Wheat beer is normally a delivery vehicle for fruit flavors and hop bitterness. And a good one at that. But there is something to be said for simpler versions that are not laden with banana and clove or dunkle’d. Since I have already done lists for 10 Top IPAs and 10 Great Fruit (and Vegetable) Beers, now find more moderate examples of California brewed wheats.
1. Alpine Beer Company – Willy is a sessionable wheat and even though when you think of Alpine, you normally think of their insanely good IPAs, this beer is a 4.9% ABV taste treat with just a hit of hops that will leave you wondering why you don’t pick up more bottles of it.
2. Speakeasy Ales & Lagers – White Lightning is more of a quasi-wit bier, but still more on the American side of the spectrum than the Belgian. Notes of citrus intermingle with the grain to create a refreshing quaff.
3. Hangar 24 Craft Brewing – Spring Beer – Orange Wheat is their flagship in Redlands but Spring Beer, which mashes up a hoppy wheat beer with a blend of American yeast and Belgian yeast version is another wheat winner. And shows off the subtle art of blending.
4. Figueroa Mountain Brewing – Wrangler Wheat utilizes an Americanized hefeweizen yeast to create a less Germanic and more Buellton take on the iconic style. It is also a bronze medal winner from the Great American Beer Festival in 2012.
5. Bottle Logic – She Shot First might be the hoppiest option on this list, but it is balanced out by “generous amounts of malted wheat,” per their description. The beer still arrives in your pint glass at a sessionable 4.7% ABV.