About Wheat Beers from USA

About Wheat Beers from USA
US: From Pilgrims to Pale Ale Beer has occupied a central position in American culture from the start. This was true even before the craft-brewing revolution, which dramatically increased the beer choices available to consumers. Beer predated the arrival of Europeans to the New World. Columbus noted on one of his expeditions to Central America that the inhabitants drank a fermented corn beverage, while the Aztecs of Mexico produced a beer-like fermented drink made from agave pulp and corn, the ancestor of modern pulque. Of more direct relevance to the beer-drinking history of the Americas is the fact that the Pilgrims on the Mayflower were well provisioned with beer when they set off toward the New World. In fact, their landing choice of Plymouth Rock was dictated by an onboard crisis - the beer supply was running low, and they might be forced to drink just water. Beer has always been a staple of American life, albeit with an ill-conceived pause during National Prohibition. One might argue that many things, including beer, suffered in the headlong dash for the ever more processed and stable foods that defined the post-World War II world of prosperous America. By the mid-1970s, if an ale or lager with flavor was your choice of beer, outside regional holdouts such as Anchor Steam Beer in San Francisco, the Yuengling ales and porters in Pennsylvania and the Augsburger line of lager beers from the Huber Brewery in Wisconsin, there was not much in the way of alternatives to an imported European brew. This situation began to change in the late 1970s, when the tiny New Albion Brewing Company in Sonoma, California began brewing a line of English style ales, stouts and porters. Other pioneer craft breweries as Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico, California and Pyramid Ales in Washington State soon followed. What we now call craft breweries were originally referred to as boutique breweries, after the new generation of small, local “boutique” wineries that started opening in the 1960s. Their beers were promoted as “all malt” beers, made only from barley malt, hops, water and yeast, to distinguish them from the mass-produced national brands, most of which contained high percentages of barley malt substitutes called “adjuncts” (corn, corn syrup and wheat primarily), which provided fermentable material but resulted in blander brews. The rapid growth of craft brewing spread from California and the Pacific Northwest, where interest in high-quality foodstuffs has always been closer to the cultural mainstream. The American beer renaissance originally focused around the production of ales. This can likely be explained by a number of factors. The first and succeeding generations of home brewers who "went commercial" were inspired by the ales of England, which had been relatively easy to reproduce at home. Home-brewed ales do not require the additional cooling and storage vessels needed for high-quality lager beer production. In a market well-supplied with pale lager, it was a much surer marketing prospect to introduce an amber-colored, hoppy ale rather than a pale-hued lager, even if brewed to exacting German-style purity laws. In more recent years craft lager brewers have begun to catch up, with such breweries as the Capital Brewery in Wisconsin, Bayern Brewing in Montana and Trumer Brauerei Berkeley in California in the forefront. Nowadays, virtually every existing style of beer, along with a few new ones, are being produced in American craft breweries. Craft Beers in Today’s Beer Market On a national basis, craft-brewed beers are well on their way to becoming a national staple. According to 2012 figures compiled by the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado, craft-brewed beers grew 15%, totaling over 13 million barrels, and amounted to 6.5% of the total volume of beer sold in the United States. Sales totaled $10.2 billion out of a U.S. total beer market of $99 billion. In some regions, such as the Pacific Northwest, the craft beer market share is now over 20%. Some brewing industry analysts are now predicting that the craft beer share of the national beer market will grow to 20% by 2020. By the end of 2013 the total number of craft breweries (including brewpubs) in the United States was over 2,500. Brewpubs In a world where beer distribution is a tough business that has broken the heart of many a start-up brewer, the brewpub can still offer the rewards of good profitability. Brewpubs, of course, do not have to distribute their beer beyond their premises. In this commercial setting, brewing can be immensely profitable in the right location, and virtually all major cities now boast a number of thriving brewpubs. Typically, you can expect a standard range of amber ales, English-style brown ales, pale ales, stoutsand/or porters. Because of space restrictions, brewpubs generally tend to focus on brewing ales, rather than lagers. All such beers may or may not be named after the brewer, his mood at the time of brewing, his dog, or his first-born child - the naming of beers being possibly the greatest exertion of creativity in a brewer’s working life. The savvy beer hunter should always keep an eye out for cask-conditioned, hand-pumped ales at brewpubs. A brewpub that has made the effort to set up this style of English beer-dispensing system, not as exotically rare as it once was in the United States, is demonstrating a serious approach to ale dispensing that should show itself in the beer that is being brewed. Brewpub brewmasters typically have a lively special event and seasonal schedule that can traverse the entire spectrum of beer styles. Expect to find imperial stouts and barley wines in winter, kölsch and wheat ales in summer, a mandatory Oktoberfest in September, and possibly a maibock in springtime. The only limitation is one’s imagination, which is generally not lacking in this vibrant and growing industry.

Top Picks for USA

Wheat Beers

Pearl Street Brewery Sour Winter Gose
94 points
Minutely hazy dull gold color. Woody, floral, complex aromas and flavors of pine blossom, singed orange peel, toasty herb peppercorn muffin, and lavender and verbena with a satiny, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, distinctive, long finish displaying notes of orange spice cake, citrus juice and granita, pretzel bread pudding, and hints of coriander and cardamom finish. A great gulpable gose brimming with attractive citrus and herbal flavors within fine salty frame.
Pearl Street Brewery 17 Up Anniversary Gose
93 points
Dull hazy yellow straw color. Citrusy aromas of lemon curd on raisin toast, limeade, and hint of thyme and lavender with a supple, effervescent, sweet-and-sour medium body and a compelling, medium-long warm buttered baguette, lime Italian ice, and parsnip and arugula finish. A classically structured gose with a fun infusion on lemon, lime, and perhaps an herb and spice or two.
August Schell Brewing Co. Framboise du Nord Flavored Berliner Weisse
93 points
Cloudy red oak color. Aromas and flavors of freshly pureed raspberries, candied lemon peel, lemon vinaigrette marinated artichoke hearts, and raspberry tea with a supple, racy, spritzy, sourish medium-to-full body and a complex, very long finish displaying notes of roasted Brussels sprouts and kennebec potatoes, gherkins and cocktail onion, pickled melon, rhubarb and root vegetables, and hibiscus-lilac mineral water finish. A fantastically pure and complex raspberry flavored Berliner Weisse with enchanting and mouthwatering savory notes.
August Schell Brewing Co. Schells Hefeweizen
93 points
Bright yellow color. Savory, umami aromas and flavors of tapioca and banana pudding, toasted banana nut and pretzel breads, and water chestnut and bamboo shoot with a satiny, bright, effervescent, fruity medium body and a seamless, captivating, long finish that presents notes of delicate spiced nuts and minerals finish. A delicious and elegantly styled hefeweizen that is a pleasure to drink.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. Holy Moses White Ale
93 points
Bright golden yellow color. Citrusy, savory aromas and flavors of quesadillas, lemon pepper bread, dried banana, and five spice with a supple, crisp, finely carbonated, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length finish that presents notes of orange banana soufflé, lightly spiced nuts, and watercress and sprouts finish. A very tasty, refreshing, not too spicy witbier for summer crushing.
August Schell Brewing Co. Tidal Disruption Blackberry Berliner Weisse
93 points
Maroon color. Earthy aromas and flavors of overripe and stewed berries, gherkin, berry yogurt, and leather shoes with feet with a supple, racy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long finish with accents of pomegranate vinaigrette on greens, chestnuts, grassy earth, and lime pith finish. A brooding and earthy berry Berliner that will excel at the table, especially with game.
Awards: 2017 Best Flavored Berliner Weisse
Samuel Adams Cold Snap White Ale
93 points
Hazy old gold color. Aromas and flavors of dried apricot and mango, banana bread and mousse, spiced nougat, and malted chocolate with a satiny, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, long finish with notes of starfruit and jicama and grassy earth finish. An attractive fruity, lightly spicy witbier that goes down easy.
Awards: 2017 Best Witbier
Sierra Blanca Brewing Company Cherry Wheat Ale
93 points
Brilliant copper color. Aromas and flavors of sour and bing cherry butter and toasted nut pastry with a satiny, lively, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a tingling, delightful, medium-long finish that shows overtones of apple sauce, melon, and spices finish. A rich, tangy cherry beer that hits all the right notes; try in a beertail.
Awards: 2017 Best Flavored Wheat Beer
August Schell Brewing Co. Lunar Interference Berliner Weisse
92 points
Medium brown color. Roasted, sourish aromas and flavors of coffee, chocolate yogurt, and sourdough dark rye toast with a satiny, tart, effervescent, sourish medium body and a tingling, intricate, medium-long finish with accents of melon and sprouts, kiwi vinaigrette, and chicory finish. A unique dark and roasty take of the Berliner Weiss style that really works and is quite approachable.
Harpoon Brewery Lime-y Vice
92 points
Murky light gold color. Citrusy, floral aromas and flavors of fresh squeezed lime, delicate spice and herbal tea, and lavender with a creamy, finely carbonated, sourish medium-to-full body and a silky, complex, long finish displaying accents of fine sea salt brine, artisan citrus sports drink, and radish spouts and pea tendrils finish. A superb, creamy, lightly sour, skillful crafted gose with a great salty lime flavor and indulgently luxurious texture’ will appeal to shandy fans looking for something more serious.