Penn Weizen - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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Penn WeizenPenn Weizen

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BA SCORE
87
very good

362 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 362
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 21
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Hefeweizen |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SheepNutz on 03-06-2002

Authentic wheat beer, brewed in the Southern German tradition, won the Silver Medal in 1997 and the Gold Medal at the 2000 in Denver, Colorado. Penn Weizen is top-fermented, cask-conditioned, and very effervescent with a slight hint of tangy clove flavor.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 362 | Reviews: 237
Photo of RBorsato
4.92/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very cloudy white-ish gold color with a nice off-white head, decent carbonation, and lace. Excellent banana-clove aroma. Perfect banana-clove balanced flavor with a nice grainy background. Good fluffy refreshing mouthfeel.

Awesome American version of the Bavarian classic !!

Per label: "Hallertau Hops"

Per PBCo. website: Original Gravity: 12.6°Plato, Alcohol Content: 4.0% by weight.

Won Silver at 1997 GABF and Gold at 2000 GABF.

Photo of CoalCellar
4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tall glass.
A: Fantastic, pours nice and cloudy as the filmy layer of yeast sediment at the bottom is disturbed.
S: Bananas, cloves, candy, fills your nose with cloves and wheaty goodness.
T: FANTASTIC. This is my favorite hefe. Lots of banana, cloves, with a puckering sour wheat finish. This is the real deal folks.
M: Slick and crisp with good carbonation.
D: I could drink this stuff all night (and sometimes do). A delicious and authentic representation of the style from a local brewer. As I love this style, I also declare this to be my favorite beer of all time. Life is good...

Photo of aaronh
4.87/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This may be my all-time favorite beer (I couldn't believe I hadn't reviewed it yet!). It pours with a wonderful haed, has a beautiful aroma of malt and vanilla, with a crisp, malty taste that reveals quite a lot of yeast character as well. This beer works after you've cut the grass or as a nice summer evening beer. I still drink some now and then in the winter when I find them. Older beers are a little more well rounded without the crispness and a more subdued aroma, but it keeps very well. With 90% of Penn's sales inside of PA, I suspect not many get to try these beers. If you see them, grab 'em. The owner brews beers that remind him of his years in Germany, and seems to do them very, very well.

Photo of StBoisterous
4.84/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a cloudy golden color, slightly orange.

S - Very pleasant aroma, slight citrus smell, hint of banana. One of the best smelling Hefeweizen ales I have enjoyed.

T - Hints of citrus with a pleasant bananna bread & clove flavor. Has a well balanced taste.

M - Goes down quick, fairly light, leaves some carbonation behind for a tingly feeling.

D - Light, smooth, very drinkable. A very well balanced ale, with an exceptional flavor and aroma. This has got to be one of my all time favorite ales. One of the best I have ever tasted!

Serving type: bottle (poured into glass)

Photo of tgbljb
4.82/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a cloudy amber color with modest white head that quickly dissapeared. Smell is magnificent. The mixture of cloves, spices and corriander is perfect.The taste is even better than I expected. This has to be the perfect hefe weizen taste sensation. The taste it leaves in the mouth is so enjoyable as to be unbelieveable. Sio easy to drink I'd be afraid to leave it in the house because I would never want to drink anyhting else. This is as close to the perfect beer I've ever tasted. Words can not describe it.

Photo of UGADawgGuy
4.79/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Paulys55, I finally get to try a bunch of traditional German-style beers brewed in Pennsylvania. This was the second one of them I cracked open (after Stoudt's Heifer-in-Wheat).

Appearance: Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into my half-liter generic weissbier glass, Penn Weizen honestly doesn't look perfect. Hefeweizens can range in color from a muddy, almost green-tinged yellow to a bright, effervescent orange, and this one leans slightly toward the green-tinged end of the spectrum. Still, the old "weizen pour" produces a typically impressive three- to four-finger head, with moderate retention throughout drinking.

Smell: Very nice overall, if not absolutely flawless. The first thing that hits me is a sour-ish wheaty twang, which initially is a bit off-putting. Shortly thereafter, I get the usual complement of hefeweizen aromas: sweet banana, clove, yeasty bread, and a vague whiff of vanilla.

Taste: I'm very pleasantly shocked -- flavor-wise, this stuff is up there with the finest hefeweizens I've ever had, from both sides of the pond! Penn Weizen delivers everything presaged by its nose, but that wheaty "funk" is way in the background, while the vanilla is almost as prominent as the cloves. Oh, man, this is good stuff!

Mouthfeel: Plays perfectly with the flavor -- copious effervescence helps to fill the mouth and elevate the beer's inherent wholesome sweetness. That, combined with a typical-for-weizens low serving temperature, makes this a short-lived glass of beer -- it invites you to guzzle it down.

Overall: Although the appearance isn't stellar, and the nose highlights the beer's least pleasant flavor component, everything else about Penn Weizen absolutely sings. While not QUITE as flawless as Live Oak Hefeweizen, I wouldn't hesitate to pit those two beers against one another, particularly if both were served fresh and on tap. Penn Weizen is highly recommended to all fans of wheat beer...and, really, to anybody who "gets" hefeweizens in general!

Note: Before trying this beer, I had heard from a number of people that Penn's quality had drastically declined since they changed ownership sometime fairly recently. To tell you the truth, I had no idea such a change had taken place...this is the first time I've ever had a Penn beer.

With that in mind, if this is a noticeable step DOWN from what the beer used to be, then it must have been one of the greatest hefeweizens in the world prior to that widely perceived decline in quality. If anybody out there reads this and can speak to that objectively (i.e., is this beer truly any worse than it was a couple of years ago?), please drop me a Beer Mail!

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was still enjoying the Pens game at this time and sampling an assorment of Wheats.

A: A cloudy golden/yellow color. A minimal amount of foam. Can see the carbonation.

S: Lots of clove smell, bananas and some other tropical fruit and citrus.

T: A good combination of spicy flavor and bananas. Also some hints of citrus. The wheat, spice and bananas are blended well from beginning till end.

M: A very refreshinging, light, and very creamy feel in the mouth. Maybe a tad too creamy for my liking.

D: A good beer to drink while enjoying the minimal Pittsburgh sunshine. One of my favorite beers of all-time.

Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.74/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was able to sample this brew at the Charleston BA Meeting May 2008. I am a huge fan of this style and have tried literally hundreds of Hefes. I have yet to try an outstanding American take until now.

A. Hazy (hefe of course) yellow brew with a nice lacy white head.

S. Outstanding. This is a definite classic. Clove, banana and fruity overtones.

T. As good as it smells. Very strong banana clove taste. If you ever want to demonstrate a Hefe to a newbie, this is a bold example.

M. Somewhat creamy and well carbonated.

D. This is a great session beer if you can get it!

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sitting on the deck at the end of summer watching the Steeler game enjoying the last of summer with a great wheat beer. Previsiouly reviewed in bottle form decided to review the last of this keg before the keg and the summer end.

Poured into a wheat glass,cloudy,golden yellowy color with a tall creamy white head leaving a crown of lace. Very lively carbination many whisps of tightly knitted tiny bubbles racing to the surface.

Clean,pleasing,moderate aromas,lots of clove,a tropical fruityness,bannana,some bubblegum,doughy,light toastyness,with subtle citrus.

Classic tasting wheat with clove,bannana,doughy/yeasty,spicy, with a nice citrusy tangyness with a spicy,slight citrus rind,tart, finish.

Light,creamy and zesty mouthfeel. Always a favorite summer beer for me with a classic wheat style. Very pleasing wouldn't be summer without this beer.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another nice treat from the lands up north. I was surprised to see this one as an extra, but it is one of my favorite styles so needless to say I am always happy to try another good beer. Served cold, right out of the fridge and poured into a pilsner glass, this one was consumed on 10/18/2008.

The pour was very nice. Rich light golden yellow color with a ton of cloudiness and sediment built back into it. A nice head of white foam, perhaps two inches in height rose up from the bottom of the glass to cap the top of the beer. Nice retention let it hang around for what seemed like forever before finally settling on just a thin film across the top and a nice bit of side glass lace. Good carbonation could be seen through the glass.

The aroma was wonderful. Full of hints at banana and cloves. Nice touches of bready malts and hints of a nice, almost light peach like yeast aroma coming off of it, very full and complex to say the least. Nice flavor as well, well a bit more then nice I should say. Wonderful bready malt like flavor came crashing through on this one right away. Swiftly being overtaken by hints of banana, and light herbal like hops. Nice touches of biscuit like flavors, light grains and a well rounded light fruit all adding into the complexity of this one. Great feel, with a light, yet almost chewy consistency that really just popped with the loads of carbonation that came rifling through it. So session able it was scary. I wanted to conserve this, I really did, but it just was not going to happen and I ended up throwing it down way too fast.

Overall I am seldom blown away by things in this style, but this one caught me off guard. Really wonderful with a full, flavorful approach and a true to form celebration of the style. I would have no issues with this one, in fact; send me some I would love to try it again.

Photo of bob5958
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I live in Pittsburgh but travel to Germany quite often and have had the opportunity to compare Penn Brewery's Weizen Beer with some of the great German and Belgium Wheat Beers.
Penn Brewery's Weizen is as good as some of the best German Wheat Beers, and better than many others.
I enjoy the slight taste of fruit and spice in wheat beer but it can easily become overpowering. They seem to have got it just right.
It's also one of the few beers that taste nearly as good from the bottle as from the tap.

Photo of ALCHEMISTBEER
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An absolute treat from beginning to end. I was at the pub monday night and the first one was so good I had to have three. Poured as well as any hefeweizen could be poured. Thick , white head lasted throughout. Heavy on the clove in both aroma and flavor, which is exactly what I prefer. Not very often that I latch onto a beer like I did with this. Great finish with a nicely balanced character all around.

Photo of tpd975
4.57/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been drinking this beer for several years and I love it.

A: Pours a straw yellow color with a thunderous head into my Franziskaner Hefe glass. There is a single stream of bubbles strong as Old Faithful keeping a head around long after the initial fade. After every drink the motion of the glass brings the bubbles and the head back only to die down again.

S: Lovely. Strong odor of banana taffy, lemon rind, and bubblegum. Strong yeasty notes as well. A wonderful smelling Weizen.

T: This is where this one wins out. Tons of flavor and complexity unknown to most other wheat beers. A banana rush up front with the creaminess of banana crème pie. After the banana fades the bubble gum comes forward until it is over taken by lemon, and then the old time clove bubble gum. It finishes with yeasty tones and more lemon. Sooo Complex.

M: So light and bubbly, the definition of effervescent. A wonderful example of this beer style.

D: I have put down an entire six pack on many hot sunny Florida summer days. I could drink this one until the cows come home.

Overall: No doubt about it my favorite Hefe in the world. I have had the more acclaimed ones most notably Franziskaner and Weihenstephaner, as well as those crafted by the best American Micro Brewers, but I keep returning to this beer. The flavor is so bold for a Hefe. It is so complex and the flavors come at you in waves, kind of like the candy on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

This is Penn's best beer by far and they can hang their hat on it.

The bottle says.... Enjoy the aroma and effervescence as you imagine a beautiful summer day in a Munich Biergaren.... Now you can visit Munich without leaving home...It's in the bottle.

I have to agree, I see beautiful blondes in Lederhosen right now with big mugs of this brew... wait, maybe I've had too much to drink. Drink enough of it and this one will do that to you.

Photo of cooch69
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This Hefeweizen pours a striking multilayered deep cloudy yellow. There are some big floaters in here with a nice frothy head.

Nose is really tutti fruity, sweet bubble gum, and some sourness and acidity. Very in your face for a lighter beer.

Taste is pretty clovy, and slightly sweet with some tutti frutti banana bubble gum chicklets.

Mouthfeel is exeptional. One of the best in the business. It is so creamy that it puts cream of wheat to shame. So smooth that your charmins will be jealous. 10/5 for feel.

This beer without a doubt puts Penn Brewery at position #1 for PA acording to my experiences. There beers may not be the biggest or the baddest but they are for sure the tastiest.

Photo of jmyers89
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cloudy, and a nice rich gold color

S-Bananas, Clove,( thats all I could get, recovering from a cloged nose)

T- Bananas, pears, a good sweetness, and a nice clove flavor to smack you're tougne at the end

M- Smooth, silky, and rich

D- very good, def. drink a 12 pack of this

Photo of markleyc06
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again I can not praise the brewers at Penn enough. This beer is the height of their mastery of brewing. If any of you have homebrewed a hefeweizen before then you must certainly know how difficult it is to master the balance and subtle flavor of this beer. There is also lots of patience in conditioning involved. These guys do it in the most traditional of ways just like in bavaria. With that said, if you've never tried this beer and are a fan of german wheat...it is an absolute must.

A-Cloudy straw color with a tinge of orange. Typical hefe look with a nice frothy head.

S- This is where it gets good, big clove and banana esters right away...but not overpowering. The balance between the two is just right for the style.

T- Great balance of malty and fruity character with just enough of an acidic zest to quench your thirst and keep you wanting for another gulp...not sip! haha

M- Light body but just enough so that its not too thin and super drinkable. The zesty quality makes it very refreshing on a warm evening.

Overall: If you are a fan of the german style beers, there is nobody in america that does it better than Penn Brewing, in my opinion, and this beer is on the top of their list if you had only one to choose.

Photo of StevieW
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

These seem to be available at my local gourmet grocery store for some reason...12 oz bottle, no dates. Blue label with a wheat bundle on it. ... Cloudy yellow color, bottle swirl produced a wealth of yeasty goodness on the bottom. Thick rich foamy white head. Very sweet smelling wheat, very much in the Bavarian tradition, maybe more so. Taste was subtle citrus, clove, and bananas, matched with full wheat yeast richness. Very refreshing, medium bodied. No lightweight watery finish. Crisp and clean. Above average for hefeweizen, probably the best American version I have had. Definintly give this one a try.......

Photo of santoslhalper
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Another great beer from the Pennsylvania Brewing Company. While the majority of beers brewed in the Pittsburgh area are rather, well... shitty - most the Pennsylvania Brewing Company's beers shine above the rest, and this one is no exception. A very nice looking beer that pours a hazy, golden orange fog with with a creamy off-white head. The head dissapears quickly leaving a tiny bit of lacing. Smells of bananas, oranges, pepper and much more. A very pleasing smell indeed, and the flavor doesn't let you down. Tastes like it smells, with more hints of banana, citrus, fruits, and yeast. The mouthfeel for me is the only downside for this beer. It's not bad, but it needs more umph to it. But my god is this beer drinkable. I could chug it all hours of the day and still be quite happy with the taste. All in all, as said above, another great beer from a great brewery. Congrats Pennsylvania Breweing Company!! You've master the "American" hefe!!

Photo of queenboadicea
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

By far one of the best domestic American Weiss beers that I've come across. The authentic German flavor profile is explained by the fact that they source some of their hops from Weihenstephaner, as well as adhering to German purity laws. The result is a fragrant, well-balanced beer that is a pleasure to drink. Hints of lemon and a more pronounced smell of ripe bannanas come off of the nose once it is poured.

Photo of Tballz420
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy yellowish orange color, very big pillowy white head. Very nice classic hefe scent, fairly banana-y. Same with the taste, wheat, clove, banana, light touch of hops. Kinda sharp on the tongue. Pretty impressive, not quite on par with the classic german hefes but solid.

Photo of jdmorgan
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer cold and on tap on a rainy midday this spring at the Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh. The beer had a typical hefe weizen golden and turbid appearance in it's 22 oz. weizen glass.The head was large and gave off a slightly fruity/citrus aroma. After a few sips I was impressed with its smoothness that still retained a bit of citrus bite to it. Also noted was a hint of spice that I felt was not too overpowering. The mouthfeel was slightly thick as one would expect from this type of beer. The drinkability was good and I enjoyed this beer from the moment I sipped it. In short, I felt that this was a quality hefe weizen available in Pittsburgh that is worth a try and is a worthy companion to a meal or by itself.

Photo of bnmir
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tab at the brewery.
Classic cloudy straw in color with a thick persistent head. Excellent aromoa banana forward with nice clove. No sulfur aroma.
Low bitterness barely noticeable behind the hints of citrus. Yeast flavors predominate but the breadiness lingers on the tongue fading to clove.
Medium bodied but with surprising drinkability.

Can't wait to try their weizenbock in the works!

Photo of Illinick
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: The first thing that hits you is the great color of the beer. Pours out deeper in hue then some hefe-weizens. Pale, cloudy yellow/orange tint with nice white head and good head retention throughout. Good climbing carbonation-really a great beer to look at.
Smell: No surprise here: definite banana, clove with a hint of citrusy vanilla mixed in.
Taste: Great tasting hefe with all the essential flavors: banana, citrus, and complex wheat/hay/earthy spice taste to it.
Mouthfeel: Great on the palate, seemed to be a little heavier than most hefe, which is fine by me.
Drinkability: Easy to drink and quite enjoyable, can definately enjoy a few at a nice summer bbq.
Notes: An exceptional Hefe from a great brewery. You can really notice the German/Bavarian style brewing used.

Photo of bamadog
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review is from notes taken on 6/4/2011 and had on tap at the brewery, poured into a hefeweizen glass.

Appearance: Pour comes out a creamy/milky/dull banana yellow and it starts with a 1 and 1/2 finger white head with decent retention; body is very murky/cloudy with sediment floating around; head fades to a thin, full and even cap and some patches of lacing are left behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Fantastic smell -- smooth, creamy banana -- I mean, so creamy and "thick" smelling that it reminds me of banana pudding; touch of clove-like spiciness to it and a bit of a grainy wheatiness as well.

Taste: Fantastic as well -- big, smooth and sweet banana (again I'm reminded of banana pudding); touch of clove spiciness and a bit of the grainy wheatiness as well; at the end, there is just a touch of an herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with spot-on carbonation that keeps it lively, yet it stays smooth and creamy; a thin, moist coating lingers for a moment and it really holds the yeasty banana flavors as well.

Overall: I would dare say that this is a world class beer and that I could drink it all day long during any season of the year. Excellent scents and flavors with an easy drinking, smooth body... Awesome.

Photo of cichief
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six pack..finally Penn beer in Maryland.

A- Pours very cloudy, a straw yellow in color, a very thick head of foam...right on for the style.

S- It smells of cloves, banana, yeasty, maybe a little citrus.

T- It fills your mouth with the spicy cloves, banana, sweet wheat malt, and a little citrus.

M- Just a little too fizz for the style, IMO.

D- Just in time for the warm weather, this is fantastic, I will enjoy it frequently this summer!

For my money, this is the best hefeweizen brewed in the U.S.

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Penn Weizen from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.