After trying and loving
the Weihenstephaner Dunkelweiss the other day, I ran down and got their hefe weiss in a 16 oz. bottle. I am on a quest to find the best Bavarian hefeweizen available as import in the bay area (CA). So far I am just at the beginning and have nearly exhausted the German import section at BevMo... not as difficult as I thought, nor as enlightening.
I was expecting something amazing... don't know why, maybe the name just sounds mystifyingly long and complex and German. What I loved about the Dunkelweiss was its deep spiciness... like if I were drinking the beer equivalent of Indian curry, that's Weihenstephaner Dunkelweiss... a very good thing. But the Hefe was just okay! Not tremendous! It had a middle palate spice just shy of Dunkel-strength spice, but without the smooth flowing aftertaste of the Dunkelweiss. It also had what I can only describe as a bewilderingly mild olive flavor to the aftertaste reminiscent of some of those nasty New Belgian Ale products like Mothership Wit or nasty lagers like Spaten... those that some love and some hate because I swear it... there is *olive* lurking in the background somewhere in everyone one of those bottles. Not good pizza-pepperoni olive, but nasty dirty martini green olive.
Anyway, this Weihenstephaner Hefe Weiss beer, though pleasing in a certain rather cerebral fashion, and perhaps on account of this delicacy, lacked the real and also my beloved banana bubblegum essences found in, say, the always effervescent Franziskaner... or Paulaner or Hopf for that matter.
And here is how I describe the common German hefes:
Franziskaner: Most exalted, bananarama of sunny-afternoon beers
Paulaner: Corn meal beer! But a good sort of filling...
Hopf Dunkelweiss: mild bubblegum... almost too smooth
Ayinger Dunkelweiss: mild spice... the mild counterpoint to Hopf Dunkelweiss' mild bubblegum smoothness... if only one could combine these two
21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon wheat (in can)
: metal-melon wheat! Made in San Francisco for California oakies... good for looking cool! (hey, got to make an original contribution here somehow)
Help me... will I ever find a better hefe than Franziskaner here in CA?