Subscriber Exclusive

Make Your Best Wheatwine

Sometimes tough to find commercially, wheatwine is a beer made for homebrewing. It's a fun style to brew and it makes for an outstanding fall beer that holds up to a lot of aging.

Josh Weikert Sep 24, 2017 - 7 min read

Make Your Best Wheatwine Primary Image

Photo: Jamie Bogner

My first exposure to wheatwine was courtesy of Smuttynose in Portsmouth, NH, and I have to confess that I was immediately hooked – which made it all the more disappointing that there were so few available on the market! Those you can find are often stale (not much pull-through on them) and it’s a rare brewpub that whips one up. Luckily, this is exactly the kind of conundrum that homebrewers are built to address. Can’t buy one? Brew one. This can be a fun style to make (given enough rice hulls), and it makes for an outstanding fall beer that holds up to a lot of aging.


Wheatwine is very much what it sounds like: a higher-alcohol beer with a significant contribution of flavor and texture from the malted wheat in its grist. It also allows for “mild” hops character, representing just about any region, and we’ll be pairing some classic American citrus and Continental floral notes here. It’s also a “light” beer in color, that as a strong golden ale shares a lot of characteristics with the Belgian Tripel: pale, with noticeable alcohol, but a smooth-drinking beer with good grain and fruit notes.

What it most certainly is not is a kind of Imperial Weissbier. You can brew those, for certain, but this isn’t the place for it. Banana and clove should not be present if you plan on calling your beer a wheatwine, and they really shouldn’t be present if you’re going to enter it in competition! The guidelines also indicate a subtle preference for a light oak character, but we’re not going that direction here: it’s easy to overdo, and we can add some of those richer flavors in other ways without running the risk of big tannin expression.


Make & Drink Better Beer

Subscribe today to access all of the premium brewing content available (including this article). With thousands of reviews, our subscribers call it "the perfect beer magazine" and "worth every penny." Your subscription is protected by a 100% money back guarantee.