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John's Generations White Ale - Millstream Brewing Company

John's Generations White AleJohn's Generations White Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

213 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 213
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.06%

Brewed by:
Millstream Brewing Company visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
White Ale's are Belgian style beers, often refered to as "Wit" beer. Our version of this classic style is a wonderful spicy brew, infused with orange peel and coriander spices. It has a crisp refreshing flavor and a slight 'white' haze from the large percentage of wheat used in the mash.

14 IBU

(Beer added by: Todd on 05-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 213 | Reviews: 145 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy bright yellow-amber with a generous amount of carbonation that gives the beer a lively, animated look. The massive, airy, Belgianesque head is a shade darker than bright white and is exceedingly rocky as it deflates. A few large chunks of lace find their way to the glass.

The nose is incredibly spicy and is, in fact, one of the spiciest in recent memory. I smell cordiander, cardamom and nutmeg (I think). Despite the fact that it's brewed with orange peel, I can't appreciate that particular ingredient in the nose.

The palate follows the nose exactly. Generations White is meant for warm weather consumption, but the spice profile reminds me of Christmas. The flavor consists of all of the spices mentioned above, plus a hint of orange peel. Perhaps if the spice load was a little lighter, the citrus could shine with more brilliance.

I pick up a hint of Belgian yeastiness on the finish and, though the beer doesn't taste all that sweet, my stomach is telling me that there's a fair amount of sugar present. Normally, I don't like highly carbonated mouthfeels, but it seems to work here. The body favors light over medium, lending the beer a superb degree of drinkability if one can handle the spices.

John's Generations White Ale has moved around over the years. It was first brewed by John's Grocery, then by Stone City until they closed, now it's brewed by Millstream. That tells me that either John is dedicated to this particular recipe and won't let it die or that plenty of people enjoy this beer and are buying it religiously. Come to think of it, both could be true. It's one of the most original beers that I've had in a while and I had a good time with it. Even so, I can't see it becoming one of my regulars.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2004 21:46:47 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: With the yeast astir, pours a cloudy pale honey color with a frothy head; retention and lacing could be better

Smell: Bready, with vague hints of coriander and clove; not getting much orange peel

Taste: Bready, up front, with a lemony aspect kicking in to accompany the clove and coriander spice profile; after the swallow, the flavors blend together nicely

Mouthfeel: Medium body (just a touch thin) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really nice drinker; just not as flavorful as other wits out there

Thanks, BuckeyeNation, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2008 23:31:18 | More by brentk56
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a pale, straw-colored yellow body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Lightly doughy aroma with a major infusion of cloves. Scents of citrus and bananas, though light, get points for making it past all those cloves.

Taste: Sweetened wheat dough flavor with mild hints of lemon peel and bananas. As with the aroma, there’s a hearty dose of spices, mainly cloves. The sharp spicing provides most the balance against the sweetness. Still manages to finish sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body, though somewhat syrupy.

Drinkability: It’s fine. For a wit, that is.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2007 22:57:22 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TMoney2591


4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Pours a hazy white-tinged straw with a couple fingers of white steasfast head. The smell is heavy on the citrus fruits and their peels/rinds, with some cloves and coriander thrown in for good measure. The taste follows, with some breadiness added to the citrus peels and coriander and the cloves taking a slightly greater prominence. The body is lightly moderate (very lightly), smooth, and has just the right amount of carbonation, making for one tasty, sessionable, highly drinkable brew, fit for the warmer months (or whenever the hell you feel like having a tasty wit).

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 06:30:42 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed pale yellow appearance, bubbles emanating up from below in a constant flow, with a tidy white head above.

Fresh aroma, citrus and spice, perfect witbier nose. Spot on.

Taste: nice, brisk meeting of hops with lips and tongue, fresh orange and lemon, blended with coriander, flavorful, but light and refreshing, the hallmark of any good witbier. Light bodied, soft, hoppy, spicy finish. Finds favor with my tastebuds.

Can't find a thing wrong with this guy.

Wish I had a case of this, rather than the one bottle, (much thanks to Chaz!)

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2005 09:22:08 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from cpolking, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a light murky gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, spices, light caramelized malts and touches of citrus and hops.

T: The taste starts out with strong flavors of spice and citrus. Then some mildly bready flavors of Belgian yeast, wheat and a hearty malt character come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, there are better beers in the style but this is still a solid lighter beer to drink for a while.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 00:54:55 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice Wit, i've had this bottle around since last summer, and it's still drinking well.

Pours a cloudy orange with ample foam and lacing.

Smells strongly of coriander, pale malt, and wheat.

Taste is in line with it's aroma, coriander, pale malt, and residual citrus in the finish. Aftertaste is dry and wheaty, and the mouthfeel is light and refreshing. A deadly combo that makes for very easy drinking in warmer months.

Now all I have to do is get to John's Grocery, and drink this out of the fountain... ;)

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2007 01:32:12 | More by emerge077
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a smooth pale and wheat malt scent that is light and fruity with spices. It's spiced with coriander and bitter orange peel along with a kick ass yeastiness. The taste is decent. It starts off light and spicey, but as it goes down it falls flat and finishes with an earthy pale malt flavor. It still has good witbier flavor. It just isn't as good as you would expect from the aroma. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a tastey brew with loads of aroma; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2006 00:33:30 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is yellow and slightly hazy with a soft white head of small bubbles and some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is high and made up of small bubbles, its very steady. Served in a DFH signature glass.

Aroma is mildly citrus, a little grainy, its just OK.

Beer is medium to light in body and has a nice sweetness and mild spice to the whole thing. Carbonation is good on the palate and the beer finishes nicely. There is an odd forward flavor and a slight aftertaste that grows the more you drink. Overall its good and interesting but its not something I would be inclined to drink a lot of.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 23:39:35 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80


3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, straw-yellow color with a thin, white head. No lacing.

S - It smelled of lemon, citrus, yeast and some clove.

T - It has a nice sweet wheat flavor with a lemony kick. The yeasty flavor is noticeable, too.

M - It was very crisp and very sharp. A light-bodied beer.

D -This is a pretty good wit. It has some nice flavors and is very easy drinking, too.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 02:06:16 | More by zeff80
Photo of jwc215


3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clouded yellow with a thin white head that descends to a lasting patch. A small ring of lace is left.

The smell is of coriander and citrus.

There is a crisp coriander and orange citrus tang upfront. A wheat grain support becomes more noticeable as the drink progresses. Hops are kept to a minimum, as they should be for the style.

The medium body holds up well in the mouth. This is quite the refresher.

A good, traditional interpretation of the style. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for this one!

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2006 18:43:37 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep golden heavily clouded hue with an orange golden rod tint to it, very heavy carbonation for the white quickly disipating head leaves some lacing sporadically with each sip. Aroma: Orange peel enters my senses profusely with coriander and other festive spices gives a very creamy citrusy smoothie approach, but very solid all around not hating very nice scent should sell insense that smells like this beauty. Taste: A great mix of sharp unmalted wheat and citrus notes along with ungodly amounts of spices including coriander and orange peel most notably. Big and flavorful heavily spiced in a very good way comes a close second to Great Lakes Holy Moses. Mouthfeel: High carbonation causes burping in the first few sips, creamy texture also comes through with each sip. Drinkability: I can't really complain one of the better American brewed flavorful witbiers, god bless. Oh and thanks BuckeyeNation for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2004 07:51:00 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a two finger white head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Cloudy pale amber color. Very light carbonation and light bodied. Orange citrusy nose. Starts balanced, yeasty orange flavor, clean finish. Nice summer beer. Best before Dec 2006. $1.49 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, Ia.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2006 22:35:01 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Jason


3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle, on the side is a blurb about the beer being brewed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John's Grocery INC. No freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Pale beige amber with a yeilding stick lace true to the style.

Smell: The usual suspects ... coriander and citric peel.

Taste: Medium bodied with a mouth feel that is smooth and crisp at the same time. Grain from start to finish though gets more noticable towards the end. Good balance with the spices ... coriander and orange peel are dominant with hints of pepper that come the same time as the fruitiness. Hop character is kept to a minimum.

Notes: As far as White Ales go, this is a great one. Very well balanced ... a brew to be proud of.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2002 09:24:50 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro


3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Obtained in a trade with hero27 as an extra in the box.

The pour rewards me with a clouded gold colored beer without much head formation; this is very dark for the style.

The smell is very malty and you can tell this long before you get it near your nose. The scent is sweet and very malty with a very fruity scent and a strong orange aroma and eucalyptus scent to it.

The taste begins strong on the malt for the style but not as sweet as it smells. A bit on the sweet side for the style there is a decent amount of spice in the taste and coriander is present.

The mouthfeel is thick.

This doesn't taste like the Witbier style; really this tastes more like Belgian Strong Pale ale. Sorry this just isn't going to be a go to beer for me there are many others I prefer in the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2007 01:15:12 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BuckEyeNation for this one.

Pours a cloudy pale golden yellow color, nice carbonation, little fizzy head which leaves quickly, some islands and lacing afterwards. The nose is of malts, hops, belguim yeast, and coriander spices. The taste is malty/yeast, and spices. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little brew from MillStream.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2007 02:10:56 | More by Wasatch
Photo of woodychandler


3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Merci beaucoup to babydoc for this one!

It poured with a nice thick, white head, but it dissipated so quickly, leaving behind a pale wispiness, that I almost began to question what I saw. The color was a bright yellow, but it was not very cloudy, as I would expect in a wit. Lots of sweet friut on the nose, along with a light, spicy tang. It had a wonderfully tangy mouthfeel with a prevalent spiciness. The standard banana esters appear on the finish and linger on the aftertaste. It was a stylistically good ber, but just not my glass of fruit, or cup of tea, if you will.

A couple of final thoughts as I finished this one: A lot of pepperiness appeared as the beer warmed. If there was just some way to isolate the pepper and lose the sweeteness, I'd be hooked. See Brewer's Art Peppercorn Trippel. It was starting to grow on me.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2005 18:36:56 | More by woodychandler
Photo of plaid75

New York

4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy medium straw hue with a one finger pillowy white head. There was good retention and very good sticky lacing.

The smell featured notes of lemon zest, orange peel and coriander spice. Some yeasty esters present as well.

The taste consisted of a smooth wheat malt with highlights of lemon, sweet orange and a soft complimentary coriander spice. Very well balanced and not overly spiced.

The mouthfeel was full, chewy and creamy without being too complicated from over spicing.

Overall a very nice wit. Very enjoyable and extremely easy to drink. Simple and straightforward.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2007 03:08:17 | More by plaid75
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark gold beer, like 1000 ppm you'd think when looking at the haze. Soft white head on it in the 3/4" range. Mild flowery citrus hibiscus coriander thing going on in the aroma, which is what the style is usually going for, so it has that going for it.

A thickness I did not see coming. Wow, if you prefer your wheat beers on the sludgy side, this is the beer for you. I'll give it credit, this is pretty chewy. It has a mineral flower thing in the mouthfeel that isn't my favorite aspect of the beer. Maybe its a minor presence of the alcohol.

This beer truly has been around for generations. The Amana colonies and John's grocery in Iowa City together for this one homies. One of my first Midwestern beers I had ever tried at the close of the 20th century, an interesting time revisiting the beer tonight.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 06:24:19 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This witbier appears typically hazy and yellow / orange in color. The head is nearly an inch thick and leaves a nice sheet of lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma consists of citrus, notably orange and banana, and spices. The flavor is enjoyable, with a slight sweetness to it, and I find it quite drinkable. The feel is medium / thin in body, with adequate carbonation. This is one of the better Iowa brews I have had.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 18:30:17 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of beertunes


3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to pepsican for this one. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a fairly typical whiteish yellow color, with about a half inch of white head that had low retention and minimal lacing.

The aroma was about what you expect from a Wit, perhaps a bit on the subdued side. The spice, yeast and fruit flavors were well blended with nothing dominating. The flavors were very similar to the aromas, just a bit more pronounced and clear.

The body was a bit thinner than I like for the style, but still crisply refreshing on the tongue. Drinkability was very good, if this were on tap local to me, it would be in my regular rotation, especially during the summer.

Overall, a nice little example of the style, worth trying if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 22:42:44 | More by beertunes
Photo of Dogbrick


4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of BuckeyeNation. Pours a nice hazy golden color with a thick and rocky off-white head that fizzed away slowly. Thin lacing toward the top of the glass and less as it was consumed. The aroma is well-spiced, along with citrus and wheat. Crisp, light body with a great flavor profile. Spice and herbs (coriander, clove) are predominant, plus citrus, malt and hops. The finish is creamy and wheaty, making for a great beer overall. This is definitely one of the better Wits I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2004 18:00:53 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of tavernjef


4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lemon juice yellow, same thickness too, thin starch white head, minimal lacing in spots. Aroma is all citris peels, lots of 'em, quite tart and souring thick lemon & orange juices with a nice display on top of clove, corriander, and a bit of yeasty barnyard funk even. Impressive nose. Taste has a nice firm character, nothing to sour or overwhelming which the nose led me to believe it would be. Dull orange and lemon juices darted with a soft sugary appeal, and slipping in around every corner is very tame corriander and peppery spices that make for a nice little mixuture. Nice feel thats smooth yet grabbing with its character, effective amounts of sourness along the citrus and mild enough spice over it to keep it from being overbearing. Medium body with a bit of quickness to it at first, but as it warmed the malts gained some composure overall and the finish began to grow with left over orange peel and bits of spice. A nicely crafted brew from Iowa, who would have thought? Millstream did, and pulled it off well I think. Thanks to mentor for the samples!

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2004 01:47:38 | More by tavernjef
Photo of scruffwhor


3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nick G for the hookup.

The pour enlivens a banana peel yellow with nice bubbling, but a very quick and non-existant head.

The aroma is a lovely bouquet of bananas, cloves, some old-fashoined pink bubblegum, and wet wheat husks.

The taste starts with bananas and lightly toasted wheat grains. Then goes to a faint earthy hop and some equall faint musty grains. The finish is a clean, and mildly citric hop, herbal cloves,and a little chammomile.

Crisp and fruity fresh palate. This is a delightful Summer relaxing beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2010 00:25:53 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of tone77


3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big shout out to cpolking for providing this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some lemon and spice. Taste is the same, lemon, spices, some wheat, refreshing. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 14:05:07 | More by tone77
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John's Generations White Ale from Millstream Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 213 ratings.