is not your average wheat beer. Mainly that’s because it is a lager rather
than ale, the latter being the form that most wheat beers belong to. Neither
is Abita Wheat, the brewery’s summer seasonal, an overly flavorful beer.
Indeed, there is little to differentiate it from your average macrobrew.
I got a few bottles of Abita Wheat in a 12-pack variety sampler the brewery
offers. To be honest, I was surprised to see it included, since its regular
season runs from June to September. My samples did not show any deleterious
signs of age, however.
As I mentioned before, most wheat beers are ales. The mother of all wheat
beers is the Hefeweizen, a cloudy German style that is very
refreshing and includes yeast in the bottle. It usually features notes of
clove and banana, sometimes even apple or bubblegum.
Similar to the Hefeweizen is the Kristalweizen. The main difference
here is the yeast, or lack thereof actually, in the bottle. Kristals are
filtered and therefore clear and bright brews. Some of the same flavors
mentioned above may be present, but they are often less pronounced. Like
Hefeweizens, Kristals are ales.
Here’s what Abita says about its wheat:
German brewers discovered centuries ago that the addition of wheat
produces a distinctively light, refreshing beer. Unlike traditional German
wheat beers produced by other breweries, Abita Wheat is a lager, not an ale,
and contains a generous amount of wheat and therefore, has a clean, simple
flavor. For a change of pace, try Abita Wheat over ice with a twist of
Egad. I realize that this is mainly a summer brew meant to be quenching in
the hot weather. But serve it over ice? I’m not sure that’s such a good
idea. This beer is watery enough as it is. Which only makes one wonder why
it should be purchased at a premium price over a six-pack of Coors.
In traditional wheat beers, the wheat makes the brew tart, quenching and
refreshing. Still, the special yeast used adds plenty of flavor. When I
drink an Abita Wheat, however, I get the impression that the wheat is used
in the same way rice is in Budweiser. That is, to lighten the beer.
Abita Wheat pours to a light gold color with a fizzy thin head and a
tart, faintly citrusy nose. The palate is very thin with little flavor, and
as I mentioned calls to mind a Bud or Miller. The finish is thin but
balanced making the beer quenching if nothing else.
There’s really not much going on here, and I can’t think of a reason why I
would buy this beer again.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.