49 of the Best Wheats, Blind-Tasted and Ranked
How We Taste & Test Beers
Composed entirely of Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) judges who have all studied, trained, and been tested on their ability to discern characteristics in beer, our panel is independent and doesn’t include any CB&B editors or staff. The panel tastes all beer blindly—they do not know what brands and beers they are tasting until the tasting is complete.
Our goal is to inform you about the strengths and weaknesses of these beers as well as their relative differences (not everyone has the same taste in beer, so accurate descriptors are more valuable than straight numerical values). The quotes you see in the reviews are compiled from the review panel’s score sheets to give you a well-rounded picture of the beer.
As our reviewers judge, they score based on the standard BJCP components: Aroma (max 12 points), Appearance (max 3 points), Flavor (max 20 points), Mouthfeel (max 5 points), and Overall Impression (max 10 points). We’ve listed these individual component scores, and the bottom-line number is derived from adding then doubling these component scores to produce a rating on a 100-point scale. Note that we round the component scores to the nearest whole number, so the math won’t necessarily add up.
Our judges use the following scale in valuing scores:
95–100 » Extraordinary World-class beers of superlative character and flawless execution
90–94 » Exceptional Distinguished beers with special character, style, and flavor
85–89 » Very good Well-crafted beers with noteworthy flavor and style
80–84 » Good Solid, quality, enjoyable beers
75–79 » Above Average Drinkable and satisfactory beers with minor flaws or style deviations
50–74 » Not recommended
We’d like for you to keep one thing in mind as you read our reviews: Your perception of a beer is more important than that of our review panel or editorial staff. Reading reviews—on the Web, in a magazine, or in a book—is no substitute for trying the beer yourself.
Ballast Point Brewing Company Homework Series #8 (73)
Hops bitterness up front similar to a pale ale, with light sweetness. The hops are mostly pine with a little dankness and earth. There isn’t a lot of malt, and the wheat is more of an afterthought. A hint of smoke and astringency.
Brasserie du Bocq Blanche de Namur (80)
Complex blend of strawberry, bubblegum, orange, and a touch of lemon. The wheat character supports and adds richness; the phenolics are more subtle than on the aroma. Slight honey sweetness, bright floral notes, and coriander spice dominate. Finishes creamy with very fine carbonation but dries out a bit too quickly, with a slight acidic aftertaste.
Telluride Brewing Company Whacked Out Wheat (82)
The piney, grassy, citrusy hops flavor hits up front and sticks through the finish. Next up is a light lemony tartness that fades to a mild citrusy bitterness. A subtle caramel malt flavor, as well as some bready malt, and the mouthfeel is dry, light, and watery. Some faint soapiness and moderate acidity, but overall, there is not a lot going on.
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company Sunset Wheat (82)
Jammy, like blueberry, but it also has an artificial flavor, kind of like BooBerry cereal. More notes of blackberry, cherry, and raspberry, with some oily orangey citrus, apricot. Anise, fennel, and caraway poke out from under the fruit as the beer warms. While the fruity sweetness dominates, there is some wit yeast character as well, with a medium body and a lasting sweet, bitter finish.
Breckenridge Brewery Ophelia (82)
Smooth, sweet wheat malt base, with breadiness, that complements the esters of cherry and banana, but with a thin body. Just a touch of light herbal lemon hops, with a touch of orange. Moderate grassy and herbal hops, and some spicy, skunky, piney hops that lend some bitterness to balance. A hoppy resinous bitterness rounds out the finish, bringing forth a lingering hops flavor.
Schneider Weisse Original (82)
Tart and spicy wheat, with dark and melanoidin malts, caramel chews, and toast. A pleasant hit of clove that works so well with the raisin, jackfruit, and mild banana. Subtle burnt sugar, along with a hint of popcorn and minty hops. The carbonation is prickly, and it finishes crisp and dry.
Ayinger Brewery Bräuweisse (82)
The flavor is better than the nose, with definite wheat malt and bread character. Still some of the smoky phenolics and some plastic balloon, but not as strong as in the aroma. As it warms, some caramel flavor comes out, with some butterscotch. Some banana esters and clove.
Stone Brewing Co. Citrusy Wit (83)
The hops are aggressive, woody, spicy, dank, and come off a bit rough. Orange and grapefruit, with lime and pithy bitterness—this is pretty tart and could use more sweetness to balance. Perfumey and floral notes are woven in, but the beer still comes off a bit rough. Thick mouthfeel, with low acidity and a dry, harsh bitterness.
Erdinger Weißbier (83)
A cornucopia of fruits: kiwi, watermelon, cherry, pineapple, and lychee nut. Bready malt is more Pilsner than wheat, with toasted bread verging on coconut, caramel, and burned sugar. While the impression is sweet, the beer isn’t all that sweet. Crisp hops bitterness, with a bit of grass. Some spiciness emerges in the middle of the sip and fades quickly to a finish with light bread and herbal hops flavors.
Harpoon Brewery UFO White (84)
The orange dominates on the flavor, along with some raw, grainy wheat, which supports an estery blend of orange, lemon, and vanillin. A great blend of citrus and coriander with the spice ascendant—it’s piney, flowery, and woody. The carbonation is a bit low, and the body drops off very quickly. It’s dry and somewhat thin. Light honeysuckle emerges as it warms.
Lagunitas Brewing Company Stoopid Wit (85)
Way out of style for a wit, and the hoppiness is the star of the show, ranging from floral, catty, and fruity to piney, citrusy, and earthy. Nice spice character, and lots of big fruity esters of cherry, strawberry, orange, and bubblegum. The wheat and malt balance the flavor, but the finish is dry and bitter.
Tröegs Independent Brewing Dream Weaver (86)
Wheat up front, with clove spiciness. The burnt phenols are more muted on the taste. The banana and bubblegum esters are stronger in the flavor, with a hint of tartness, and a nice clove zing on the finish. Moderate carbonation, chewy body, and a dry finish. The vegetal flavor starts to dissipate as it warms and becomes much sweeter.
Hofbrau Hefe Weizen (86)
Rich banana sweetness, with immense chewy wheat. Grassy hops and bitterness are evenly balanced with the bready wheat malt and linger through the finish. Yeast esters and phenolics are interesting without dominating. Some fusel high alcohols and light pork come through in the finish.
La Cumbre Brewing Slice of Hefen (86)
Wheat and rye malts, with some tartness from the grain. A grassy noble hops background that’s a bit sharp, but well-balanced by the creamy malt profile. The fermentation character is solid Bavarian, with light white grape and banana fruitiness. The phenols are clove and pepper, with some green pepper elements. Finishes dry, with a touch of clove.
Wiley Roots Brewing Company Super 77 (87)
This is on the sweeter side, with a caramel-and-toffee bent. Some malt richness is fairly understated, some pastry crust, and honey that lingers through the finish. Bubblegum and clove mingle with some floral and fruity esters and a touch of hops flavors that are herbal and slightly bitter. The finish is dry, with a hint of bitterness.
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse Snow Drop (87)
Starts off with more of the peanut butter and banana sandwich, with a hint of honey. A soft wheat body, and the honey enhances the aromatics. Moderate and balanced hops flavors and bitterness, with notes of pine, cedar, and muted floral notes. Still a bit of paperboard oxidation. Moderately sweet and bitter but finishes reasonably dry.
Coronado Brewing Company Orange Ave. Wit (87)
A great balance of coriander and orange peel with light esters from the yeast—the orange, lemon, and bubblegum blend well with the richness from the wheat. Strong malt and honey notes, and the notes of orange blossom, grape soda, and coriander are forward but not harsh or edgy. The palate is soft and drier than the fruity taste and nose would indicate.
New Belgium Brewing Sunshine Wheat (88)
The coriander is a touch overpowering, but it’s a great witbier that’s fresh, with a crisp, light body, and quite clear. Orange citrus, herbal hops, and some delicate peppery and spicy phenols are nicely balanced by the floral honey notes. A very clean, dry finish, with a low yeast character.”
Declaration Brewing Company Veiled Vixen Strawberry Wheat (88)
The wheat body of the base beer is great for the fruitiness of the beer, and has a bit of breadiness and sweetness, and is light and dry. The fruit notes in the flavor aren’t specific to strawberry but also include white grape, citrus, and watermelon rind—the strawberry is especially present in the retronasal exhale. The hops flavors are citrusy, slightly grassy, providing balance. Light and dry, with a tart, astringent, lightly bitter finish.
Harpoon Brewery UFO Hefeweizen (88)
A chewy wheat flavor up front, with light banana, honey, and a touch of spice. The hops bitterness is medium-low, and nicely balances the malt with a bit of resinous, woody character. A light touch of melon sweetness appears in the middle of the sip, with a bit of bitterness at the end of the sip. A very fresh yeast profile.
WeldWerks Brewing Company Hefeweizen (88)
Spiciness hits up front, with a soft bready wheat malt flavor. Grainy, like porridge, but with raw, tart wheat. Black pepper and clove phenols but not much hops flavor, aside from a hint of lemon, which feels out of balance. Esters of melon and cherry. The finish is quick with some wheat and clove.
Moa Brewing Co. Southern Alps (89)
Big time stone fruit, especially peach, with passion fruit and a bit of mango. Pine, mint, herb, and grass in the background. Clove and pepper phenols, and light, clean wheat. Grapefruit, which builds throughout the sip, and crescendos to a bitter finish.
Samuel Adams Hopscape (89)
Such big, unique hops flavors—it’s a mix of earthy, fruity, floral, citrusy, catty, dank, oniony, resin, and pine. The effect is like a hops tea with honey, as it’s sticky on the tongue. It’s milder than a pale ale, but the balance is similar in favoring hops flavor and bitterness over malt. Light wheat malt character and a creamy mouthfeel that fades into a dry, bitter finish with just a hint of sweetness.
Odell Brewing Company Easy Street Wheat (89)
The aroma suggested a more hops-forward flavor than comes through. A delicate balance of low bready malt character with a hint of graham cracker and a bit of earthy and herbal hops. Some fruit esters emerge as peach and nectarine, along with some unexpected almost Brett-like notes. Medium body with a touch of sweetness. The finish is a touch bitter and a little watery.
High Hops Brewery Blueberry Wheat (89)
The flavor proceeds directly from the aroma. But where the aroma indicated a rich muffin, this is more of a scone, or a muffin without the butter. A smooth, rich blend of blueberry and wheat, with hints of vanilla cashew. A hint of sweetness that fades into a restrained bitterness that lingers into a dry finish.
Hacker- Pschorr Weisse (89)
The wheat flavor in this one is soft, with a smooth creamy body and light carbonation. Crisp hops bitterness without being dominant that provides balance and character. Moderately sweet banana esters, but the phenol is less pronounced. The finish is dry, with a touch of light bitterness. The style is Germanic, but not excessively so.
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA Barbãr (90)
Sweet and heavy up front, almost like a braggot or a tripel, but with less hops and more honey. The honey character dries out as you move toward the finish, and there’s a slight burn on the back end with lingering citrus and honey. Some herbal and spice notes that verge on medicinal. Toasty and bready Pilsner malt with a fair amount of caramel, toasty malt, and then some herbal and spice notes. The finish is dry with a bit of warmth.
Boulevard Brewing Company Unfiltered Wheat (90)
Lightly tart bready flavor, with a malty sweetness that gives a full-bodied texture. Cleaner phenols here, primarily clove and some smoke, with some bright banana. An earthy and herbal hops bitterness with a touch of citrus. Perhaps a little aggressive for a German-style wheat, but light for an American-style wheat.
Lagunitas Brewing Company Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ (90)
Hops-dominated, resinous and sticky, with some woody and piney notes. Very lemony, with some spice and citrus, and the bitterness is not overwhelming. Bergamot and lemongrass, and moderate sweetness that slowly fades into a low-to-moderate bitterness. Honey, sweet bready malt, and raw wheat. It’s very dry, with an intensely bitter finish.
C. B. & Potts Big Horn Hefeweizen (90)
Such subdued flavor, which is surprising, given the hint of sour acetic in the aroma. Delicate clove and pepper phenols. Some great citrus notes of orange and lemon develop, and even more lemon in the aftertaste. The banana esters are on the lighter side, and balance with the sweet wheat and bread crust malts. Creamy and medium-light body, but a dry finish.
Celis Brewing Company Celis White (90)
The sip has the same floral presence, with brightness from the citrus esters, and cherry, pear, ripe apple, and strawberry enter, along with some coriander, black pepper, and ginger. The citrus is more lemon than orange. Tart wheat supports, with the graininess helping the beer to finish very dry.
Lefebvre Blanche de Bruxelles (91)
Sweet fruity flavors, with notes of apricot, mango, tangerine, and clementine—this is like drinking a liquid Dum Dum sucker. The carbonation is perfect, carrying all the flavors through the finish. Malty sweetness up front fades into a very low bitterness and acidity in the dry finish.
Boulder Beer Company Sweaty Betty Blonde (91)
The wheat malt is like crackers, but with just a touch of bread. It’s creamy, with a bit of grainy astringency, but it’s not off-putting. Spicy hops with some lime and citrus, a tad high for a typical German hefeweizen. The clove is pleasant, with a trace of banana and cherry, low phenols, and a bit of sulfur. A nice, dry finish favors the hops, but not excessively.
Avery Brewing Co. Liliko’i Kepolo (92)
Surprisingly intense passion fruit up front, with a pleasant tartness to balance the sweetness from the fruit and the wheat. Coconut flavors remind me of a Piña colada. The wheat character beneath serves as a secondary but supporting role, and the carbonation heightens the acidity, but also clears off the palate, encouraging more sips.
Fort Collins Brewery Major Tom’s Pomegranate (92)
Amazing, powerful banana esters, with star fruit, mango, peach, and honeydew to accentuate. It’s sweet like unfermented fruit juice, with some acidity throughout, and some woodsy, herbal hops bitterness on the finish. Citrusy orange and lemon, with spicy clove. Just a touch of wheat is evident from the base beer.
AleSmith Brewing Company Decadence (92)
Honey-like sweetness, moder- ate oral hops, light vanilla, moderate white wheat bready avor, very light eth- anol warmth. Bitterness is suf cient to balance. Caramel notes offer complexity. For the high alcohol and malt sweetness, its refreshingly clean and crisp.
Odyssey Beerwerks Heliocentric Hefeweizen (93)
Assertive banana and spice, blended with smoke and clove—more so in the flavor than on the nose. Some honey and wheat that’s lightly tart and cracker-like. Citrus and orange notes, as well as grassy and herbal hops, and low-to-moderate bitterness and acidity. The body is medium, and the finish is bitter and dry.
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (93)
Hops bitterness up front, with light wheat sweetness in the background. Once the bitterness subsides, there’s a hint of vegetal flavor in the middle. Light lemony tartness, wonderful clove, and a kiss of cardamom. Great acid, banana, and wheat—like banana bread beer.
Harpoon Brewery UFO R. A. Z. (94)
Raspberry, start to finish. The base wheat beer doesn’t get in the way of the fruit. A nice tartness and decent carbonation heighten the fruitiness. Moderate sweetness with very low bitterness and low to moderate acidity. Dry. Bright raspberry character with just enough beer beneath to support.
SweetWater Brewing Company Grass Monkey (94)
Bright, citrusy hops flavors—grapefruit, lemon, tangerine—the lemony flavor lands first, coming across as real lemon. An herbal quality emerges next, with some sticky hops resin and floral essential oils. Fruity esters, wheat malt for medium body, and creaminess in the middle. The finish is dry, with some slightly bitter and sweet notes.
Bottle Logic Brewing Ideation (94)
Wheat sweetness. Some vanilla and slight coconut. Oak and wood char- acter are present throughout. Honey and fruity with alcohol warmth in the nish. Moderate tannin bitterness. The barrel carries through, but the wheatwine is still present and contributes a welcomed sweetness to balance some of the barrel tannins and stronger alcohol avors.”
New Belgium Brewing Snapshot (95)
Moderate sweet wheat malt profile. A bit of lactic acidity in the front end. Some lemon notes. Very malty with some acidic fruit. High carbonation, finishes dry but with a lingering grainy sweetness.
Three Floyds Brewing Company Gumballhead (95)
great hops-forward flavor that’s full of lemon, citrus, tangerine, and pineapple. At the forefront are fruity/floral esters, which are a great complement to the fresh and juicy hops. The wheat lends a breadcrust and caramel character. The thick mid-palate is resinous and coats the tongue, leading into a dry, crisp finish.
New Holland Brewing Pilgrim's Dole (96)
Strong vanilla, dark chocolate marzipan, toffee, tart cherries, and butterscotch. Appropriate hops bitterness lingers. The bready and wheat flavor provides nice sweetness in the background of the oak and vanilla notes. Moderate eathy hops bitterness. The barrel works well with the relatively clean, but sweet and strong, wheatwine.
Harpoon Brewery UFO Twist (97)
Orange, tangerine, lime, lemon, and it’s zesty and pulpy, lightly tart, and refreshing. The malt is a bready wheat with a nice cracker that’s cut with rye. Some pepper and spice, and an undercurrent of Earl Grey, bergamot, and herbal dankness. Creamy mouthfeel and some fruity esters that end in a nice, dry finish.
Two Roads Brewing No Limits Hefeweizen (97)
Noticeable banana and wheat flavors up front, with subtle clove spiciness. It’s missing some of the breadiness typical of the style and has more phenol in front and ester in the back, with a light touch of yeast bite. Tart wheat character. The delightful banana fruitiness sits on the tongue after the spicy hops finish.
Oskar Blues Brewery Priscilla Wit (97)
Starts with a rich, bready wheat and a touch of sweetness that gives way to a blend of citrus and peppery phenols. Incredibly fruity, with watermelon, bubblegum, cherry, and orange, balancing superbly with the spicy, peppery phenols and coriander. The soft body and the carbonation perfectly heighten the flavors. The dry finish makes you want another sip.”