I am slowly working my way through the beers of Prost Brewing out in Denver – at least the ones that end up here in Madison. My introduction to their biers began with the very unimpressive Altbier
. Prost rebounded with the very tasty Pils
. And now I am ready to spill the beans on their Weissbier
. The brewery strictly adheres to German styles, if you haven't noticed by now.
Ah, the weissbier. A wheat ale whose yeast produces distinctive flavors that can taste like banana, clove, bubble gum, et al. It was my brother's favorite bier and, since his death last year, I've been unable to drink one and not think of him. It's a bit like that song from your youth that is ineluctably linked in your brain to the bad old days of high school or perhaps to your first special someone. With a good weissbier comes my brother's smiling face and many a happy memory such as when he was singing "Squonk" by Genesis in my kitchen several years back. Objectivity and weissbier are forever separated for me.
Prost's Weissbier – they're pretty utilitarian when it comes to naming their bier – pours a lovely cloudy light gold. The haze is from yeast left in the bier as well as protein from the large amount of wheat used to brew it. I expected a bigger head than I got from my pour. What can you do? But it was a brilliant white. Sadly, it didn't stick around very long. There was, however, a goodly number of bubbles in the bier itself going up. Unfortunately, my weissbier glasses are all packed away and I'm sure they would have helped Weissbier put its best foot forward visually. Still, it looked pretty good in a shaker pint.
The aroma was great filled as it was with banana and clove. More on the banana side of things, though, which is my preference. And of course there was also wheat/light graininess too. I believe that the stylemeisters decree Weissbiers should be made from at least 50% wheat but even more is not uncommon.
Much to my delight the preponderance of banana in the aroma carried over to the taste. There was definitely some clove too, but it was less pronounced and in fine proportion for my taste buds. The wheat and malt gave a bread-like flavor which offered a moderate bit of sweetness which went well with the fruity flavor from the yeast. I tasted a little grassy hop flavor but little bitterness. And a good weissbier needs a lively dose of carbonation which this one has.
The hops are applied moderately on the finish as those tasty banana and clove flavors from the yeast fade. They take on a pepper flavor which adds some bitterness and makes for a dry finish. Sadly there was no Schaumhaftvermoegen
left on my glass.
Weissbier is a very fine brew and I am beginning to think that my encounter with their altbier was an anomaly. I appreciated that the banana flavor was stronger than that of clove and they achieved a really nice balance between the two. While the yeast flavors were up front, the wheat wasn't too far behind. And the hops got their chance to shine at the end. The bier just had a nice flavor all around. The body was medium-light but leaned towards the latter. Add in a generous, but not too generous, helping of carbonation and you have one mighty refreshing bier. And it's a easy-going 4.5% A.B.V. to boot.
I have no doubt that my brother would have heartily approved.
Junk food pairing: In keeping with my brother's proclivities, I am going to recommend his favorite snack - some pretzel rods - dipped in a fine processed cheese food product sauce.
Labels: Beer, Hefeweizen, Prost Brewing Company, Weissbier