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Sunshine Wheat Beer - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

360 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 360
Hads: 847
Avg: 3.47
pDev: 22.48%
Wants: 12
Gots: 65 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 04-28-2002

IBU - 14
Hops - Target
Malts - Pale, Carapils, Wheat
OG - 13.4
Fruits/Spice - Orange Peel, Coriander
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 360 | Hads: 847
Photo of jmbranum
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very pretty bright yellow-gold liquid with a big white head.

Nice aroma. Very sweet flavor but just enough sour notes to balance it out. A little more spices would have been nice but overall this is a very good light wheat beer.

Light-medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation.

I recommend this beer. Very, very good.

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Photo of Tone
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong wheat, strong citrus hops, strong floral hops, slight yeast, and a hint of pale malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Wheat Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong wheat, slight earthy malt, strong citrus hops, strong floral hops, and slight yeast. Overall, weak appearance, but an aroma and body that are reminiscent of fruit loops.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a lightly hazed golden amber color with a two finger head of billowy white foam. The head fades super fast leaving just a trace of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell –The aroma of the beer mostly of a wheaty smell mixed with some other aromas of yeast and a moderate sum of an orange, peach and pear smell. Along with these aromas are some other smells of a light grassy and hay-like nature as well a hint of a lemon citrus.

Taste – The taste begins with a wheaty and slightly bready taste that is accompanied by some flavors of orange and pear. A yeastiness and grassiness develop more and more as the taste advances, bringing with them a little bit of a coriander spice. As the taste moves onto the end, some grainy flavors and a little bit of hay work their way onto the tongue, leaving one with a moderately sweet, but still rather nice and crisp wheaty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is rather thin with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. For the lighter abv. and flavor profile of the brew, the feel is quite appropriate and makes for an easy drinking brew overall.

Overall – A decent wheat ale here. Rather easy drinking with a good level of flavor. Not a bad summer style, more session like brew.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, at the New Belgium bar in Denver International Airport.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with one finger of puffy and bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some minor island group lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of gritty wheat malt, hard water minerals, musty coriander, weak generic citrus rind, faintly funky yeast, and mild earthy hops. The taste is semi-sweet grainy wheat, earthy coriander, understated fleshy orange, ethereal white pepper, a touch of isolated caramel, and somewhat phenolic yeast.

The carbonation is moderate, if quite frothy at times, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth, though perhaps a tad watery. It finishes off-dry, with the wheaty malt and muddled spices persisting.

A kind of plain wheat beer, the attempts to Wit(icize) it, while not overly successful, working well for me now, as the week has been rather summery in Denver, and this hits the spot as my last brew here for another year.

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Photo of dcscientist
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%

I'm not a wheat beer fan, but this one is probably the most popular one from a craft brewery here in Colorado. I tried one just to see what all the fuss was about, and it's fine, but nothing spectacular. Good when it's hot outside, like most wheats.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.11/5  rDev -10.4%

Appearance (3.5) : pours a hazy banana yellow body with three fingers of stable lacing at the top.

Smell (3.5) : banana peel, some old pineapple, a sugary sour aroma overall. A little wheat in the background.

Taste (3) : Fresh wheat, honey, a little green apple skin, coriander, with a generous spicy bite. A little banana on the finish. What can I say, it tastes like a wheat beer. A bit fruity, but nothing exceptional. It ends a bit stale.

Mouthfeel (3) - carbonated, creamy. Ends crisp, and then stale.

Overall (3.11) : A big disappointment. I was surprised at how overwhemingly mediocre this beer is. It's a wheat beer, sure. But that's all it is. Definition of meh. Snapshot is better!

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

Sampled this evening on 6/30/14. Had this once a couple of years back but came with a different older-style label as in the picture. The new label has a pair of lawn chairs on the label. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner flute glass.

Pours a straw-yellow with just a small white head that leaves good lacing when sipped that sticks to the sides of the glass. Light smell of lemon or citrus with some wheat with a hint of spice. The taste is the same and is very smooth and pleasant to drink. Goes down easy with no bitter aftertaste. Perfect carbonation as well. This is a great brew for the spring and summer months. Very pleased with this one!

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Photo of ZAP
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reminds me of a cross between a whit and an American Wheat Ale. It has some of the whit characteristics like corriander and orange peal...but finishes with just a light twang of sourish lemons...or maybe sour apples...

I like my wheat beers a little sweeter. Not a huge fan of the light sour finish but some will enjoy that.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of chickenflea
3.76/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
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

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Photo of Celtics17
3.99/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of vkv822
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.09/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of shand
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of bmwats
3.36/5  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.

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Photo of jcbogantes
3.15/5  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.

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Photo of gpogo
3.36/5  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.

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Photo of Florida9
2.89/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
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+

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Photo of elNopalero
3.06/5  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.

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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 360 ratings.