One of Golden Road’s core brands, this hefeweizen comes in a lovely orange and brown can depicting a Southern California hillside—sun drenched and peppered with palms, the box screams “L.A.” In a no-frills kind of way that belies its Germanic heritage, the beer is simply called, “Hefeweizen.” Hefe is German for “yeast,” while weizen (pronounced veitzen) means “wheat.” As far as beer names go, “Hefeweizen” definitely has a better ring to it than “YeastWheat.”
The genre includes white or “wit” beers, which are generally sweet, unfiltered brews that show a light dusting of yeast when poured properly (gently roll the can or bottle for a minute to mix in the flavorful yeast sediment). While this brew is available year round from Golden Road, I tend to find Hefs well suited for a summer afternoon. This one is a pale golden color and seems to have little of the cloudy yeast we normally see, which could be my fault for not rolling the can. If that was intentional, the Germans call such filtered wheats “Kristallweizen.” The head is lacy and full, but dissipates to a creamy rim.
The smell is full with yeast and bittersweet candy. It’s like a walk through a wheat field at harvest time. I get the essence of tortilla chips around the edge. Pleasant and light, the nose isn’t aggressive. It washes simple and clean over my taste buds in an unassailing manner. There are hints of apricot and the yeasty aroma gives way to a pleasant, smooth, and slightly sweet wheat character. Touches of spice linger near the bottom of the glass. In the mouth, it’s silky smooth with minimal carbonation. This is unexpected for a Hef, many of which have an over-carbonated aspect even when vigorously poured.
Overall, this is a delicious sipping beer. Mild character and an overall low ABV make it a perfect companion to a light stroll among chaparral, or as an after-sport refreshment. Obviously it won’t rehydrate you, but this mildly sweet hot-weather beer goes down so easy you’ll swear it could do the job.
Brewery: Golden Road Brewing
City:Los Angeles, Calif.
Style: Bavarian-Style Hefeweizen
Availability: Year round, cans