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Sunshine Wheat Beer - New Belgium Brewing

Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer

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728 Ratings
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Ratings: 728
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: 728 | Reviews: 354 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

At Brothers BBQ, Greenwood Village CO:

Into a pint glass:

A: slightly pale yellow but mostly clear in color, one finger head, light lacing, a fair amount of lacing is seen rising

S: some light coriander, wheat, and some malts

T: sweet and slightly grassy, becomes slightly spicy a bit here and there, sweet yet somewhat spicy aftertaste, dry finish

M: light, sessionable, carbonation was spot on for the style and for me

O: I've been having some very good ones of this style recently, but I would say, this is good but probably not as good as some of the others, probably still would have this one again

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2013 01:46:09 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of tjsdomer2


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

Appearance: Very pale yellow for a wheat. Looks a lot like a Belgian wit. Kind of flat overall, but the color makes up for this.

Smell: Nice floral notes to accompany a yeasty background. More than enough lemon in the initial head.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This has flavor elements of a European pilsener, but definitely the heavy feel of a wheat. I wish the flavors were a bit stronger, but the mouthfeel is clean.

Overall Drinkability: A nice combination that I wish were a bit more forceful.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2012 05:15:27 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

not real impressed with this one. super light cloudy whiteish yellow pale color with a short white head that doesnt last long. smells lemony and yeasty and the flavor matches. extraordinarily light on the tongue in the mouth, similar in feel to their mothership wit. lots of carbonation. low abv makes it sessionable, but its got a funky rindy sort of aftertaste that makes it funny in the stomach after a few. not new belgium's best product, but i suppose it satisfies those looking for a shocktop style beer from a craft operation

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2012 23:09:16 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Merkur


3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a nice clear straw color. There is a good bit of carbonation and a bit of foam in the head.

Beer smells very faintly of orange peel and whear.

As far as the taste, the beer tastes almost exactly like lemon fruit loops. Sweet and very lemony.

Moutfeel is extremely thin and carbonated. A bit too watery.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2012 12:37:31 | More by Merkur
Photo of kylehay2004


3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery.

A: Clear and straw yellow. Thin head. Not much lace

S: biscuit and bread with a little bitter note

T: very light but with a nice lemon zest finish. Otherwise has more of a macro light lager taste.

M: light body and high carbonation.

Overall: Too much of a macro light for me. Drinkable none the less and not as watery as a macro lager.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2011 01:48:01 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of TheGordianKnot


3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from tap into shaker pint. This was on $3 special for pub trivia night- thought I would give it a go...

A- Very very light straw color. This is lighter than most BMC I would say. Very clear. Poured with no head and just a thin layer of bubbles on top.

S- Very light aroma as well. A lot of peach and apricot shine through, but thats about it.

T/M- Light and crisp. This is fairly on par with most American Wheat Beers. A tiny bit of bread comes through from the malt behind the fruity flavors. This really reminds me of a less prounounced #9. Very light body and medium carbonation.

O- American Wheat Beers are not my favorite style, by a stretch... but this one was alright. I would drink again for the right price on a hot day. Very refreshing and the light body made it easy to go down and ask for another. If it came down to it though, I would take a Magic Hat #9 over another one of these, any day... Good per style, not my favorite style- hard to judge

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2011 12:59:31 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of jds1469


1.68/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Drank from the tap at Fireside Brewhouse on the south side of Indianapolis.

A - This beer looks like any other wheat ale made in the United States, and this is the strong point of the beer. No head to speak of.

S - Bitter and skunky. Bad keg? Maybe. Bad beer over all? Probibly. No smell of hops fruits. Just bitter smelling.

T - See smell...

M - good carbonation. Nothing else to say.

D - One and done. If u don't believe me, put one in a pick 6 and try it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2011 17:44:18 | More by jds1469
Photo of JayS2629


2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Thin, cloudy, clear yellow with thin white head and little lacing.

S- Wheat, lemon zest, coriander, and clove.

T- Lemon zest and orange peel are at the front end followed by cloves and coriander. Bitter, but sweet underneath.

M- Thin and watery.

D- An easy to drink wheat beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2010 18:48:28 | More by JayS2629
Photo of Thorpe429


3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light yellow color. White head and not much lacing. The nose is really quite plain. There are a few light notes of orange and lemon; maybe a tad bit of spice. The taste is slight malt with a bit of sugar. Light orange character. Feel is light and somewhat refreshing. Another very plain offering out of them; quite disappointing.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2010 01:48:53 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of froghop


3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a clear pale yellow with a small white head that goes away quickly.

smell is faint, wheat, some citrus.

taste starts a little sour, refreshing, lemon, slight wheat, tart finish.

overall i like the taste, but downgraded on the smell and only so-so on the appearance.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2010 03:00:06 | More by froghop
Photo of arrangerx


3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

When I first moved to Fort Collins, Fat Tire was just becoming a "thing". . . and Sunshine Wheat was the summer beer of choice.

This light, somewhat citrus flavored beer, is a major step forward for the crowd that thinks Coors Light is a summer ale.

I was spoiled in that I lived in the town it's brewed in, so I got the "fresh" stuff out of the tap. Always better with an orange slice, (yeah. . . I know. . . ) this is a good introduction to microbrews without being to shocking to the taste buds.

If you enjoy wheat beers, this is as good a start as any -- and far better than some of the lemon-flavored Wits or summer ales out there. Not bad in a bottle either. . .

And if you're someone who puts more than a couple away in an evening, it's very easy on the tastebuds.

Good start. . . when you're ready to move up, there's better, but this is good!

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2010 15:16:34 | More by arrangerx
Photo of erosier


4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a near clear straw yellow with a short and somewhat thing white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet toasted malts, hints of lemon, sweet wheat malt, and a touch of spices with a slight citrus-y hop finish.
T: Tastes of sweet toasted malts, nice wheat malt followed by big lemon and orange flavors which gives a smooth transition to the citrus-y hops that finish it off.
M: Crisp, fresh, refreshing, light bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable as all the flavors are there and it's not a huge abv beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2010 10:46:47 | More by erosier
Photo of Magpie14


2.55/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: interestingly enough, I recently took part in the consumption of the Hoptober beer and virtually no difference in hue is noticeable. Maybe this Sunshine Wheat is a touch lighter in saturation. I would swear I am drinking an American Macro/Adjunct lager by the look of things. The body is fizzy and a transparent white yellow. The head consists of bone-white fizz and lacing has some presence and is by far the best feature

S: the smell is virtually non-existent. I maybe gather sugary lemons and oranges and water logged toasted wheat accents. Let us hope that the flavor delivers a little more

T: well...my gleam of hope deciphered by the nose was cut short. The flavors quickly drench the taste buds and are quickly washed away. I am left with a highly carbonated zip of watery lemons, coriander, and meagerly spiced hops. It seems that what flavors exist could be good. But where did they go? Toasted notes are in the mix as well

M: snappy, bright, and carbonated. Very crisp and has ample summery feel on a hot day. Body is light and weak with no lasting presence. Big gulps induces watery eyes...

D: you probably could drink these all night long...light ABV% and light flavor, but why? I pass on this brew and deem it my worst New Belgium experience yet. I have not had this bad of an experience since I watched that Ronald Reagan film

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2009 23:20:51 | More by Magpie14
Photo of DownDaHatch


4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First I should comment that summertime wheats aren't my personal favorites but the weather called for something in this style that I had never tried. It did not specifically dissappoint and it ment the general need of the drinkability expectation of this beer. It did however possess a bit more body than I had expected. The typical wit beer spices were present but not overpowering. Poured into the glass with a good amount of head nice lacing as it was drank.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2009 19:27:13 | More by DownDaHatch
Photo of PhillyStyle


2.25/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap in a 12 oz pint glass (Denver, CO):

Served a pale clear golden yellow with a thin white head. Noticeable carbonation rising to the top of the glass.

Aroma is light, it has a citrus, maybe apricot or it could be lemon and grass. The light aroma is what I have really come to expect from this style.

The taste is very weak, no real yeast of wheat flavor to speak of. A very light grain flavor, tasted more like a light lager than anything else. It also had a metallic dry aftertaste.

The beer is light and very much over-carbonated.

Drinkability suffers greatly from the high carbonation and any real lack of flavor that exists, so much so that I could not finish it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2009 14:58:38 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Denver airport annex today

The beer pours a pale gold color, but with surprisingly good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose I get some nice spice (coriander and clove mostly), along with the expected light "wheatyness." The flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose, though frankly, it had more flavor then I was expecting. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied, exactly what I was expecting out of a wheat beer. Drinkability was terrific. The low alcohol is part of the reason of course, but this beer was refreshing and yet still had plenty of flavor. Frankly, it was a joy to drink.

Have not had this beer in some years, but it's still as good I remembered. For what it is and tries to be, this beer is impressive.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2009 18:11:31 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A long-time favorite of many Colorado folks, I tried this one on-tap in Durango. My glass was delivered to me a bright yellow color with almost no head (perhaps the pour?) and very little lacing consequently. The aroma was crisp, lemony hops and dry grains with lots of wheat presence. The flavors were at first lemony and wheat-like but it quickly paled. I just never got much more. The body was watery, medium/light and the carbonation average. Not unpleasant, just forgettable. As with many popular beers, I think people like it because it's easy to drink, thus easy to get F-ed up on. But really, I consider it one of the weakest beers this brewery produces.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2008 22:48:17 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of gfreed


3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Dundee Dell in Omaha, NE. Has a nice straw appearance, hazy and dense. The aroma is full of fruit, especially orange and lemon, with little of the expected banana-- this was a nice surprise-- and it tasted quite citrusy but not as overpoweringly so as other wheat beers I tried during the same session. Had a decent hoppy bitterness and fizz that added a nice touch at the end, with a rather thick texture that made the beer last a while. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2008 01:23:07 | More by gfreed
Photo of Rayek


3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Watercourse in Denver.

A: Brilliant straw color has great clarity. Small white head has OK retention and leaves a little lace. Small bubbles from carbonation.

S: A little citrus and a biscuit essence. Not much else going on.

T: Very clean and dry. Well balanced combination of grains and hops. Malt and wheat has a husky biscuit quality. Hops are mild, with a spicy coriander bitterness. Finishes dry.

M: Light body with the right amount of fizz.

D: Good session beer. Not particularly exciting, but a good summer quencher.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2008 03:04:52 | More by Rayek
Photo of rye726


2.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A good average wheat beer from the people at New Belgium. A clear orange color with a tan head. The nose is of wheat malt sand soem swet fruits. The flavor structure consists of mostly wheat as well. A crisp refreshing body add to the drinkability. Goes well with an orange.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2008 07:11:04 | More by rye726
Photo of mphopkins99


3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first review, so I hope this turns out ok.

Serving was a 16 oz draft, poured into a growler.

Appearance was golden, a little clearer than I expected from a wheat beer.

Smell was almost non-existent, overwhelmed by the lemon slice served with the beer.

Taste was pleasant, if a little on the bland side. The citrus flavorings dominated, and in my opinion detracted from the wheat flavor I expected.

Despite my slight disappointment in the flavoring, I found this to be an extremely pleasant and drinkable (if unremarkable) beer. I could have had a second quite easily.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2008 15:18:47 | More by mphopkins99
Photo of WaveRebel51


3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was the first time I had this in a few years and used to be a favorite when I was relatively new to the craft/micro scene.

Appears light yellow-gold with very little foam. Aroma was difficult to pick up and very faint, probably because of the smoky bar surroundings, but I did get a nice whiff of coriander and wheat.

The taste was much thinner then I remembered, but I'd attribute this to the maturity of my palate. Still, this was very representative of the style -- light, crisp, lots of wheat and the touch of coriander. Definitely a nice summer refresher.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2007 17:09:53 | More by WaveRebel51
Photo of SaltyLime


3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bartender offered a slice of lemon or lime to go along with the beer, but passed. I don't think it would have made a difference.

Appearance - Bright yellow, little to no head, but plenty of fizzy carbonation bubbles.

Smell - Citrus smell, like a lemon grass.

Taste - Light lemon. Not bitter and the opposite of what I expected from a wheat ale. Simple.

Mouthfeel - Very light, almost like a flavored water.

Drinkability - Refreshing. I might have it again at the restaurant I was eating at since it does little to impact the flavor of the food. However, I'm pretty confident that I won't go out and buy this one for home, unless it's to please a "lightweight" guest.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2007 14:49:10 | More by SaltyLime
Photo of smcreator


3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Preferred serving from the bottle instead of from on-tap (see below). The head that forms from the tap kills some of the citrus flavor.

T - When ordering on-tap, I would recommend drinking a Belgium Black Ale (1554) to make the Sunshine Wheat taste much sweeter since I believe some of the flavor gets lost for this beer coming from a keg.

M - The volume of beer that enters the mouth from a large-mouth glass causes the carbonation to be more abrasive.

D - This beer is easier to drink out of the bottle. With a lower ABV of 4.8% compared to other New Belgium beers it is easier to control a pleasant buzz. After a couple of these beers, the abrasiveness of the carbonation will start to compound might change the overall flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2007 03:41:55 | More by smcreator
Photo of hckyfn9999


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

Poures a crystal clear yellow with a nice thick white head. Aromas of wheat and citrus, in particular lemon and a little orange. Taste is of spicy wheat and citrus. A pretty drinkable American wheat. A beer that I don't mind having once in a while and makes for a nice summer session brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2006 07:23:21 | More by hckyfn9999
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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 728 ratings.