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Sunshine Wheat Beer - New Belgium Brewing

Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

729 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 729
Reviews: 354
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.03%

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
IBU - 14
Hops - Target
Malts - Pale, Carapils, Wheat
OG - 13.4
Fruits/Spice - Orange Peel, Coriander

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 04-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 729 | Reviews: 354 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jadjunk


3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

"Sunshine Wheat Beer is brewed for year-round enjoyment, using equal portions of wheat and barley malts. It is spiced with coriander and orange peel in the Belgian wheat beer tradition. Sunshine Wheat is silky gold in color with a spicy aroma and a subtle citrus character." Brewed in the style of an American Pale Wheat Ale with spices added. Available as a year-round beer, this is a difficult beer to find in the Georgia market, although I managed to get my first taste in the Summer folly pack, where it can be found on occasion.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a New Belgium Pint Glass. Served above 58º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a pearl white crisp frothy head over a pale medium yellow body with a mild haze. Carbonation is spritely and plentiful. Retention is average at best, lacing is very light and speckled. 3.25

(Smell) Cereal wheat malt up front, biscuity pale malt with a moderate sweetness and body. A hint of light herbal and citrus hops provide a subtle hop aroma and a lesser bitterness. Mellow orange peel, muted lemon and faint grain round out the balance. Potency is mild to medium. 3.25

(Taste) The flavor benefits over the aroma from a simpler, less confused malt bill and a far reserved sweetness. A light, bare-bones wheat malt body joins with a clean pale malt for a slightly thinner, less full mouthfeel and finishes with a touch of coriander and lightly tart orange peel. Hops are difficult to locate in the flavor, and do not provide much bitterness to the beer either. Altogether more enjoyable than predicted with a less assertive coriander and orange contribution than Belgian white styles. While nothing particularly stands out in this beer, it turns out to be more enjoyable than not. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Light, smooth, mildly chewy and generally clean. Carbonation adds some froth and creaminess to the texture. Body is light/medium for the style, light+ overall. Alcohol presence is low to none. Balance is slightly sweet over bitter. 3.75

(Overall) New Belgium dodges many of the pitfalls of harsh, gruff and cloying wheat beers to craft an example of the style that keeps itself well under control. While it experiments a bit with coriander and orange peel, it mainly focuses on a simple, smooth wheat body and a subtle honey sweetness. I could see this as a viable summer beer option if it was given a fighting chance to expand into the Atlanta/Georgia market. 3.5

New Belgium Brewing's
Sunshine Wheat Beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 01:39:32 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of megahurts4


3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

New Belgium Sunshine Wheat

Appearance: apple juice colored, small head, and some good lacing.

Smell: grain and light apple.

Taste: grain, very slight honey, nice hops, and a subtle apple.

Mouthfeel: light.

This is a nice brew. It is fairly light, but packs some great flavor. It is really nothing too special.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 07:02:47 | More by megahurts4
Photo of mooseisloose


3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bombers being unloaded at the market for a song, let's give it a whirl. Popping the top I get a nice fresh wheaty and spice aroma that is almost floral. Pours int a SAPP with a three finger head and a cloudy straw color. On the taste there is a nice feint bitterness right on the start that then gives way to more floral spicy fruit flavor with a touch of malty sweetness. The spices and fruit then fade away and are replaced by a broad flat bitterness that is balanced with the malt then it too fades quickly leaving a clean finish. Very refreshing and very light and crisp for a wheat beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2013 22:16:59 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of chickenflea


3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer is a crystal clear golden. Only a small white fizzy head. The beer smells fresh, and mainly of light lemony notes with cracker and a hint of coriander. Mello sweetness with a dry and grassy finish. Mouthfeel is light and bubbly. Medium-high carbonation. A very good beer and a nice take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 02:14:13 | More by chickenflea
Photo of lwillitz


3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22-oz bottle into wheat beer glass

A - enormous foamy white head atop a crystal-clear body of straw yellow, high amount of rising carbonation

S - wheat, spice, lemon; quite pleasant

T - wheat, peppery spice, citrus notes (orange peel and lemon)

M - slick light/medium body, high carbonation, refreshing

O - Not bad at all for a pale wheat. Complex and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 19:56:44 | More by lwillitz
Photo of M_C_Hampton


3.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, yellow colored with a short white head that vanishes leaving little lacing, very slight haze

S: sweet, fresh, slight floral, coriander, orange

T: lightly flavored but refreshing, sweet standard wheat beer flavor, coriander, slight banana

M: slightly sticky, higher carbonation

O: good for a hot day but not overwhelming flavors

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 23:29:54 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of Celtics17


3.99/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light yellow with a thick foam. The smell impacts right away with a strong smell of spice. This beer is easy to drink. For a wheat beer, it's one of my favorites, and I didn't expect that. With a market full of Blue Moon, which is okay, or shocktop which is awful. This wheat beer has more to offer.

I get a slight taste of orange peel, but the dominant taste is the spice. It's similar to peeper. This wheat beer isn't full of artificial flavors that could destroy a beer. I really like the peeper taste in beers. The ruthless IPA by Sierra Nevada as one of those.

This beer is solid, and I wasn't expecting that.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 06:24:54 | More by Celtics17
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best before 10/27/13.

Pours a hazy light yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, wheat, and subdued spice and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with slight citrus and spice flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but the aromas and flavors are pretty subdued all around.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 05:46:21 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of vkv822


3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip
best by: 9/15/13

Fairly clear, pale yellow with a medium, foamy white head.

Fruity, sweet citrus, with subtle herbal coriander notes backed by smooth malty base. Nice balance.

Crisp, clean mouthfeel, light bodied.

Certainly an easy drinking, casual beer, but it does have some pleasant, subtle, complexities if the time is taken to appreciate them.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 08:12:31 | More by vkv822
Photo of PorterLambic


3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, pale yellow with a very small white head. No retention at all. No lace, either.
Smell is malt, crackers, hops, light citrus and spice (mostly pepper) , a hint of vanilla.
Taste is better, more pronounced, with malt, hops, saltines, citrus, light spice notes all playing in the pool. Balance is good.
A lighter-side-of-medium body with an effervescence that bursts forth at the start, stays noticeable, and fades unwillingly. Fairly astringent throughout. I must say I'm not a big fan of filtered Wheatstone, I miss the yeastiness and the appearance. A decent beer overall but not worth searching for.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 00:51:45 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of shand


3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is Blue Moon. I'm drinking Blue Moon right now. I pulled one of my roommate's Blue Moons out of the fridge just to compare. Sunshine Wheat tastes identical to Blue Moon. Interestingly enough, Blue Moon has a 78 rating, and this beer has a 79. Maybe BAs are less biased against the big brewers than they think. So yeah. Back to the beer. If you've had Blue Moon, you've had this. Big orange and coriander over a light body with noticeable adjuncts. The main difference is that Blue Moon pours whiter.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2013 00:04:04 | More by shand
Photo of bmwats


3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Golden hue. Lots of rising effervescence. Pours a 2 finger, frothy, white head. Thick, pervasive lacing.

S: Wheat, white bread, a little citrus zest.

T: White bread with a little lemon citrus, and a light peppering.

M: Light body, crisp and refreshing character.

D: Session.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice, tight head, and lots of lacing. Nose is light and bready with a little lemon citrus. Flavor of white bread with lemon citrus and some pepper. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 22:47:34 | More by bmwats
Photo of jcbogantes

Costa Rica

3.14/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a very light turbid yellow not as white-ish as a hoegarden, small white head with no lacing
Smell: little spicy but not as surprising compared with other wit beers
Taste: clean taste, coriander, but I can't taste the citrus flavor from the orange peels
Mouthfeel: light bodied
Overall: good beer, refreshing, easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 00:43:29 | More by jcbogantes
Photo of gpogo


3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear pale yellow body(not as pale as mothership) with a small white head.

A- Sweet fruity citrus. Some light coriander.

T- Sweet but crisp citrusy malt flavor with a bit of coriander, not as heavy as some wits go. Kindof tart finish.

M- Light body with moderate carbonation. It's a very crisp refreshing feel, but the tartness somewhat detracts from that.

D- Enjoyable, when I first started enjoying beer I recall this being one of my favorites. It is decent, but not something to seek out.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 03:06:37 | More by gpogo
Photo of Florida9


2.9/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Slightly hazy pale yellow in color. Forms a moderate sized, fluffy white head. Good retention. Moderate lacing.

S: Aroma is a bit odd as it smells salty, a bit like sea water. I think there is a bit of coriander trying to poke itself out, but there is also a musty earthiness. Odd and unappealing.

T: Taste is fairly neutral. Light malt backbone with light grassy hops. Some very faint wheat notes. There is a bit of spice in the mix, maybe a little black pepper and a little coriander, but, in the end there really just isn't too much going on with this one.

M: Lighter bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Little bitterness. However, there is a dry, almost metallic, astringency, that seems out of place.

O: A fairly unexciting and rather average wheat ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2013 01:43:54 | More by Florida9
Photo of kojevergas


3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired as part of the New Belgium summer variety box 2013 at Von's grocery. Best before: September 15th, 2013. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery. 4.8% ABV confirmed. I dig the straightforward simple label art. Pry-off cap is branded and red in coour. Self-identifies as a wheat beer; reviewed as such.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a quickly dissipating head of four finger width. Beige in colour. Slight creaminess. Decent frothiness. Nice thickness. Good (~7+ minute) retention, though the ABV is rather modest which makes that much easier. No bubble show.

Body colour is a clear pale yellow. Average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. Translucent.

Generally appealing for the style, but it's far from unique and/or special. No overt flaws.

Sm: Mild floral hops. Lemon peel/lemon zest. Clean wheat. Clean barley. Hints of cilantro. Light orange peel. An above average to mild strength aroma. Features some subtlety. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Pleasant and approachable. Looking forward to trying it.

T: Clean barley and wheat. Light lemon peel and lemon zest. Light complementary floral hop notes. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Lightly grassy. Some light cilantro. Balanced but rather simple. Not sure if they're going for a witbier or an American wheat; they failed at both. Some subtlety, but not much. No real complexity or intricate layering. I like it in a general sense for what it is.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and light on the palate. Overcarbonated. Refreshing, sure. Suits the flavour profile decently, but doesn't come off custom-tailored to it. Nice presence on the palate. Not oily or harsh. Quite approachable. Nice thickness for what it's trying to do. Good body.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from great. Not sure quite what style they're after, but styles aside it still doesn't quite hit the sweet spot. Hides its ABV well. A pleasant little beer from New Belgium, but a largely forgettable one. I might get it again at the same price point; I do like the value. But I wouldn't order it at a bar or anything. Low ambition.

Low C+

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 04:22:08 | More by kojevergas
Photo of elNopalero


3.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a clear golden color with exceptional clarity.

I found a hint of banana and clove but it’s the lemony notes which dominate the aroma.

Tastes clean if unexceptional. The lemon tapers to a touch of banana and clove. It's a wheat beer, what do you expect? Not the most exciting expression of the style but I’ve certainly had much worse.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2013 03:06:25 | More by elNopalero
Photo of constantine_272


3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Yellow and bright. White head with low retention and medium carbonation.

S: Light sweetness. Golden fried breading. Hint of vanilla and nutmeg.

T: Sweetness with dried grassy notes and hay. A tangy spicy finish of coriander and nutmeg finishes the beer. Extremely mild yeast notes.

M: Very light and thin. Finishes slow but ends clean.

O: This is my kind of light beer! The spiciness has a great flavor and it is tangy and refreshing. The beer is smooth and mellow and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 05:35:58 | More by constantine_272
Photo of acevenom


3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. The beer pours clear light golden with a thick, white head that retains well. There are numerous tiny bubbles visible in the beer. There are aromas of orange and coriander. I also get some light malt in the nose. The flavors are mostly of the malt with support from orange and coriander. The body is medium with a nice, soft mouthfeel. There's enough carbonation to make this beer refreshing. This is an average, yet refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 23:06:05 | More by acevenom
Photo of JamesMN


2.99/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Neon yellow and crystal clear. Poured a three finger white head that quickly fizzled away.

Aroma: Bready and sweet wheat surrounded by a light blend of spices and something akin to orange peel.

Taste: Pretty much as expected from the nose. Starts with a sort of bland malty flavor that slowly develops a bready character. There is a very light hoppyness to the palate throughout that keeps the experience light and refreshing. The spices are a bit masked in the flavor but that might be for the best as some spices tend to be cloying, especially clove. The overall balance leans towards more sweet than anything else and comes off as very pedestrian. However, it is impressive that at 4.8% ABV there is never a watery moment.

Mouthfeel: Between thin and medium in body with average carbonation. Above average drinkability and sessionable if you're not particularly interested in drinking the most flavorful brew.

Final Thoughts: New Belgium Sunshine Wheat was one of the first beers I ever had that I truly enjoyed drinking. Now, a few years later and having tried hundreds of different beers, it comes off as rather bland and unremarkable. I'd recommend it for those just getting into craft beer. Would I drink it again? No.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2013 04:04:12 | More by JamesMN
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss pint glass
From: VONS in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $12.97 (w/ VONS card) for a Folly 2002 revival 12-pack
Purchased: May 14, 20113
Consumed: May 20, 2013
Misc.: Best by Aug. 25, 2013

Poured straw pale clear color, almost green, with one finger of khaki white head. Some spots of lacing on the sides, albeit light. Average retention on the top.

Pleasant smell to kick things off with orange, orange rind, coriander, lemon, lime zest and wheat grass, all with noted Belgian spices.

Tasted not quite as good as the smell. Still got coriander, orange peel, orange, lime, lemon, wheat grass and sugary cereal. Still some Belgian spices. Not as clean and crisp it.

Light body. Thin texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Abrupt finish.

This beer didn’t grow on me. In fact, it was the opposite. I suppose it would be a good summer brew though.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 07:40:30 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of kshizzle101


3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into pint glass

A - pale yellow in color, 2 inch head, doesnt last long, can see a lot of carb

S - straw, orange, coriander/floral notes, spicy

T - some spicyness, dry malts, grassy. hint of orange and and a bite of hops on the after taste.

M - light bodied, good carb. easy and refreshing to drink. as it should be

Overall - above average, but not spectacular. goes down easy

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 02:18:43 | More by kshizzle101
Photo of CardiacNP


2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Sunshine Wheat by New Belgium

Aroma citrus and maybe a hit of coriander. But something in the smells seems a bit strange. Not bad yet different

Appearance pale clear gold color with a nice think white 2 finger head. Light lacing on the glass

Taste a mild american wheat beer with orange/leomon flavors along with the coriander. Also an little apple flavor on the back end

Mouthfeel moderate carbonation mildly viscus that clings a little to the tongue

Overall a "ok" wheat style beer Mild flavor, drinkable But Nothing "WOW"

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 01:09:20 | More by CardiacNP
Photo of RonaldTheriot


3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium Sunshine Wheat has a very thick, fluffy, off-white head, a clear, quite bubbly, straw appearance, and a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The aroma and flavor are faint and dull, but one picks up a hint of spice and citrus (more lemon than orange, really) and bread. The taste is of white bread and tap water (a commonality for many wheat beers, I find). Mouthfeel is light and watery, and New Belgium Sunshine Wheat finishes crisp, refreshing, easy-drinking, and humdrum. Overall, this is at the lowest rung of what can be called "good", so check it out if you like bland beverages.


Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 12:33:38 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of DavidST


3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, best before Dec 23, 2012. This pours a clear light yellow color with a mid sized white head which leaves a light lacing. The smell is light and of lemon, spice, wheat. The feel is medium light mid carbonination. The taste is okay, a little light, mild bitterness, lemon, lemon peels, spices.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 01:44:29 | More by DavidST
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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 729 ratings.