Friday, May 22, 2009

Santa Cruz Ale Works: Hefeweizen

It's a little depressing that 801ontap has yet to post on a true hefeweizen. Sure we've reviewed a number of pale wheats, a ton of witbiers, and a few hefeweizen hybrids. But there's nothing like a quality original hef. The problem is it's mighty difficult to find a great hefeweizen.

A great hef has a nice wheat flavor, complimented by unfiltered yeast particles, a hint of banana or apple, and a crisp aftertaste. Many American breweries have attempted the difficult task of recreating this traditional German style beer. Even as a young brewery, Santa Cruz Ale Works has tried to brew this difficult beer. To their credit, their hef has great head retention and a touch yeast and wheat flavors. However, the body is very watery and has that unrefined homebrew feeling on the tongue. There is a slight lemon tang but otherwise is pretty limited in the flavor. Overall not bad, but despite this typed review; nothing to write to Germany about.

Rather than quenching my thirst, drinking this ale makes me yearn for a true German hefeweizen. However that won't stop me from trying every American version I can find in hopes of finding a quality substitute. Wish me luck. Cheers.

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