Ah, wheat beers. No matter which line of the wheat beer lineage you fall on (be it the citrus-and-coriander-kissed Belgians in the classic Hoegaarden tradition, or the clove-yeasty-purity of the German style), wheat is an important beer ingredient and a tried and true staple of the summer season. Krombacher is one of Germany’s brewing giants, setting up shop in 1803 and brewing one of the country’s most popular pilsners. Interestingly enough, however, their Weizen offering, named fittingly enough Krombacher Weizen, didn’t make its debut until 2007. How is it?
“Naturally cloudy,” boasts (warns?) the bottle, as though it’s preparing you for what that Krombacher Weizen bottle contains. Though, as any weizen fan will tell you, that haze isn’t only forgivable, it’s expected; wheat-heavy beers almost always feature that distinct haziness that doesn’t dissipate with temperature. But the thing is.. Krombacher’s offering just doesn’t have it. It features a surprising clarity, almost as though it has been filtered (see: the kristallweizen variety), despite the bottle’s forecast warning. A sneaky little master of disguise, you could tell me it was their pilsner and I’d have a hard time doubting you. Still, it’s a rich golden hue with a fizzy and bubbly white head like little poofy marshmallows. Tiny champagne-like bubbles stream vigorously through the glass and the head fizzles ever so slightly with time. It’s a lovely beer, but deceptive in its display.
Krombacher Weizen is unabashedly German (obviously)- you get all of those telltale signs; the clove, the bread notes, a touch of spicy German hops. It all combines, naturally, into something of a banana bread aroma. Mine, unfortunately, featured the ever-so-slight scent of papery oxidation, but, as it was incredibly faint and didn’t deter from my enjoyment, I don’t hold it against it.
Again, the epitome of German wheat beer. There’s a creamy touch of sweetness, kept in check with a crisp clarity and that little bit of spiciness. There’s no real bitterness here, not even in the finish (actually, the linger here is faint but uniquely sweet), but the spiciness adds a nice little dose of complexity mid-sip, which is where the flavours really shine. While not quite a flavour wallop, the caramel and spice blend beautifully before fading into that aforementioned sweetness.
Creamy, but still manages to be very light and very chuggable. Session away with this one; the flavours are mouth-coating, but the crisp lightness makes this perfect for your poolside.
Would I Recommend This to a Friend?
It’s not my favorite example of a German Hefe, but Krombacher’s offering is stupendously solid in its own right. While it’s tough to call a beer “safe,” especially when it’s from a country so steeped in beer tradition, this Weizen is decidedly dependable while falling short of exceptional. Wheat lovers will be pleased.
Summary: Classic in its entire execution (aside from an oddly clear appearance), Krombacher's Weizen is a solid choice for wheat lovers.
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