With more small batch breweries popping up, Chicago is quickly becoming a go-to place for those who love micro-brews. With this in mind I asked one of my good friends from grade school and high school to write a bit about my favorite beer, the Hefeweizen. Being a maker of dirndls, I don’t know much about beers… but he is a maker of beer and cider, so I thought I would ask him my burning weissbier question: What is the difference between a German wheat beer and an American wheat beer? Here’s what he said:
Hefeweizen beers are great in the summer because of their refreshing flavor. While some of the best are from Germany, fresh, home grown hefeweizens can usually be found right down the street at your local brew-pub. They are usually served in a tall, slender glass and are known for their sweet, banana (sometimes citrus) taste and hazy appearance. While barley, wheat and hops are used in this style, the yeast strain presents the predominant flavor component in the beer. It provides the familiar banana and clove flavors as well as the hazy presentation of the beer. German brewers usually use a process called “stepped-infusion mashing” where they heat the grains to multiple temperatures in order to release different sugars and flavors. Most American brewers use “single-infusion mashing” where the grain is steeped at a single temperature. Therefore, in a lot of German examples of the style, there tends to be a fuller body and stronger head retention. Beer tends to travel better in a keg as opposed to a bottle. So, if you want to try a German Hefe the way the brewer intended it to taste, make sure to grab it on tap at a place with clean glasses and tap lines. Same holds true for local American beers. Find a nice local brewery and get it at the tap room for the ultimate experience.
Charlie Davis is the co-owner of Right Bee Cider. He was classically trained at The Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and has over 5 years of professional brewing experience. About Right Bee Cider: Co-owners Katie Morgan and Charlie Davis were introduced by a mutual friend in Chicago in the summer of 2011. He decided to try and woo her by making a hard cider for her birthday. It worked. Right Bee Cider. (Right Beside Her… get it?!) Since them they have built a brand on the principle that things are better when they put our heads together. They are incredibly passionate about the art of cider-making, high quality natural ingredients, sustainability, and community support.
Right now, Right Bee Cider needs your help! In order to really start growing, they Charlie and Katie need some serious equipment please check out their indiegogo campaign to help them get started and you can get some cool stuff for yourself as well! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/right-bee-cider#/story
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