Sprecher Brewing Company - Hefe Weiss
- ABV: 4.3%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 10
- Serving Temperature: 43-48° F
- Suggested Glassware: Weizen Glass
- Malts: Wheat, Pale, Dextrine
- Hops: Mt. Hood, Tettnanger
Sprecher has done an admirable job of producing a traditional Bavarian-style weissbier, which is somewhat of a rarity among American brewers who often put out various “pale wheat ales” that offer none of the characteristics of a true German wheat beer. Hefe-weiss, meaning literally “yeast-white,” is a reference to the very cloudy appearance of these beers due to the yeast left in suspension. Also known as hefeweizen, meaning “yeast wheat,” or simply weissbier, these brews offer a prominent “twangy” wheat flavor and various fruity and phenolic qualities that are often missing from American-made wheat beers. Sprecher’s offering is definitely cloudy on the pour (feel free to swirl up any yeast sediment in your bottle and dump it in your glass) and offers the classic Bavarian aromas of wheat, clove, and some mild banana and bubblegum. Yeast adds some spicy earthiness, and there’s a grassy, spicy, and herbal quality from the Mt. Hood and Tettnanger hops. The phenolic clove notes are prominent in the flavor, and there are hints of lemon zest and pith. Creamy, smooth, and lightly tart, it’s a great pairing for grilled lemon & herb marinated chicken, or spicy scallops. Prost!
Randal (Randy) Sprecher, a former Pabst Brewing Company brewing supervisor, founded Sprecher Brewing Company in Milwaukee, WI in 1985 with an emphasis on German-style beers – an emphasis which continues to this day. After about a decade, the company had grown to the point where they needed a larger facility, and in 1994 the brewery was moved to its current location a few miles to the north in Glendale, WI. The new, bigger brewery offered the company the room to keep growing, and they have established themselves as significant contributors to the city of Milwaukee’s impressive brewing tradition which reaches far beyond the presence of the current mega-brewery that’s based in the city. In the late 19th century, Milwaukee boasted over 80 breweries until Prohibition led to the demise of most of them in 1919. Nevertheless, the city can be spoken of historically as a craft brewing haven, and the success of the Sprecher beers there in recent years shows that the enthusiasm for great beer is still alive and well.
If you’re ever in the Milwaukee area, check out the Sprecher brewery and buy as many brews as you can bring home with you (you might need an extra suitcase!). For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, visit their website at www.sprecherbrewery.com or call them at 414-964-2739.
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