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Beer Styles & Tasting Wheat Beer

GEORGE JACOB

Founder & Partner. The Beer Chronicles

There are a number of beer styles that have gained popularity in India, in the past few years. One of these styles is beer brewed using wheat. Worldwide, wheat malt is used in more than 30 styles of beer. However, in India mainly two styles of wheat beer are being brewed which are the Belgian Wit and the Weissbier styles.

Wheat beer is usually brewed with top-quality fermenting yeast, and it contains a large portion of wheat malt instead of barley malt.Things to expect from wheat beer are aromas and flavours of banana, clove, cinnamon and citrus along with a very nice thick white head that should last till the end of the glass.

The German style, Weissbier traditionally contains anywhere above 50% wheat malt and the balance is Pilsner malt. The resulting beer is refreshing and spritzy with a high level of carbonation, and it displays banana and clove characters, with very little hop character. Since these beers don’t age well, they are best enjoyed when fresh and young.

A wheat yeast produces the typical spice and fruit flavour, while the wheat malt lends a grain or bread character to the beer. Wheat being high in protein  leads to a hazy appearance. Many wheat beers are served without filtering out the yeast, which leads to even more haze in the beer.

Wheat beer is the quintessential summer thirst quencher that perfectly suits the Indian climate. Imagine spending a summer afternoon on your terrace with a glass of chilled Hefeweizen with its tart, spicy flavours and spritzy, effervescence that keeps you cool and refreshed while the hot sun is bearing down on the rest of the poor mortals drinking a commercial lager!

Wheat beers are usually served in a tall, curvy vase shaped glass. The large top allows adequate head space for the fluffy white heads that wheat beers are known for. This shape will also help lock in the aromas all the way to the end of the glass.If you’re like me, when you decide to sit down to a glass of wheat beer, don’t worry about trying to dissect the beer instead, just drink it and enjoy one of the finer things in life.

editorial@brewer-world.com

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