Hefeweizen – American: Sierra Neveda Kellerweis

This week’s beer is in true classic Bavarian Style – Sierra Nevada Kellerweis, a Hefeweizen.

Hefeweizen is a traditional German “Weissbier” style. Weissbier means “White Beer” and it is called this because at the time of it’s invention, most German beers were dark in colour. The Hefeweizen is a term that means “Yeast White” as this is the beer in it’s truest form, unfiltered traditional form. Although this is an American version, it’s a great example of the style with it’s open fermentation and top fermenting yeast (required by law in Germany in order to call the beer Hefeweizen.) Anyway, enough history, let’s have Sierra Nevada‘s description:

Untamed, unfiltered, and unafraid.

Inspired by traditional Bavarian techniques, Kellerweis is a true artisan experience. With Kellerweis, we brew in open fermentation tanks—a process rarely seen today—to let the ingredients truly shine. The result is a hazy wheat ale—untamed, raw and alive. With a full, fruity aroma and notes of spicy clove and banana bread, Kellerweis is a truly unique brew.

A great description from Sierra Nevada as always, giving a brief bit of history along with how you should expect it to taste then there’s a few marketing bits in there. Sierra Nevada have always been quite grown up when it comes to their take on beer, so there’s no digs at “corporate yellow fizzy stuff” which sometimes can be funny, but sometimes it can get a bit tiresome.

After looking around, and realising that Sierra Nevada now put most of their recipe on their website I found this beer uses Two-row Pale Barley, German Wheat and Munich malts. I like how this is kept quite traditional, but uses the American Two-row pale malt also. It’s rumoured that occasionally Pilsen malt is also used in the brew depending on availability. Perle hops were used in this particular brew, which seems quite traditional to me as they are of German origin but sometimes Sterling hops are also used. This gives the hop profile a nice clean, noble profile with a hint of spice allowing the flavours created by the Hefeweizen ale yeast to shine through. I like it when breweries are more open with their recipes, some people won’t be interested but if breweries share their recipes it means if anyone wants to have a go, they can! Or even use it as a base for something else. Props to Sierra Nevada, one of the few breweries that give their recipe. Afterall, a lot of what makes brewing a good beer is the method anyway!

Moving on, when you pour this beer you’ll notice the fact it is unfiltered straight away, it pours a golden yellow that is very cloudy with a thick white head due to the fact it has a lot of wheat in. The initial smell is brown sugar and clove, banana and a little bit of wheat. This really does smell very inviting and refreshing. The taste is very much like the smell, but better. Lots of Banana, Strawberry and other summer fruit with a slightly pine bitterness at the end reminding you it’s American. The yeast does 99% of the work in this beer and it really is intriguing. After the pine flavours fade you get a bit of wheat and a nice smooth sweet finish. The head deceives as the carbonation is mild to medium and also takes a long while to dissipate. This truly is a refreshing beer – especially in this humid September weather.

All in all, a very refreshing beer from Sierra Nevada and one I will always purchase time and time again.

Kellerweis is a year round offering from Sierra Nevada and you can purchase in the UK at:

Beers of Europe

Beautiful Beers (In Stock at time of writing!)

For any bars or shops that would like to stock Kellerweis, James Clay import Sierra Nevada beers in the UK.

EST. CALORIES: 144   ABV: 4.8%