North American Wheat Beer differs from European Wheat Beer in that they don’t carry the same aromatics of bananas, cloves and bubble gum, due to different yeast that they use. Instead, North American Wheat Beers have a more neutral flavour, which is light and zippy on the tongue with a touch of wheat tartness on the finish. Furthermore, there’s a big difference between German and Belgian Wheat beer that we’ll touch upon, but not fully discuss. In later blog articles we’ll dive deeper into the the geographical styles. For now you can discover these specific Wheat Beer Pairings in our beer pairing database.
North American Wheat Beer with Seafood
Because it’s such a bright and light beer, it pairs up great with delicate foods like steamed/poached white fish like Halibut, Turbot, Arctic Char or Sole, or simple seafood dishes. Pairing these types of foods with an American styled Wheat Beer has the same quality as squeezing a bit of lemon on the dish. Richer seafood preparations like clam chowder will drown out all the style Wheat Beer has to offer.
North American Wheat Beer Beer & Salad Pairing
Keeping on track with delicate foods, salads prepared with all types of garden vegetables found in a salad, such a spinach, cucumber, fresh peppers, tomatoes, and bean sprouts are great with wheat beers provided they have a vinaigrette dressing. The mild acidity found in a wheat beer pairs nice with vinaigrette, and the beer is neutral enough to ride along with a fruit flavoured dressing. Salads that go beyond vegetables, and have chicken, bacon, or cheese will work fine as well.
German Wheat Beer (Weissbier) & Mexican Food
With Mexican dishes, wheat beer is the perfect palate cleanser. It lifts fatty flavours, such as cheese and guacamole out, and cuts through the starch of rice and beans. All the flavours you’d expect in a Mexican dish, such as cilantro, lime juice, chilies, and cumin all make great dance partners with this refreshing beer. Indian Food, Mediterranean Food, Chinese Food, & not surprising, German Food all go perfectly with German Wheat Beer as well!
Belgian Wheat Beer (Whitbier) & Chorizo Sausages
Finally, Wheat Beer is great with brunch. Pass on the Mimosa (half sparkling wine and half orange juice) with your omelet and crack open one of these beers. You’ll find that even though this beer is light and brisk, it has enough carbonation and acidity to slice through the grease found in bacon and sausages. It’s also a fantastic and refreshing beer to pair with spicy brunch dishes like huevos rancheros and chorizo sausages.
The Many Faces of Wheat Beer
In a future blog we’ll go further into the different styles of Wheat Beer, but you may see it refered to as: Weissbier, Dunkelweisse, Hefeweizen, Bavarian Wheat Beer, Witbier, Belgian Wheat Beer, Berliner Weisse
Our Picks for Wheat Beer
America: Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. Whippet Wheat, Revolution Brewing Bottom Up Wit, Dogfish Head Brewery Namaste
British Columbia: Red Arrow Brewing Co. – Heritage River Hefeweizen, Fieldhouse Brewing – Sour Wheat Gose
Europe: Paulaner-Salvator-Brau, Erdinger Weissbrau, Hoegaarden, De Ridder, Berliner Kindl Brauerei