By now you’ve read our summer issue. Right? Of course you have. And you also took the time to read the wildly popular Season’s Drinking. As we said (now we are going to quote ourselves), “Summer definitely equals WHEAT beers. And the brewers had plenty to say about wheats. So much so, we could have filled five pages. It was quite difficult to keep it to one spread.” Luckily on the internet we don’t have to worry about page count. We can lay it all out. Here is the first of ten questions with every answer we received. No editing:
What makes your wheat special and/or different?
Nate Seale, (512) Brewing
In most ways, (512) WIT is a very traditional Belgian Witbier. Where we break from tradition is in adding dried grapefruit peel, rather than bitter orange peel, and it gives our beer a slightly more bracing dryness that isn’t found in other wheat beers.
Will Golden, Austin Beerworks
Our wheat beer will be low Alcohol and slightly tart. This will make an extremely qua fable beer perfect for the hot summer months. The typical esters will be present however it will have an extra level of depth with the presence of lactic and ascetic acids producing a slight sourness.
Jeff Young, Black Star Co-op
Elba—American wheat ale with lemongrass, grains of paradise, bitter orange peel; Cul Sec—Belgian wheat ale with bitter orange peel; Waterloo—sour mashed American wheat ale with peaches. Elba is special because it was designed by a forum of co-op owners. It was only supposed to be around for a couple months but ended up being so popular that we keep it on tap for half the year! Waterloo is a very technically difficult beer to make. Being sour, light, and hiding nothing, Waterloo gives peaches the attention they deserve while being a truly Austin inspired beer.
Ben Sabel, Circle Brewing Co.
Our BLUR Texas Hefe is based on the traditional Bavarian Hefeweizen, but we did a few things differently to fine tune it for the Texas heat. First, we add a little caramel malt, which helps to bring together the body and give it a slightly creamier mouth feel. We also ferment at lower temps to minimize the prominent bubblegum and banana esters, while bringing out natural citrus notes. Fermenting at lower temps and proper conditioning time also helps to knock out much of the yeast in suspension, leaving a crisper, cleaner, and less chalky wheat (without filtering, of course).
Josh Wilson, Draught House Pub & Brewery
All my beers are “special,” haven’t you heard! I tend to use more hops than many current styles dictate. I try and understand the core of a style and why it works, then try to riff on that. Add a twist, subvert the meaning or compound it.
Jeffrey Stuffings, Jester King Craft Brewery
Although most of our beers have at least some wheat in the grist, Bonnie the Rare Berliner Weisse and Drink’in the Sunbelt Hoppy Wheat Beer are the two wheat beers we make. Both are session beers with alcohol by volume below 4%. Bonnie the Rare incorporates souring bacteria to add tartness to the beer and is not boiled in order to preserve a starchy wheat character.
Chip McElroy, Live Oak Brewing Co.
We brew a proper Bavarian-style Hefeweizen. In a crazy mixed up world where American wheat beers are sometimes named “Hefe-weizen,” I guess that makes it special. Though, it shouldn’t be that way. It’s like having a restaurant with “sauerkraut” on the menu, but serving cole slaw instead. Just because they’re both 95% cabbage, they are nonetheless two different foods. Nomenclature should reveal, not obscure, identity. I’m not sure who said that.
Erik Ogershok, Real Ale Brewing Co.
We don’t brew a wheat beer. We have brewed both a Roggen and Dunkel Roggenbier in lieu of the wheat.
Jake Maddux, Thirsty Planet Brewing Co.
The Yellow Armadillo is an American-style wheat. Most peoples’ perceptions of wheat beers generally focus on German-style Hefeweizens with their banana and clove esters. I find that people that generally don’t like hefes, after trying our wheat come around to the style again.
Amos Lowe, Uncle Billy’s
Nothing, we copy the Germans and Belgians.