It’s not often I find a beer in which I can’t find at least some positives,
but sadly Pyramid Wheaten Ale is such a beer. It might be ok as something to
quaff the thirst after a hard day in the hot sun, but to be honest I think I
would much prefer a glass of water if given the choice between good old H2O
and Pyramid Wheaten Ale.
Here’s some info from the label:
As the name would suggest, this ale is heavy on the wheat, but
surprisingly light and refreshing on the tongue.
Light is the key word here. Pyramid Wheaten is even lighter than many light
beers on the market. This is not Pyramid’s only wheat beer, mind you. Their
Hefeweizen is a very popular and far more flavorful beer that is
stylistically a close relative to the Wheaten Ale. Hefeweizen means
yeast-wheat in German, and implies a style of beer that is cloudy with yeast
in suspension. Traditional German examples of the style will have a unique
yeasty character that suggests banana and clove. Of late, American versions
like Pyramid’s will be not possess those suggestions but will have a hearty
wheat flavor and are rather refreshing.
Pyramid’s Wheaten Ale is perhaps better defined as an American version of
what the Germans call Krystallweizen, or clear wheat beer. This type
of wheat beer is filtered and not packaged with yeast in the bottle. It will
usually retain some of the banana and clove flavor of a hefeweizen. American
Krystalls, often called American filtered wheats, are often rather fruity.
Pyramids Wheaten is not.
Some information on the beer: Wheaten Ale was the first filtered wheat to be
available year-round in the States since Prohibition ended. It is about
average in alcohol content at 4.6% by volume and is made with wheat malt,
2-row barley malt and some caramel malt mostly for color I assume.
Pyramid Wheaten Ale pours to a hazy golden color with a medium sized but
very creamy head and exhibits a tart and slightly sour wheat nose. There is
some thin malt wheat character in the palate and a slightly crackery,
watery, bitter and husky astringent finish which is a light touch sour. I
find this to be a rather uninteresting, watery, brew. I would actually
prefer a Budweiser to this brew and feel a Bud has more flavor. A slice of
lemon would spice this up a bit perhaps.
It seems to me that this brew has lost some character. In October of 2000 I
wrote the following about it:
In the beer enthusiast world, a light bodied, accessible beer like this
one is sometimes called "training wheels beer". Generally the term is used
in a derogatory fashion, but I don't think that's fair. Not every beer need
bowl you over with flavor. For the newcomer to the beer scene, that might be
counterproductive. It's best to take a step at a time, and Pyramid Wheaten
Ale is a good step up in flavor from mass-marketed American lagers. A
seasoned beer veteran myself, I still enjoy it on a warm summer evening.
I don’t seem to be enjoying it so much lately. Definitely not Pyramid’s best
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.