It's #FloridaBeerFriday, when we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft-beer movement of Florida.
The last time we stopped by the Mack House, that three barrel brewery in Davie and home to the Holy Mackerel beer brand, we took a look at their Starfruit Pink Peppercorn Saison, a collaboration between them and local homebrewers 3 Sons Brewing. This time we're putting a more classic style under the microscope: their hefeweizen.
Also sometimes called a Weissbier, or simply a wheat ale, the hefeweizen (pronounced "hay-fuh-veyt-sssenn") is a beer with two distinct flavor profiles that define it, and literally make up its name. Hefe: yeast. Weizen: wheat. Now you know some German. Who said drinking beer couldn't be educational?
The style was born out of complicated German heritage, with the name, before the 16th century, meaning any pale beer. According to the German Beer Institute, "With the technological innovation of pale malt in the 19th century, the blond lagers, the Bavarian Helles and the Pils/Pilsener emerged. It was around that time that the name Weissbier became reserved exclusively for wheat ales."
"According to German law, all beer that is labeled Weissbier or Weizenbier must be made with at least 50% malted wheat. Most Bavarian Weissbiers contain 60 to 70% malted wheat. The rest is malted barley."
Commercial examples of this style, which are more widely available, are Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Erdinger Weissbier, Schneider Weisse Weizenhell, and Paulaner Hefe-Weizen.
The beer pours with turbidity, pushing up a stark white cap of foam that slowly settles into similarly stark white lacing. It's a bright and hazy yellow, almost impossible to see through as the wheat proteins and suspended yeast cloud the beverage. There is a slight hint of banana on the nose, but nothing too strong or overpowering. It drinks with a spritzy lemony front, that reminds of a well-made shandy, and then transitions into a middle of graininess and a finish that serves up that needed mildly tart and citrus-like yeast-made flavor profile. Nicely effervescent with a full mouthfeel.
For wheat beer fans, of which they can usually be a considerably picky bunch, should find the House Hef to remind them of some of the traditional European styled hefeweizens, or to classic American hefe's from the Pacific Northwest. Everything is in balance with a roundness of character.
House Hef is currently on tap at the Mack House. Hopefully, it makes it on a more permanent rotation for the summer.
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Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Instagram.