Monday, July 11, 2011

Belated Sunday Night Suds - Sprecher Hefe Weiss

This week's (belated) Sunday Night Suds looks at Sprecher's Hefe Weiss.

[I would like to apologize to the loyal kosher beers fanatics for my inability to post the Sunday Night Suds column in its regular slot. Although there are weeks where I will miss some posts, I have been endeavoring to always post a weekly Sunday Night Suds column so as to broaden the kosher market's understanding and appreciation of good beer. Unfortunately, due to some travel and technology restrictions, I am unable to post the SNS column on Sunday. Rather than skipping the post for the duration of the summer, I will be posting it on Mondays instead. I hope to return to the regular format of Sunday posting by late August].

As it has been more than a year since I have reviewed a Hefeweizen in this column, I have set forth below the BA definition of what a Hefeweizen should be:

A south German style of wheat beer (weissbier) made with a typical ratio of 50:50, or even higher, wheat. A yeast that produces a unique phenolic flavors of banana and cloves with an often dry and tart edge, some spiciness, bubblegum or notes of apples. Little hop bitterness, and a moderate level of alcohol. The "Hefe" prefix means "with yeast", hence the beers unfiltered and cloudy appearance. Poured into a traditional Weizen glass...

Often served with a lemon wedge (popularized by Americans), to either cut the wheat or yeast edge, which many either find to be a flavorful snap ... or an insult and something that damages the beer's taste and head retention.

With the above definition in mind, I turn to the Sprecher Hefe Weiss and try to compare it with its class of beer and fall flat on my face. Contrary to every Hefe Weiss that I have ever tasted, this beer poured a clear amber without a single floater anywhere in the glass. I was very surprised by this development and checked the label, but the copywriter has indicated that the Sprecher Hefe Weiss is coarse filtered. Evidently, all the coarse pieces must have gotten stuck in the filter when they bottled the Hefe Weiss that I drank tonight.

Getting past the appearance of the beer, the Sprecher Hefe Weiss did have some banana and clove like flavor, but they were light in comparison with some of the more authentic banana bread like Hefeweizen beers such as Brooklyn Brewery's Weisse Beer or Shiner's Hefeweizen.

I would not generally recommend this beer as it really is rather weak and is not representative of the class of brews whose name it bears. Still, if you are looking for a gentle introduction to Hefeweizens, maybe this beer is for you.

Sprecher Hefe Weiss is certified kosher by the Wisconsin K. There is a logo on the four pack holder as well as the bottle label. For the experts' take on the Sprecher Hefe Weiss please click here

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver. If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

Finally, if you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

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