Posts Tagged ‘hefeweizen’

Gateway Brewing Beer Flight

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

While in Mumbai we stopped over at the Woodside Inn in Colaba and tried all the local craft beers they had on tap. Today I’ll rate the beer flight we had from Gateway Brewing, located in Dombivli. The flight included the three Gateway beers Woodside has on tap: an English-style IPA and two German wheat styles, a light and a dark.

First up was the White Zen wheat beer. It pours an opalescent pale golden yellow with a bit of creamy white head which forms a nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is light, but there’s a noticeable banana character and a hint of clove. The flavor is clean and quite refreshing on a hot day, with a smooth clove character and a bit of sweetness that fades away quickly. Gateway Brewing beer flight The palate is light and active, making for an easy drinking beer, but it asks for just a bit more flavor.

Next we tried the Doppelgänger dunkelweizen, a fairly hazy dark ruddy brown with a little off white head. The aroma is mild, with some caramel and a bit of nuttiness. The flavor, while somewhat flat, is refreshing as well, but otherwise unremarkable. The mouthfeel is creamy and there’s a hint of cloying sweetness at the end. When tasting it I didn’t even realize it was a dunkelweizen, mistaking the mild flavor for a German-style dark lager.

Finally we had the India Pale Ale, with its distinctively floral English character. Their IPA pours a barely hazy cupric gold color with some bone white head. The light aroma is mostly hops, a light herbal and floral nose. The flavor is likewise mostly floral hops, with hints of biscuity malt character spicing things up. The palate is also light and refreshing, but the carbonation ends up being a bit too harsh.

+Gateway White Zen

3.8 (4-7-7-4-16)

+Gateway India Pale Ale

3.7 (3-7-8-3-15)

+/-Gateway Doppelgänger

3.0 (4-6-5-3-12)

Mahr’s Saphir Weiss

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Mahr's Saphir WeissFrom Mahr’s Bräu in Bamburg, Bavaria, comes an amber-colored wheat beer brewed with a metric ton of Saphir hops. Longtime readers know that I am a fan of this unique strain of Hallertauer hops.

The Saphir Weiss is an opalescent copper color with a fair bit of creamy off-white head. The nose is full of classic weizen yeast character: banana and clove. This one has just a bit of an uncommon fruity hop aroma, something of a tangerine dream.

The bitterness of this beer is genuinely surprising; after the aroma you would expect a sweet banana bread flavor. A richly herbal hop bitterness takes its place. Grassy green and citric hops yield to cloves, which have an easier time breaking through than the banana. A bready malt sweetness supports the hops, and bananas echo in the background. There is just a bit of a lingering physical sensation on the tongue, accompanied by faint notes of banana and cloves.

+Saphir Weiss

3.8 (4-8-7-3-16)


Friday, September 24th, 2010

Bacchusbräu brewhouse - Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

This is the first of several posts that I took notes for in Germany but didn’t get around to finishing. The last few weeks there and the first few back home were hectic. Anyway, on to the beer.

While traveling with my mother around the Middle Rhein Valley, I had a chance to try the beer from one of the smallest breweries in Germany, Bacchusbräu in Bacharach, Rheinland-Pfalz. On their 200 liter brewing system Armin Mahl makes the beer to go along with wife Annette’s wonderful cooking. But this is truly just the Theatergastronomie adjacent to the theater they built, which features marionette shows as well as ones with regular actors.Braumeisterbrötchen On one side of the building, directly facing the old city wall, and beyond it the Rhein, there is a patio under the canopy of an old carousel and a fence made of barrel staves.

I was impressed with just about everything about this place. They bake a rich and savory mini loaf of multigrain bread called Braumeisterbrötchen – Brewmasters’ Rolls – that are stuffed with fillings. The vegetarian one had cheese, mushrooms, onions, and caraway seeds, and was divine.Cat at Bacchusbrau Oh, and their cat is ridiculously friendly.

I started out with the standard lager, Loreley. They call it a pilsener but it really seems to me to be a classic Munich helles. Named after perhaps the most famous rock in the world, Loreley is easily one of the best German beers I have had the pleasure to taste.

A yellow gold with a beautiful haze is topped with some creamy white head. The rich malty aroma is thick with bread and just a little sweet. Delicate floral noble hops dance.

Bacchusbräu Loreley and 1689The flavor of Loreley is barely dry, but still has a strong malt richness. The high quality malt used clearly shows through, so the beer tastes quite fresh. The palate is full and round without intruding. It is not bitter, but rather remarkably balanced.

Next I had the Münchner dunkel, called 1689. I’m not certain what the name refers to, though I know that year there was some unpleasantness related to the Nine Years’ War in nearby Mannheim and Heidelberg.

A pleasingly opalescent very pale hazelnut brown with some white head. The aroma is light, with malty caramel and hints of hops, and a little sweetness. It is promising, but much too fleeting.

The flavor is also a bit on the mild side. Caramel and toast malt flavors are complimented by an earthy and herbal hop character. The hops also lend a reasonable bitterness. Something is making it a bit astringent, Bacchusweizenwhich grows more prominent through the taste. The palate is full but still drinkable, but the 1689 would benefit from a bit more carbonation.

The wheat beer is named simply Bacchusweizen. It is naturally very hazy, and by looking at the bubbles rise, clearly very active. Golden straw in color with a creamy, cloudlike white head. The aroma is light and bready, with a lot of cloves as well. Some floral on the nose could be from hops.

The taste of the Bacchusweizen is dry, with a solid clove flavor. There is a good wheat character manifesting as bread and rich maltiness. The light hop flavor is spicy, complimenting the clove from the yeast. The palate is dry and quite lively. The adding of flavor hops to weizen is a relatively new concept, but there are a few that do it do good effect, including this one. Even discounting the hops this beer is a unique hefeweizen, drier and spicier than most. Very refreshing.

Finally the bock beer, Burg Stahleck – Verlies. Burg Stahleck is the castle overlooking the town of Bacharach, now a youth hostel.Bacchusbräu Berg Stahleck - Verlies Verlies is the German word for “dungeon”. They properly serve this strong beer in a hefty stone mug.

It is richly hazy, with a deep caramel brown color and creamy tawny head. The aroma is rich and sweet with caramel, dark fruit, and a rich spiciness of cinnamon and cardamom, pepper and cloves.

The flavor is malty and sweet. The spiciness on the taste is quite strong, dominated by cinnamon and pepper. The alcohol makes itself apparent with a warming sensation. The whole of it almost gives the impression of brandy. The Verlies is full but not cloying, active but not bothersome, and rich but still drinkable. Just well-crafted strong beer goodness.


4.2 (3-9-8-4-18)

++Burg Stahleck – Verlies

4.2 (4-9-7-4-18)


3.8 (3-7-8-4-16)


3.8 (4-7-7-4-16)

Oktoberfest: Erdinger

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Yet another greater Munich area brewery, Erdinger Weissbrau is in the hamlet Erding at the end of the S2 northeast of Munich. Their festbier is also made with wheat, producing an Oktoberfest Weizen.

2009-10-14-erdingerThis Weizen is a somewhat hazy copper color with a visibly active carbonation. Its big and creamy off white head lasts forever. The nose is delicate but complex. A light banana character greets first, with rich caramel malt notes quick on the heels. Slowly it opens up into a big malty aroma accentuated by phenols and alcohols: cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and a bit of a warming tingling.

A creamy but not overpowering body and clean mild flavor make this a very drinkable beer. Rich dry maltiness comes through as toast. Pepper and a bit of herbal hops accompany, and there is the slightest hop bitterness.

If the goal of a festbier is to be drinkable for ten hours a day, the Erdinger undoubtedly passes. If the goal is an interesting beer highlighting the best Bavarian grains and hops, Erdinger has produced a triumph.

++Erdinger Oktoberfest Weizen

4.3 (5-8-8-5-17)

Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen Weisse

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

This next beer is the result of a collaboration between Hans-Peter Drexler of Weissbierbrauerei Schneider and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery. It comes in two forms, one brewed at each of the breweries, and the two have slightly different hopping regimes. Both are called Hopfen Weisse (“Hop Wheat Beer”); when made in Kelheim the full name is Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen Weisse.Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen Weisse This one is dry hopped with saphir (have I been in a rut recently?). In case you are curious, when made in Brooklyn it is called Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen Weisse and it’s dry hopped with amarillo and palisade.

The Hopfen Weisse is a very cloudy tangerine yellow. It has a bit of off-white head. The aroma is much like you would expect from a hefeweizen: strong clove and banana and some bready, wheaty, and toasty malt notes. In this one, however, there is a distinct citric hop aroma. The nose is delicate but remarkably complex. The already carefully balanced hefe character has found a hoppy companion.

The flavor delivers on what the nose promises. Likewise light and delicate, it is a dance of wheat breadiness, yeast clovitude, and hop citricity (that’s right). There is just a hint of alcohol warming, not enough to tell you that it’s over 8 percent by volume. A bit of sweetness keeps the alcohol at bay to let the cloves and exotic fruit flavors shine. That sweetness refrains from hanging around long enough to be cloying, maintaining the delicacy of this beer.

As my friend Jan says about this one, “Nom, nom, nom!”

++Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen Weisse

4.3 (3-8-9-5-18)

P.S. In case you were wondering, that is my saphir single hop homebrew in the backgroud waiting to get racked.

Hacker-Pschorr Sternweisse

Friday, November 7th, 2008

The second oldest of Munich’s breweries, Hacker-Pschorr brews four wheat beers: a hefeweisse (wheat beer with yeast), a dunkle (dark wheat beer), a leichte (light wheat beer), and the Sternweisse, meaning “Wheat Star”. It is an unfiltered amber, brewed just a little stronger and drier than the other beers.

The star pours a cloudy sandy brown, with hints of russet. The head is just-off-white, creamy, and lasts. The nose is quite strong of fresh bananas, with notes of cloves and spices and a hint of caramel.

As the beer pours towards your tongue you feel a rush of banana and caramel, and when it hits are notes of biscuits and malt. There is a light sweetness, accented by the fact that this is not nearly as effervescent as most German hefeweisse beers. Playful, fruity, and quite drinkable. This would be a great summer beer. Too bad it’s cold and wet out now.

By the way, I love this label.

+Hacker-Pschorr Sternweisse

RateBeer: 3.6 (4-6-8-4-14)