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American Wheat or Rye Beer Reviews

Describing the “typical” American wheat beer is no small task because this style has such massive variations in flavor, appearance, aroma and mouthfeel. On one end of the spectrum lie very light and brilliantly clear brews with little aroma; on the flipside sit cloudy brews in a multitude of colors, with huge aromas showcasing bright hops, yeast and grain qualities. The style’s unifying parameter is the substitution of wheat or rye for a portion of the grain bill (though, unlike German versions, there\'s no rule dictating the proportion must be at least 50 percent). The wheat or rye flavor may be low to moderately strong, but the beers should never take on weizenlike characteristics.

Pair: Wheat beers’ zesty, lemony notes pair perfectly with light summer fare. Try one with a beet- or berry-topped salad to bring out those bright, tart notes; sip another with buttered corn on the cob to draw out the kernels’ sweetness. Other no-brainer pairs include battered fish, grilled chicken and shrimp kebabs.

Glassware: pint glass


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