Tag Archives: Wheat Beers

111. Berliner Kindl Weisse

It’s been quite some time since we ticked off a beer from the Wheat Beers section of The Book, and even longer since we tackled a sour beer. Thankfully, the magnificently cornucopial BottleDog have recently had Berliner Kindl Weisse, a sour German wheat beer, in stock.

Berliner Kindl Weisse

I learn from Official Threehundredbeers German Correspondent Carmen that in Germany this kind of beer would typically be enjoyed in the summer, and mixed with herbal or fruit flavoured syrups. It’s certainly summer here, but I wouldn’t know where to find woodruff flavour MIXcups in this country.

Maybe it’s better to simply find out what the beer tastes like first anyway.

I’m also informed that “Kindl” is a regional term meaning “child”. I dread to think what the well-meaning party poopers at the Portman Group would make of that, not to mention the charming little picture of a thirsty looking toddler on the label.

Berliner Kindl Weisse

Berliner Kindl Weisse seems an unusually golden straw colour for a wheat beer, but then I’m reminded of the Kernel’s Berliner Weisse version of their London Sour, which was much the same colour. There’s a healthy dose of white froth that disappears quickly.

To smell, it’s a pungently sour beer, and I certainly can’t imagine the aroma or indeed the taste appealing to children. It’s a relentlessly dry beer, which complements the face-puckering sourness well. The result is hugely refreshing.

It’s light and effervescent too, quite unlike the cloying, musty Belgian-style wheat beers such as Hoegaarden. No, this is in a different league. There are notes of vanilla ice cream, sherbet and citrus fruit, without being in any way sweet.

I like it a lot, and I’m not sure I’d want to flavour it with fruity syrups at all. Perhaps one day, purely for research purposes, but otherwise this is definitely a beer I’d buy again to keep in the fridge ready for a hot afternoon.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Berliner-Kindl-Schultheiss-Brauerei GmbH, Berlin, Germany
Style: Wheat Beers
Strength: 3.0% ABV
Found at: BottleDog, Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X
Serving: 330ml bottle

30. Franziskaner Weissbier

As we reach one tenth of our way through The Book, we’d probably better tick off another of the many wheat beers.

Whilst I won’t pretend the style is my favourite, the two examples I’ve covered so far—the Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier and the 8.2% ABV Schneider Aventinus—didn’t turn out to be too much of an ordeal, so let’s try another one.


Franziskaner certainly looks the part, being a cloudy blonde colour with a large white head. There’s the usual reference to monks on the label and in the naming, as seems to be almost obligatory in Northern Europe.

As for the flavour, to me this tastes like a typical wheat beer: more so than the surprisingly delicate Weihenstephaner, which is probably why I’m enjoying it less. On the other hand it’s less interesting than the Schneider Aventinus, whilst thankfully being more restrained in flavour than the ubiquitous Hoegaarden.

It’s hard to find anything particularly interesting to say about Franziskaner Weissbier. Nothing really jumps out about the flavour, but if you want a fairly standard wheat beer that’s widely available in supermarkets and the like, you could probably do a lot worse.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu GmbH, Munich, Germany
Style: Wheat Beers
Strength: 5.0% ABV
Found at: Sainsbury’s, Westow Street, London SE19
Serving: 500ml Bottle

20. Schneider Aventinus

The second of the dauntingly many wheat beers that I have to work my way through is also the first of what I suspect will be quite a few beers sourced from the magnificent Draft House just up the road in East Dulwich.

Costing as it does a hefty £8.50 a bottle, I hope this is a cut above the wheat beers I’ve tried in the past. Let’s see.


Well, Schneider Aventinus is probably the least attractive beer so far, being a muddy, cloudy greyish-brown colour, not unlike something you’d expect to drain from the back of the dishwasher.

It tastes unmistakably like a wheat beer, though as a Weizenbock, it’s stronger than is typical for the style at a daunting 8.2% ABV. It’s also extra chocolatey and smooth, but still with an odd citrus tang. I’m not convinced that it really works, though no doubt there are drinkers who go nuts for this sort of thing.

Considering the strength, it’s relatively refreshing and dangerously drinkable, but there isn’t the sense of sheer luxury that real top end beers have.

That said, it’s a great deal more enjoyable and satisfying than something like Hoegaarden, and whilst there’s very little chance that wheat beer will ever be my favourite style of beer, the Aventinus is, for now at least, my new favourite wheat beer. Sorry Weihenstephaner!

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Weisses Bräuhaus G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH, Kelheim, Germany
Style: Wheat Beers
Strength: 8.2% ABV
Found at: The Draft House, Lordship Lane, London SE22
Serving: 500ml bottle

13. Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier

Well, now here’s a little bit of variety: our first wheat beer, and our first trip to that most beery of countries, Germany.

Based on limited experience, I can’t claim to be a big fan of wheat beers, but there are an inordinate number of them in The Book. I think old Roger might be a bit of a fan, so I’m going to have to be open-minded.


I’m clearly no expert, but Weihenstephaner Hefe seems darker than I’d expect from a wheat beer. There is a nice cloudy yeastiness to it however, and that should be no surprise, since “Hefe” means yeast, and this is an unfiltered variant of the style, designed to keep that yeast floating around in the beery goodness.

The taste is not dissimilar to the ubiquitous Hoegaarden, but is lighter and more subtle. In fact this is really quite a nice, refreshing beer. The hops are present yet gentle, and there’s a faintly detectable citrus twist and a nice long malty finish.

It isn’t especially complex, and there isn’t a great deal of depth to it, but this would certainly make for a most pleasing summery, sitting-outside-the-pub sort of beer.

It sounds a little like faint praise, but of the few wheat beers I have tried, I think this might be my favourite.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Weihanstephan Brewery, Munich, Germany
Style: Wheat Beers
Strength: 5.4% ABV
Found at: Sainsbury’s, Westow Street, London SE19
Serving: 500ml bottle