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Old 03-09-2005, 03:09 AM   #1
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Default Hefeweizens....Any Good Ones Brewed in the US?

Has anyone come across a good Hefe brewed here? My favorite, and the one I consider my "benchmark" for the style is Weihenstephaner hefeweizen...brewed in Germany, of course. Also happens to be the world's oldest brewery. It's hard to find around here, though.

I've seen a few American beers advertised as "wheat" beers, but very few actual hefes. One is Widmer Bros.... I got a sixer of that stuff, and it is crap! To me it was hardly a good beer, let alone a good hefe. I had some Pyramid up in Seattle a few years back, and liked it at the time. Also had some Sam Adams hefe on tap, and it was OK, but nothing to write home about. Not the good wheaty, yeasty stuff I like.

As for the German brands, Franzikaner isn't bad, and Palauner is OK. I also got ahold of some stuff called "Konig Ludwig", made by Warsteiner, that wasn't half bad. All three I consider true to the style, which is more than I can say about the American stuff I've had.

So based on my likes, does anyone have a US hefe they could recommend? Or should I just keep on searching for Weihenstephaner?

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Old 03-09-2005, 03:37 AM   #2
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Hoegaarden Wit. I don't know hefes, but this was a good beer. Others on the board have said it was good. I think Janx loves it and Smorris hates it. You should try to find a six and check it out for yourself.

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Old 03-09-2005, 03:52 AM   #3
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Oh yeah, I love Hoegaarden, and drink a lot of it. It's not a hefeweizen though. It's a Belgian white (or wit) beer. These are wheat beers, but are generally paler and are brewed with coriander and lemon or orange, and sometimes other spices. Not as yeasty as a hefeweizen, either.

Hefe is German for yeast. Weizen means wheat. That's really all there is to a hefe, but they tend to use a particular strain of yeast that gives you a banana and/or clove aroma that is a characteristic of the style.

Seek out some Weihenstephaner hefeweizen, or maybe Franzikaner or Palauner, and you'll see what I mean.

Sam

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Old 03-09-2005, 12:56 PM   #4
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I've been drinking HWs since Feb 1975 (my first time in Germany).

I lived in Germany for 9 years and have had all those and tons more.

Germans use one strain of yeast for fermenting and another for bottle conditioning. This is why a lot of yeast cultured HWs don't taste correct.

If one is planning on using the yeast from a bottle then they should use it for the bottle, not as a primary yeast. Unfortunately, most imported HWs have been pasteurized so the yeast doesn't have any life in it.

Pasteurization is done to preserve the beer to last over a generally accepted period of 90 days. Germans don't do this (unless it is an "Export") because they drnk their beer while fresh. Remember, HW is an ale not a lager.

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Old 03-09-2005, 04:11 PM   #5
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Seems almost every brewpub on the west coast makes a Hefe...I almost never get them, so I can't really comment on quality. But they are around. Gotta be some good ones, as many other good beers as there are.

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Old 03-09-2005, 04:56 PM   #6
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Just for the sake of debate, we have no "Hefe Weizen" in the US.

Reason: They are German. We, in the United States, speak "Americanese" not English.

In Americanese "Hefe Weizen" translates into "Yeast Wheat", just as "Schmidt" (and a hundred other variations) would translate to "Smith".

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Old 03-09-2005, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Just for the sake of debate, we have no "Hefe Weizen" in the US.

Reason: They are German. We, in the United States, speak "Americanese" not English.

In Americanese "Hefe Weizen" translates into "Yeast Wheat", just as "Schmidt" (and a hundred other variations) would translate to "Smith".
Not sure if I'm getting you here. If I follow your thought, then you aren't really brewing Hefe yourself are you? How about if I make one since I am 100% German, would it then be a Hefe? (living in the US).

Sincerely,
Hans Gruber
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Old 03-09-2005, 07:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertBrew
Not sure if I'm getting you here. If I follow your thought, then you aren't really brewing Hefe yourself are you? How about if I make one since I am 100% German, would it then be a Hefe? (living in the US).

Sincerely,
Hans Gruber

Ein gute frage. Servus, Hans! Ja, stimmt. Es ist night gleich fur Ami's. Wenn du bist eine Deutscher dann es ist ganz rightig!

Wo kommst Du auf Deutschland? Ich war in Augsburg (vier jahren) und Bamberg (funf jahren).


My point was ... since we are not in the country of origin then the actual phrase (Hefe Weizen) should be Anglesized (more like Yeast Wheat or Wheat Yeast), as we Americans like to Anglesized everything.

I read once that in America you can spell your name S-M-I-T-H and pronounce it "Johnson" if you'd like.

It's like, I don't really brew a "Hefe Weizen" (as much as I would like to), but more of a "Hefe Weizen-Style" or "German-Style Hefe Weizen".

In the end we all brew what we like.

Hopfen und Malz Gott erhalts! Prosit!
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Old 03-09-2005, 10:42 PM   #9
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(2 generation American born German, I'm going to have to Babelfish those sentences )

Grandparents came from Dusseldorf during WW1.

I was half pulling your leg as I hope you got... Name is Gruber but Hans; he was my brother but was killed by that damn Die Hard cop from NY!!

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Old 03-10-2005, 12:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
My point was ... since we are not in the country of origin then the actual phrase (Hefe Weizen) should be Anglesized (more like Yeast Wheat or Wheat Yeast), as we Americans like to Anglesized everything.
Why is that? We have tons of words that are used in Americanese, found in American English dictionaries, yet are unchanged from their foreign meaning. There's no need to translate into some less lyrical term.

Smorgasborg, Hors D'Ouevres (sp?), shmuck, pinata, croissant, tortilla, pico de gallo, salsa verde, forte etc, etc, etc... (I must be hungry )

It goes on and on...our language is full of words taken directly from another language, but now treated as "Americanese" even if there is an English synonym or translation. We have to have lots of words for the same thing after all. We're a melting pot! That's how the language grows and changes. Thank the stars for different languages and their different sounds. We need different languages to keep the world rich and interesting and lyrical. Can you imagine if all songs were sung in German?!?!

The point is, if I make a Hefe Weizen, I can call it a Hefe Weizen, not some literal translation that doesn't sound as cool.

Aloha!
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