Shiho Kurogi is one of our awesome CKJY Exports’ interns, who is currently studying at Fresno State University. Shiho is our guest writer for this week’s Wine & Spirits Blog.
Enjoy learning more about what beer with Shiho as she learns more about how beer is made and compare the different types to her experience in Japan.
Dear: Beer Beginners
If you are a beginner for drinking alcohol, you may not like the taste of beer for the first time. If you are “the beginner”, I was one of them. I was born and raised in Japan where people love to drink alcohol but to be honest with you, I did not like the taste of beer for the first time I tried. I could not even understand why people love drinking beer! Yet, here is my story about how I started enjoying beer. One day in the middle of a hot summer season, I was really thirsty. I tried water and soda but nothing could help my dry throat.
Then I suddenly thought “why not to try a beer right now?” and I stole one of my father’s beer from the refrigerator … guess what it tasted really good! It felt like carbonic acid of soda in my throat but it was more fresh and light. So, I believe that I had a right type of beer at the right time. If you don’t like beer, maybe you haven’t met your favorite beer yet. There are so many types of beer in the world and it is totally up to you to find one that you will love. Today, I would like to introduce wheat beers and hopefully you will want to try a wheat beer after reading my blog.
What is a wheat beer?
What is a wheat beer and what makes it different than other types of beer? As it is called “wheat beer”, 30 – 70% is made by wheats. Germany is one of the most famous countries that loves drinking and making beer, and Germany even has a law for a wheat beer; Wheat beer has to be made of at least 50% of wheats (Berghoff, 2015). So, it contains much higher wheat proportions than other types of beer. You can even see the difference between a Wheat beer and other beer types. A large proportion of wheats makes beer light yellow color; therefore, it is called “White Beer”.
In this picture, Hefeweizens is a common type of a German wheat beer and you can see how clear the color is! It is interesting how the color can be changed depending on the ingredients they use for making beer.
History of Wheat Beer – German and Belgian
As explained above, a wheat beer uses a lot of wheat malts than other types of beer. German and Belgian are the two of the most famous countries that make a white beer (wheat beer).
- In German, it is called Hefeweizens, the original of a wheat beer. They like to put bubble gum, banana, or vanilla flavors with it. How interesting! They also make Dunkelweizen and Weizenbock, which are the German dark wheat styles. These types of dark wheat beer contains Vienna or Munich malts (Berghoff, 2015).
- In Belgian, wheat/white beers are called Witbiers and they are similar to German Hefeweizen style. Yet, they use coriander and orange peels in the process and then put flavor of aroma hops.
- America also makes wheat beer but usually they do not add unique flavor but prefer to put honey and fruit (Adventures in Homebrewing, n.d.).
Taste – Why You Should Try White Beer
In Japan, there are many types of beers and many beer lovers but adult guys like to drink lager or hop style with a bitter and sharp taste which can be too strong to drink for beer beginners, ladies or anyone who does not really like alcohol. Especially, a dark beer has less sweet and more sharp taste. If you tried those types of beers and did not like them, you should really try a wheat beer. I am very sure that you will feel it’s easy to drink than other beers. A wheat beer is more mild, fresh fruity and sweet taste. It does not hurt your tongue that much either. It’s the best to drink in Spring and Summer weather.
What to Eat with White/Wheat Beer?
You already know a beer can be fruity and mild, maybe you want to know about what to eat with a wheat beer. I personally like to drink a beer with some food. So let me give you perfect dishes that go perfect with a white beer!
If you are about to try German white beer tonight, go with Mexican food. This beer will be the best match with chicken, black beans and tortillas with flour taste (AGNEW, n.d.). You can simply go with tacos or burritos if you feel lazy to cook tonight. Just stop by a taco truck tonight and grab some German white beers!
Seems like an interesting point, this beer goes well with fruits and salads. If you are not feeling too healthy as fruit salad, you can try with seafood with lemon too. If you are traveling to a beach resort, it’s the time you should try a Belgian white beer instead of white wine tonight!
American wheat beers:
If you cannot get a German or Belgian wheat beer around in your area, you can also go with American wheat beer. You don’t have to spend too much for your dinner. Just make an easy fresh salad with boiled egg, ham or turkey slices and strong taste of cheese (AGNEW, n.d.).. Stop by a grocery shop, go home and make your salad. It won’t take 10 minutes but still will be your favorite dinner style!
Adventures in Homebrewing. – How to Make Wheat Beer.
AGNEW, M. (n.d.). What to Eat with Wheat Beer.
Berghoff. (2015, April 9). WHAT IS A WHEAT BEER.
EDDINGS, B. (2017, Oct 3). A Layman’s Guide to Wheat Beer.