If you have been following DDB for long enough, you might remember that in 2011 the big joke was to review top 100 beers from BA and RB and take them down a peg, and we were gonna do all of them, until I remembered that Kaggen was on that list and was like LOL fuqqq that.
Back before the world became obsessed with ultra acidic 300 bottle count wild ales parading around as “saisons,” this beer used to itch that wheaty yeasty patch for tickers who weren’t obsessing over hops. Hops were super big in the late 2000’s, go look it up. People actually had debates on BA regarding Pliny vs.- wait fuk. HOW FAR WE HAVE COME.
Anyway, this is the archetypical Hefe by which all others are measured. Honestly, I am glad that is the case because this beer is still phenomenal, refreshing, and a pillar of classic execution. In five years some brewery from Florida will make FLORIDAWEISEN and it will be like ph3.0 with a series of different barrel treatments and the annoying traders from the 2021 class will be like “I NEVR LIKED HEFS TIL I TRIED THIS WON!!!”
So let’s preemptively lament that fate by reviewing one of the standard greats, before it is uncool to laud praise on nice things:
Weihenstephan (WHY-HEN-STEPHAN or if you want to show people you studied abroad like a condescending dickhead, VAI-EN-SCCCCHTEPAN)
Hefeweizen 5.4% abv
A: This is the king of ropey turbidity before brewers started emptying their monoculture loads in the secondary. The wheat grist is frothy and allows a radiant burnt honey and muddled biscuit through with ample carbonation cascading upwards like a malfunctioning sprinklerhead. The lacing is generous and sheets in rings like a deliciously flithy bubble bath. In Plato’s analogy of the cave, this is the archetypical FORM of the Hef. Adjust your eyes and look upon it in reverence.
S: This is the mold from which all others were cast, not just chronologically, but in logical influence and scope. It is the Mario of the Hef world, balanced and nimble in execution without stupid shit like honey, coriander, orange slices, or other garbage. The drawback of drinking this is some middle-aged Stepdad with a fermenting bucket will try to talk to you about Reinheitsgebot and that is the worst of all fates. You get fresh Grand’s biscuits, esters like clove and fennel, obviously a huge navel orange and tangerine presence and a lemongrass finish to the yeasty profile. It is refreshing, approachable, a pick up and play console before the current wave of beer nerds started acting like condescending PC assholes playing Witcher 3 on full resolution.
T: This has a creamy mouthfeel to it that is a great platform for the baking spices and lighly herbal saazy dryness to the finish. Someone will invariably be like I THINK ITS ACTUALLY HAUERTALLER or HEY I LIKE VITUS MORE LETS TALK ABOUT VITUS, and those people need to get vasectomies asap. The typical thing to review this beer is to just repeat the words “BANANAS AND ORANGES” six times in a row, but to be honest to my geriatric palate, I feel this is more yeasty and estery than anything else. Those aren’t mutally exclusive, but I get allspice and clove, huge wheat grist, and a kinda pineapple swallow to it. Inb4 everyone says DDB likes frothy pineapple swallows. I get it. Jizz. We all get it.
Candidly my favorite Hefe of all time is made by Live Oak brewing, but this is easily top 3 and it stands like the classic lines of a C4 Corvette which can stand the test of time and still have even the most seasoned vets come back to enjoy. It is the arms of a comforting Bavarian wench after you are impressed by a naval crew of beer shitlords. You escape that Melville scenario and remember that you don’t need a Fedex account to get day drunk and watch Storage Wars on an ipad in your backyard.
NO FEDEX ACCOUNT AT ALL!
If you haven’t had this, be prepared for your beta casual friends to bring you a bottle of this around October because LOL UR MY BEER FRIEND AND U LIKE OCTOBERFEST RIGHT THE GUY IN THE WINE AISLE SAID THIS WAS OCTOBERFESTIVALS ALSO HERE’S A PRETZEL NECKLACE K