Weizen/Weißbier. See Hefeweizen above for more details on this style. As mentioned, it’s called Weizen in most of Germany and it’s perhaps more appropriate as it is a wheat beer. In southern Bavaria, it’s always called Weißbier, a reference to its “white” appearance due to it being cloudy.

It’s a beer with a long history, predating the Reinheitsgebot. Actually, this law regulating the ingredients of beer had to be amended to allow its brewing as wheat was not part of the original plan. It’s by far the most popular of the top-fermenting German beers, especially in Bavaria but this was not always the case. While it was popular enough in the 1500s to amend the law, it fell very much out of favor by the mid 1970s and if not for then Munich brewery Schneider, it might have ceased to exist. Marketed as a healthy beer due to the yeast, it ushered in an acceptance of cloudy beers. In fact, in Munich, it is second only to Helles as the most popular style.  It wasn’t always the case in other parts of Germany. My father-in-law didn’t like it but now the previously Pils-drinking Saxon only drinks Weißbier.

a few Weizen variations

There are some very nice variations in Franconia like the hoppy Weiherer Sommerweizen and Staffelberg-Bräu Weißbier from Loffeld.

Next up Weizenbock or back to Beer Styles.


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