We already know that wheat is a staple ingredient to count in many delicious cuisines like hot dogs and apple pie. But did you know that it plays a prominent role in certain types of beers, too? So much so that there is even a specific beer in its name called Wheat beer. The particular variant is famous for being a refreshing drink, especially during the warmth of the summer.
What is wheat beer?
Wheat beer is a type of beer brewed using malted wheat or a combination of wheat malt and barley malt. They are lighter, crispy, and have fuller mouth refreshment. Nevertheless, there is a kind of pain in the brew.
The origin of wheat beer
Until 1840, with modern style lagers yet to appear, wheat beer was one of the two most popular beers in Bavaria, providing an endless experience of light, fresh and crispy taste. Even when in 1516, the beer purity law was imposed in Bavaria with a statement that the brew is not allowed to contain only hops, barley, and water, wheat grain was allowed, albeit with the condition of high tax payables.
In 1602, the tax differentiation got removed, and wheat beer started to enjoy its massive popularity worldwide. However, the craze got down a little bit in 1840 with various modern beers’ inventions and remained in the periphery for the following centuries.
Fast forward to the ’60s, Wheat beers started to reclaim their popularity among the beer aficionados. The classic taste was reinvented with the infusion of coriander, cumin, curacao orange, and dried peels flavours. Wheat beer is now a favourite among homebrewers, too, thanks to the availability of some beer brewing yeast starters suitable for the purpose.
Do wheat beers only contain wheat?
Wheat beers, interestingly, are not produced entirely by wheat grain. It contains about 30 to 60 per cent wheat, with the rest made up of barley malts. However, it is a rare mixture as most craft brewers prefer to use malted barley for its comparatively easy processing lack of huskiness – providing a hazy taste.
Wheat contents in different types of wheat beer
Wheat beers are not only about any particular brand, with the grand family offering a variety of ranges depending on the brew. The popular types of wheat beers are:
Wizen: Wizen refers to wheat in German, and is also known as the Hefeweizen, Weissbier, Kristallweizen, Weizenbock and Dunkelweizen. They are usually brewed using grains and hops. By German law, these beers must contain 50 percent wheat and barley making up the rest.
Witbier: Wit is referred to as white and originated from Belgium. Wit bier uses yeast, grain, and hops but includes other ingredients like oats, coriander, orange peel.
To conclude, wheat beers came across as the most versatile brew in complementing foods. Citrus notes cut into oily fish and shellfish with wheat beer is the best combo anyone can taste. At the same time, Witbier – the Belgian White Beer complements hot curries better with notes to balance spices.