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What Is Wheat Beer?

Learn about wheat beer, a type of beer you can brew at home, from home brewer Chris Cuzme with this Howcast video.


Hi, my name is Chris Cuzme. I am a long-time member and current president of the New York City Home Brewer's Guild. I've been home brewing since about 2001, and I love it. I'm crazy addicted to it, and I'm happy to share it with you today. I'm also part of the New York City Degustation Advisory Team which I formed with my partner, Mary Izett, I'll be showing you how to home brew today. Cheers!

What is wheat beer? There are lots of different kinds of wheat beers, like dunkelweizen. Dunkelweizen is the really dark, more banana style, clove-y beer, but when people hear the word wheat beer, they typically think about a Belgian wit, which generally are made with coriander, there's a lot of spiciness from the yeast that's being used. Or hefeweizen, which is an unfiltered wheat beer from Germany. There's weissbier, there's an American wheat; all of these have different flavor components, but there is no one single type of wheat beer. A lot of French saisons or butter-saisons use a percentage of wheat. The percentage and dominance of malted barley in those merit that it's not a wheat beer. Although, a lot of beers do use wheat in their recipes, in their total grist.
Belgian wits and hefeweizens are some of my favorite breakfast beers of all time. With omelets and eggs, I think they're awesome and shine. And sometimes also the coriander in a Belgian wit dances with white chocolate in a way that's really, really lovely. But really, when it comes to pairing beer with food, there are certain guidelines, but no rules. Because also, within every style, everybody makes their own interpretation of that style. And so the varying degrees of hops, the varying degrees of sweetness and of dryness, you can make blanket statements about styles, but they don't always hit, because of the varying ways that brewers...the creative ingenuity of brewers within vast.

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