Overview for the Witbier

The Belgian Witbier dates back four centuries and all but vanished by the 1950s. The style was revived at Hoegaarden and its popularity has grown during the modern craft beer movement. The wheat ale ranges in color from pale straw to gold and has moderate alcohol strength. Its feel is dry and slightly creamy with a medium-light to medium body. Effervescent from high carbonation. Light bready malt with little to no hop bitterness. Bright orange citrus flavor typically spiced with coriander.

Style Expectations

A refreshing, elegant, tasty, moderate-strength wheat-based ale.

Appearance

Very pale straw to very light gold in color. The beer will be very cloudy from starch haze and/or yeast, which gives it a milky, whitish-yellow appearance. Dense, white, moussy head. Head retention should be quite good.

Aroma

Moderate malty sweetness (often with light notes of honey and/or vanilla) with light, grainy, spicy wheat aromatics, often with a bit of tartness. Moderate perfumy coriander, often with a complex herbal, spicy, or peppery note in the background. Moderate zesty, citrusy-orangey fruitiness. A low spicy-herbal hop aroma is optional, but should never overpower the other characteristics. Vegetal, celery-like, or ham-like aromas are inappropriate. Spices should blend in with fruity, floral and sweet aromas and should not be overly strong.

Flavor

Pleasant malty-sweet grain flavor (often with a honey and/or vanilla character) and a zesty, orange-citrusy fruitiness. Refreshingly crisp with a dry, often tart, finish. Can have a low bready wheat flavor. Optionally has a very light lactic-tasting sourness. Herbal-spicy flavors, which may include coriander and other spices, are common should be subtle and balanced, not overpowering. A spicy-earthy hop flavor is low to none, and if noticeable, never gets in the way of the spices. Hop bitterness is low to medium-low, and doesn’t interfere with refreshing flavors of fruit and spice, nor does it persist into the finish. Bitterness from orange pith should not be present. Vegetal, celery-like, ham-like, or soapy flavors are inappropriate.

Mouthfeel

Medium-light to medium body, often having a smoothness and light creaminess from unmalted wheat and the occasional oats. Despite body and creaminess, finishes dry and often a bit tart. Effervescent character from high carbonation. Refreshing, from carbonation, light acidity, and lack of bitterness in finish. No harshness or astringency from orange pith. Should not be overly dry and thin, nor should it be thick and heavy.

Reviews

Pooltime Ale

Witbier  •  Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Pooltime Ale is a Belgian-style Witbier by Bell’s Brewery, Inc. whose spicy notes are balanced by tart cherries for a refreshing brew. Read More

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Mango Wit

Witbier  •  Proof Brewing Co.

Mango Wit is a Belgian-style Witbier by Proof Brewing Co. that blends doughy bread and juicy mango with tart orange, apple, and clove. Read More

Samuel Adams Cold Snap

Witbier  •  Boston Beer Company

Samuel Adams Cold Snap is a Belgian-style Witbier brewed by the Boston Beer Company that blends orange peel and spiced with coriander and pepper. Read More

Bright White Ale (Winter White Ale)

Witbier  •  Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Bright White Ale is a Belgian-style Witbier by Bell’s Brewery, Inc. that blends banana, clove, and citrus with vanilla and creamy wheat. Read More

Blanche De Chambly

Witbier  •  Unibroue

Blanche De Chambly, a Belgian-style Witbier by Unibroue blends tangy citrus, fruity banana, and spices in a creamy wheat base. Read More

Estrella Damm Inedit

Witbier  •  Damm S.A.

Estrella Inedit Damm, a Belgian-style Witbier by Damm S.A. is light and refreshing with grassy hops, bright citrus, spices, and grainy wheat. Read More

Red & White Christmas

Witbier  •  De Proef BrouwerijDe Proef Brouwerij

Red & White Christmas is a Witbier by De Proef Brouwerij and Mikkeller that’s hoppy and warm with pine, citrus, toasty bread, spices, and booze. Read More

Santastique

Witbier  •  To Øl

Santastique is a Belgian-style Witbier brewed by To Øl that blends spices, noble hops, orange and lemon citrus with creamy wheat. Read More

Gold & Haze of Piracy

Witbier  •  Pirate Republic Brewing Company

Gold & Haze of Piracy, a Belgian-style Witbier by Pirate Republic Brewing Company that’s sour with lemon; spiced with pepper and coriander. Read More

Lava Lake Wit

Witbier  •  Crazy Mountain Brewing Company

Lava Lake Wit, a Belgian-style Witbier by Crazy Mountain Brewing Company lacks in appearance and feel, sinking this brew. Read More

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