“Viral” may not be a word that breweries want associated with their product, but the word does have more than one meaning. When Minneapolis based Fulton Brewing Company announced that they had a Minnesota themed beer named HefeWheaties coming out, made in collaboration with General Mills/Wheaties cereal, it got attention well outside the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
The wait is over, the beer is in stylish orange cans, and the cross-marketing movement is in full effect. HefeWheaties, it turns out, is a hefeweizen styled beer made with use of the Wheaties name and logo, but brewed entirely at Fulton without any cereal adjuncts.
Simply put, this is a Fulton beer to the T. It’s crisp, clean, easy drinking, and relatively true to style. It’s a great summer beer—which is, perhaps, unfortunate since Labor Day is just around the corner—with full flavor and a really nice profile.
The beer itself pours a hazy golden hue that clears quickly and shows more of a straw yellow as the head settles. It’s unfiltered, as a hefe should be, but with a bright and sunny clarity. Pouring with an even head, it gives off a dominant clove note with a mandarin tinge, a whiff of buttery bread, and mild banana. The clove is definitely the big takeaway with the beer’s flavor while a soft mouthfeel makes it stand out as unique given the light body. After the clove there is a mild banana and breadiness typical of the style and it fades with a residual, dare I say, “cereal” sweetness. While it lacks the nuttiness of its namesake, it shares what I want to call that sweet crunch. Thankfully there is no actual crunch, but whether cognitive bias or fact, there is some similarity in the beer’s finish to the cereal. Hopped with Rakau, Galaxy, Mandarina Bavaria, and Sorachi Ace, it has a little more depth and a crisp, citrus twist, that refreshes and ups the aromatics from a strictly traditional hefeweizen.
HefeWheaties beer isn’t the best hefe on the market, but it’s a solid one that is worth checking out for reasons beyond the novelty. It would be more fitting around Opening Day than before September call-ups, but with Fulton stressing that it’s very likely a one-and-done beer, that point is moot. At the end of the day, the discussion continues to stray from the beer itself and back to the cross-marketing. It’s been a long time since I’ve had Wheaties. After drinking this beer, I’m a little tempted to go buy a box and refresh my memory. Is it the breakfast of champions? Depends how you define champion, but to bring it fully Minnesota, it probably has this endorsement:
Brewery: Fulton Brewing Company
City: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Availability: Cans, limited