My boss called me into his office the other day and told me he had an important assignment for me. He presented me with a bottle of Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier and told me to drink it at home (not at my desk) and write a review of the beer. This is the type of homework assignment I could not argue with.
The beer was a kristall style wheat beer, which means the beer is brewed using wheat malt and then filtered for clarity. The major difference between this style of wheat beer and “hefe” style wheat beers is the yeast. “Hefe” means yeast in German, and hefe style wheat beer is a beer brewed with wheat malt in which the yeast is left in, so the beer can bottle condition with the yeast. This makes the beer cloudy when poured into a glass and adds a distinct ester flavor and aroma.
I poured the Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier into half liter Weizen glass. The color was light gold, bright and very clear. The head was white and high. The nose contained a subtle aroma of spicy German hops and was very similar to a good light pilsner with a hint of wheat. Many of the reviews for this beer I read described the nose as having hints of banana’s and spice like a Hefeweizen. I was expecting this, but I did not pick up on any bananas or spice. I even bought a second bottle to see if I could get a different nose, but I got the same result. The taste was overall very light. Tasted similar to a pilsner upfront with nice wheat malt and spicy hops finish that lingered a bit in my throat. Overall, I found the beer very smooth and crisp with a flavor I am more used to finding in an excellent pilsner than wheat beer. The mild flavor and 5.4% alcohol makes this a refreshing beer to drink on hot summer day and a homework assignment I would be glad to repeat.