Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Widmer Hefeweizen

For my inaugural beer review, I decided to sample one of my favorite beers: the Widmer Hefeweizen from the Widmer Brothers brewery in Portland, Oregon. According to their website, the brothers Widmer (Kurt and Rob are their names) introduced hefeweizen to the United States in 1986 as their flagship beer, and they have never looked back. Hefeweizen is a type of wheat beer in which the yeast isn't filtered out (in fact, hefeweizen is German for "yeast wheat"), and this lack of filtration also leaves in wheat proteins, making the beer cloudy. And boy, is this beer cloudy.

Here are the stats:

Widmer Hefeweizen
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, OR, USA
CALORIES/SERVING: 156 per 12 oz. bottle
BITTERNESS: 30 IBUs (International Bitterness Units)
ABV: 4.9%
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 11.75° Plato (1047.52)
MALTS: Pale, Munich, Wheat, Caramel 40L
HOPS: Bittering: Alchemy; Aroma: Willamette, Cascade
FOODS TO PAIR WITH: "A wide range of foods from salads to seafood to robust ethnic foods."
AWARDS: 1998 GABF Gold Medal Award Winner, 2004 Gold Medal Beer Cup, 2006 GABF Gold Medal Award Winner

It's pretty safe to say that I really enjoyed this beer. It started off with a bitter opening, but finished clean with a nice wheat aftertaste. It's been 40 minutes since I finished this beer and I don't have that skunky beer breath, so it must be clean.

Now, I've heard that it's pretty much a law in Germany to never order a hefeweizen with a lemon. But with American style hefeweizens like Widmer's, it's not only preferred with a lemon, it's also encouraged. Widmer even has its own website, http://www.lemonyourwidmer.com/, where people demonstrate the extreme ways that people put the lemon in their Widmer. Some of the more creative ways include rockets and slingshots (the aim of those people is amazing).

In short, Widmer is a very delicious, yet slightly harsh wheat beer that is crisp and enjoyable. It is available country-wide, except in six states (Arkansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah, otherwise known as the "party-pooper states"). Prost!

UPDATE: I got the beer's stats from Widmer's Hefeweizen website, http://www.widmer.com/beer_hefeweizen.aspx, and the FAQ, http://www.widmer.com/faq.aspx.

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