in the number of microbreweries and locally-brewed beer being offered across the country. Here is a wheat beer list including some really good local craft beers in the Philippines that will be worth your time.

The Crazy Carabao wheat beer

The Crazy Carabao wheat beer

This craft beer is made with lots of herbs and gives a fruity taste. It is produced with coriander seeds and hops, as well as citrus and clove. The fragrance of orange and banana can be noticed.

Joe’s Brew siera madre wheat ale

Joe’s Brew siera madre wheat ale

This beer is ideal for those who enjoy the haze and the silky flavor of wheat beers, such as Hoegaarden and Berliner Weisse. This simple brew has a light, fruity flavor with hints of banana.

Pedro craft beer, endless summer wheat ale

Pedro craft beer wheat ale

A sunny golden-colored beer that is light and refreshing with banana, clove, citrus flavors, and a dry finish.

Conclusion

With their crisp, light, and soothing flavor, wheat beers are the ideal summer refreshments. It's a genuinely tasty cocktail for your taste buds. Wheat brings a smooth feel, a touch of bright tanginess, and a dry palate, all made for refreshing but somehow satisfying—beers. Known for its fizzy smell, its stunning golden hue, and its complex fruity flavor and aromas, this beer is sure to satisfy you. It's considered to be an acquired taste, but after you fall for it, you can find yourself unable to drink other forms of beer again. 

A great beer will never fulfill its potential if served in a paper cup. Great beers deserve great casks. Try having your beer served in tall glasses, maybe even customized ones. You won't regret it.