Beer Friday – Summer wheat beers

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It’s been a hot summer. And what is better on a hot summer day than a cold, refreshing drink? Even though the weather has been less punishing of late, there are still a few lazy days ahead of us.

Weiss is the German word for White. When it is used in reference to beer, though weiss refers to wheat beers. There are many different types of Weiss beers with as many different flavour profiles. But, in general, they tend to be lighter in colour than Stout or Porter, and coriander, orange peels and other citrus fruit can be used in the brew process. They are usually unfiltered and have a distinctive haziness in the glass.

In the midst of my recent move (MovinOnUp2012), when the temperature was 36 degrees and more, I tried two Ontario Weiss beers: Toronto’s Amsterdam Brewery Oranje Weisse ($3.95 for a 500mL bottle at the LCBO) and  Muskoka Summer Weiss ($6.45 for 750mL). I was looking to try some seasonal local beers and, my brother in law having just come back from a cycling trip to Germany, I had Europe on my mind.

One of the beauties of our burgeoning (exploding?) craft beer scene in Ontario is that they creates seasonal beers, small batches, and experiment. Unlike large conglomorates, they are carving out niche markets and experimenting. If the beer is a hit, they can bring it back or fold it into their standards. If not, they move on to the next one. I have tried a few beers in the past from Muskoka and enjoy the variety they produce from their Mad Tom IPA (http://foodieprints.com/2011/07/my-name-is-claire-and-i-am-canadian-too/) to their Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout (http://foodieprints.com/2012/01/ottdrinkstotheseason-chocolate-beer/) .

I am not a huge fan of unfiltered beer, as I am discovering, but I did like the Amsterdam Oranje Weiss. While the citrus flavours had a hard time being detected through the yeastiness, I found it to be the most interesting of the two Weiss beers I tried that day. It had good effervescence and suited the weather; served chilled, it was both refreshing and satisfying.

If you like a yeasty, medium body beer (less bitter than an India Pale Ale and more full bodied than a Lager), you might want to try a Weisse beer. Serve it with some a grilled sausage on a bun topped with sauerkraut and I think you might quite like it.

Two weiss beers from small Ontario breweries


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Although trained as a sommelier, I pay my bills working as an IT consultant. I love what I do for a living and keep wine as my hobby. As it looks bad if you only drink, I have occasionally been known to eat as well. Growing up on four different continents, I love to cook and appreciate the cuisines of the world. But wine is my passion. With a well-stocked cellar, I am always on the hunt for new wines and love hearing from people about their latest find or interesting pairing. My approach to wine: Drink what you like. Wine reviews need not be stuffy. Numerical ratings are meaningless. If it tastes good, drink it! If you don’t like it, then it’s not the wine for you.