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No Rests For The Wicked: Wheatwine, Be Mine

Extract brewers can embrace this indulgent wheat show smacking of fresh bread and jammy fruit, while letting the all-grain brewers enjoy their gummy stuck mashes.

Annie Johnson Mar 21, 2023 - 8 min read

No Rests For The Wicked: Wheatwine, Be Mine Primary Image

Photos: Matt Graves

The first time I enjoyed a wheatwine was at Rubicon Brewing in Sacramento, California. It was wintertime in the late ’80s. I had no idea what a “wheatwine” was, but it sounded cool—and as a young person in her twenties, I was looking more at the alcohol content.

What arrived at the table was a chalice. At the time, it reminded me of a highfalutin glass offered by caterers at a hotel convention—but instead of ice water, this special-event stemware was filled with a deep golden, slightly hazy beer topped with creamy-textured foam. It smelled of bread and biscuits with light toast and honey, and there was a mild yet distinctive floral hop note. The flavor delivered on that aroma, adding its own dried-fruit character. At 10 percent ABV, there was a bit of pleasant warmth as it went down.

Even if I didn’t know anything about wheatwine at the time, I knew this: It was a delight.

There Is More to It than Wheat

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Annie Johnson is an experienced R&D brewer, IT specialist, and national beer judge. Her awards include 2013 American Homebrewer of the Year honors.