Archive for the ‘Private Weissbier-Brauerei Georg Schneider & Sohn’ Tag

Schneider Weisse Hefe-Weizen

Schneider Wiesse

Schneider Weisse Hefe-Weizen

Brewery: Private Weissbier-Brauerei Georg Schneider & Sohn

ABV: 5.4%

Serving type: 500 milliliter bottle poured into a pint glass

Hefeweizen (or hefe-weizen if you prefer) is an unfiltered wheat beer, a Bavarian ale, made with wheat malt, barley malt, hops and yeast (“hefe” means “with yeast”). It is a wheat beer because brewers use at least 50% wheat malt (and sometimes even more) to make it. Private Weissbier-Brauerei Georg Schneider & Sohn, the brewery of the beer we are tasting today, has been making wheat beer since 1872.

Right off the bat, we noticed the phrase “Original bottle fermentation” on the label. Why are those words interesting? Because hefeweizen is an unfiltered beer, the carbonation is a result of the natural action of the yeast with the ale while in the bottle. Filtered beers are carbonated by injecting high-pressure gas into the beer in vats because it is quick and cheap. Here is what the Schneider Weisse website says about their bottle fermentation: “When it is bottled, the young wheat beer contains only very little carbon dioxide. Once the bottle is sealed, the pressure in the bottle rises as a result of bottle fermentation and the carbon dioxide thus produced dissolves in the beer and is only released once the bottle is opened and the beer is poured out. This produces the head and the typical sparkling and effervescence in the glass. Flavor maturation, which is absolutely essential, also takes place during bottle fermentation.” Why did we spend so many words talking about carbonation? Because, as you will read shortly, carbonation is one of the joys of Schneider Weisse Hefe-Weizen.

Appearance: It poured a cloudy, cedar brown – the color of unfiltered apple cider. It is an unusual color for a hefeweizen; it was darker and looked like an amber ale. It had a large beige head when poured and a small bit of foam remained during drinking.

Smell: After it was poured, the aromas of bananas, wheat and yeast were rising from the glass even though it was a foot away. Closer inspection revealed fragrances of apple bread, cloves and even baked raisin cookies.

Taste: Fruit and cloves mixed with apple cider and banana bread. The apple and banana bread nuances mellow the sour cider flavors.

Mouthfeel: It is sweet but not as cloying as you would expect. It is actually very light. It is also well carbonated, alive with fizziness that doesn’t fade. It was our impression that the healthy carbonation helped make the ale so light on the palate.

Drinkability: Yes, more please! It is one of our favorites because it is light but complex and delicious. This complexity makes it one to enjoy year round, and shouldn’t be classified as one of those “drink during summer months only” wheat beers. We’ve enjoyed this on cold winter nights as well as springtime afternoons.

Food pairings: Any mellow or nutty cheese like Swiss or Dubliner, a Reuben sandwich with lots of crispy tater tots, or pasta carbonara.