Kristallweissbier (Weihenstephaner)

Happy International Beer Day!!!

Never heard of it?  Well I just learned about it yesterday myself.  But who am I to deny some randomly made up holiday about beer (as if I need an excuse to drink beer).  So in honor of this day I have decided that instead of just getting a beer out of the fridge and doing a review on it I would go to the liquor store and find a random imported beer and do a review on it.

I will likely be running solo on this one as my lovely wife is doing some photo shoot in Concordia, KS.  This also means editing will be minimal.

The beer I have chosen to review is by Weihenstephaner and the style is a Kristallweissbier (5.4%).  Kristallweissbier is similar to a Hefeweizen except that instead of leaving the yeast in it, the yeast is filtered out.  Why would they leave the yeast in a Hefeweizen and why would it be filtered in a Kristallweissbier?  In a Hefeweizen the yeast provides flavor.  When you drink a Hefeweizen you may feel as if you taste bananas and/or cloves.  That is due to the yeast imparting flavor on the beer.  In a Kristallweissbier, there is no yeast to provide those flavors.  However, the yeast did leave subtle amounts of the flavor behind so it’s not as if you are drinking a flavorless beer.  Truth is this is a really simple and pure wheat beer. 

Many people enjoy adding slices of fruit to their beer.  If you are like me and refuse to allow slices of oranges or lemons into your beer then you understand the flavors of the different wheat ales. My opinion of adding fruit slices to beer is that if you don’t like the beer then don’t drink it, just don’t ruin it by putting citrus juice in it.  For once though the Germans (Northern half) disagree with me.  The Kristallweissbier for them, is one they are willing to add a slice of lemon.  The reasoning behind that is to try and add the flavors similar to a Hefeweizen which they believe have been removed through filtration.  The Southern Germans (Bavarians) still prefer to keep this beer fruit free (it was their idea to filter the Hefeweizen in the first place). 

On to the review…..

The aroma is a slightly banana-ish and the color a lovely straw color (not sure how accurate straw is as straw is yellow and the beer is goldish).  The head on the pour is an off-white color but dissipates fairly quickly.  The taste again is very similar to a Hefeweizen so the initial taste is banana while the finish provides a hint of a hop bite (very gentle though).  The body is smooth (not creamy as there are a lot of tiny bubbles). 

Beer Advocate called this beer an “unintentional lawn mower beer” and I have to agree with them.  The beer is crisp and light and would go very well with quenching a thirst on a very hot day.  I found this beer to be a great change up from the typical Hefeweizen and American wheat while still tasting just like them.

Tried looking into other breweries who make this style and it seems that they tried a few years ago but currently not much is out there.  This one is probably your best best or else ask a local brewery to attempt it and hope for the best.



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