Life Cafe Blog
Beer Speak @ Life Cafe 983

What’s Wheat That?
by Andy Mills, Bar Manager Life Cafe 983

Of all the styles of beer present in the world today, the wheat beer is the grand daddy.  The brewing process resembles that of the first beers brewed EVER.  The main reason behind this is due to the additional flavors added to the beer by the wheat.  This was a gigantic bonus in the early stages of the game because early brewers were slow to grasp the irreplaceable presence of hops that we are accustomed to today.  The diversity of wheat in the early days is also something to take into consideration.

…can trace it’s history back to the late 8th century from a small hops garden…

Ever have a Belgian lambic?  Not Lindemen’s, something actually good, like Cantillon.  Cantillon has one of the most traditional styles of brewing in the world, spontaneous fermentation, as many organic products as they can get their fingers on, no filtration, all that stuff, and, it’s made partially from wheat (about 35%). Then there’s Belgian wit biers, dunkle weizens,  weizen bocks, and the ever so popular German style, the hefeweizen.

Now that we have briefly spoke of the oldest living style of brewing in the world, let’s talk about the oldest licensed brewery in the world, Weihenstephaner.  They make a variety of wheat beers ranging from dunkle wies to their flagship hefeweizen, as well as a number of non wheat beers, and they have been doing it for a long time.  The brewery was licensed by the Bavarian government in 1040AD (first ever), but can trace it’s history back to the late 8th century from a small hops garden located on site.  Tradition as well as quality has been what has kept this “brewstorical” mammoth alive all these years.

Now served at Life Cafe 983
Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen
Bavaria, Germany
ABV: 5.4%

In accordance with German law, this lovely style is required to be made with top fermenting yeast, making it an ale.  Although most ales are known to lean more toward heavier beers with longer finishes, this beauty comes out clean as a whistle.  It has a nice hazey yellow color with big white head.  It has a naturally high level of citrus and corriander flavors that pretty much define the style.  Yeast is left unfiltered from the beer making it truly taste alive.  Definitely feels like and original.