6 Wheat Beers to Whet Your Palate

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With long days at the beach and outdoor entertaining ushering in summer, now is the time to stock up on refreshing styles of beer, like light lagers, pale ales and easy-drinking IPAs. But perhaps the most iconic style for the season is wheat beer. This light-bodied, yet oh-so-satisfying glass of gold is sure to quench your thirst while simultaneously offering complexity and depth of flavor.

Belgian wheat beers (a k a witbier, witte, wit, white) and German weizens (a k a weissbier, weiss) are some of the most balanced and refreshing beers. They’re especially welcome during the summer months, when their assertive carbonation, crisp citrus notes and delicate spice aromas provide a counter­balance to warm weather.

Wheat beers have become increasingly popular in the U.S., and many domestic brewers release summer seasonals made in that style. Normally pale to golden in color, with a substantial head, citrus-dominant wheat flavors and brisk carbonation, American versions often take traditional European styles and add their own twists: a unique spice, an unusual hop, a special brewing technique.

Because many wheat beers are bottle conditioned, it’s common to find some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. For a proper pour, empty half of the beer into a glass and then swirl the remaining liquid in the bottle before emptying the remains.

This way, any of the delicious yeast sediment that might have settled to the bottom of the bottle can be fully enjoyed.

As for the lemon wedge that frequently accompanies these brews, it’s completely a personal choice: some people find it livens up the intense wheat profile, while other purists believe it overwhelms the beer’s natural flavors. Either way, enjoy your favorites while summer lasts—they’re perfect partners for light fare, like salads, grilled chicken or fish.

—Lauren Buzzeo

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6 Wheat Beers to Whet Your Palate

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