I found this beer on draft not too long ago and really, really enjoyed it. It comes by way of Pyramid Breweries, founded as Hart Brewing Inc. in 1984 in Kalama, WA, later changing its name to Pyramid Breweries Inc. in 1996. In 2008, Pyramid was gobbled up by Magic Hat, itself acquired by North American Breweries two years later. The hefeweizen is the brewery’s big mover, and it’s brewed with Two Row Pale Malt, Malted Wheat and Carmel Malt, and hopped with Nugget and Liberty. Checks in at 5.2% ABV.
I must say, I’m quite proud of my pour on this one. Pouring a hefeweizen is tricky business. It’s one of the few instances in which I trickle down the side of the glass (otherwise you get a counter filled with foam), and the timing can be a little perplexing. But I think I nailed it in this instance. Ok, enough with the patting myself on the back. Onto the beer, which is a lot darker than I remember it being on draft. The draft version seemed much more gold, pale in shade. This one almost looks like Schneider-Weisse, though the photo is certainly making it look a bit darker than it is. The aroma is filled with juicy fruit, such as lemon, pineapple and perhaps a little banana. Nice, but I would’ve liked a little clove there to help spice it up a bit.
Errr… just a bit fizzy for my tastes. I like my hefeweizens to greet me with a nice jolt up front and then take on a more creamy consistency from mid palate on. This doesn’t really happen here. It stays fizzy, and borderline watery, throughout most of the progression. The flavors are fine enough, if unremarkable, as banana and yeast-driven fruit flavors dominate the range. A little more of a stated malt flavor would’ve been nice, but the weak body is also hurting that. Finishes quite thin, leaving a little fruity flavor on the throat.
The Verdict: This was excellent on draft, but it leaves much to be desired in the bottle. Fine enough, unoffensive for sure, but you’d have a hard time convincing me to buy it if Schneider-Weisse is anywhere near by.