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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 blakelive784


1.95/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz can served in a pint glass, reviewed live -

A - presents a pale, transparent, straw golden color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Mediocre at best.

S - crisp wheat, spice. Honey and subtle citrus. Really mild in strength, put pleasant.

T - lemon grass over a pale barley and wheat foundation. The lemon is the most prevailing flavor in an otherwise watery beer. Weak.

M - entirely too smooth and wet for a wheat.

D - an easy drinker, but not one is have again.

Serving type: can

12-25-2011 21:13:49 | More by blakelive784
Photo of MrDonQuixote


2.38/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a can into an oversized wine glass:

A- Pale straw yellow color with a slight white head

S- Smell is spicy. Light hops smell, wheat and citrus

T- Tastes of coriander and obviously of wheat. The citrus flavor is light, but it is present. Light bitterness on the finish. A bit too much of a peppery taste for my taste. Tastes like I am drinking a bottle of pepper with some beer mixed in

M- The mouthfeel is the best part of this beer. Smooth with a nice finish.

O- overall this beer is bland.

Serving type: can

10-09-2011 21:44:12 | More by MrDonQuixote
Photo of rawfish


3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the can, actively carbonated with the color of pale straw, really similar to an adjunct lager with head and good retention of white foam that leaves moderate stick around the glass.

Pleasant nose really like a witbeer, coriander, orange with a grain roughness and yeast heavy bready malts. Slightly light on aroma and reminds me a little of baby powder.

Rather simple, light malt, that finishes with a wheat twang, a light tartness that settles into a grassy bitterness. Coriander and orange peel on the after taste with more of that baby powder. Built simply for refreshment and drinkability.

Light and crisp, active carbonation makes the flavors cycle and a light body to assist drinkability.

You can't really bash on this beer for anything, it is a sessionable wheat, great for summer. The canning helps carbonation some and is quite active on the palate. That baby powder taste I sensed is a bit odd but doesn't exactly hurt this beer any.

Serving type: can

04-03-2011 05:05:52 | More by rawfish
Photo of emmasdad


3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass from a 12 oz can. I am personally very excited to see so many Colorado brewers putting beers like this into cans; perfect for the park. This one was a pale golden color, with a nice fluffy white head. Aromas of light wheat, lemon and citrus. Lots of lemony flavors here, along with wheat and a hint of hops. I will be buying more of this one to drink during the upcoming hot summer days.

Serving type: can

05-19-2010 00:10:29 | More by emmasdad
Photo of SamN


3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Crystal clear beer, pale yellow color. Fine foamy head with very tiny bubbles. Surprisingly little visible carbonation. Very clear, sort of pale.

S- Seems like a stronger smell than from a bottle, although I don't know if it's actually stronger or why that would be if it was. Overripe bananas, pepper, egg whites, creamy wheat malts blended with subdued lemon citruses. Powerfully creamy and citrus. When the hell did this start smelling so good?! Not terribly complex, but such an intoxicatingly good scent.

T- Too bad that smell dosen't translate to taste. Still a thin taste. Nice creamy bread-like quality. Dry, citursy lemons, coriander and orange interplay in the middle, finishes on biscuits and lemon zest. Dry and somewhat "bone" like, if that makes sense.

M- Zesty and lively, much carbonation to keep this beer lively. Wakes you up with zesty bubbles, could pull smoother from glass. Tingling on the finish, just a little too much carbonation for me, could be less and still be a refreshing wheat beer. Light body, of course, not a lot to it.

D- Out of a can does seem somewhat different, although I can't figure out why. I would prefer this beer in this medium.

Serving type: can

03-25-2010 00:50:08 | More by SamN
Photo of ppoitras


4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz can obtained via SS09 from vasdef42. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" bright white head above the clear light golden brew. Pillowy head falls bubble burst by bubble burst, with ample slow-falling lace. Aroma is sweet pale malts. Taste is also pale sweetness, with a peek of tart in the middle, and a balancing crisp hops close. Mouthfeel is way smooth, and drinkability is superb. Great beer for summer, or whenever.

Serving type: can

12-14-2009 22:19:31 | More by ppoitras
Photo of GilGarp


3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I noticed that the two lowest ranked regularly available NB beers (this and Skinny Dip) both had identical scores and only 25 reviews difference between them. After just trying the skinny dip, lets see how Sunshine compares.

Best before 9/9/09

This one served from a can into a pint glass. Pours a pale straw yellow with good clarity and thin head. No retention or lacing on this one.

Aroma is mild and lacks any outstanding characteristics. There might be a little sweet citrus in there, maybe some lemon.

Flavor is pretty good. It has more of that sweet lemon, corriander, and wit beer spice.

Mouthfeel is clean, well balanced, nicely carbonated, lacking in body.

Overall a very drinkable summer beer but not something I would go to regularly. I think this one would just get the nod over SD.

Serving type: can

07-17-2009 05:11:25 | More by GilGarp
Photo of pokesbeerdude


3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see this is in cans now, great beer for camping. Left over from a few weekends ago. This is another one of my gateway beers.

A: Pale yellow, aptly named of course, stark white head about half an inch or so into nothing. Very clear, not a lot of lacing to speak off, not really a lot of carbonation floating around in there either.

S: Tangy wheat malts, citrus, and slightly spicy, not really a whole lot else going on here in the nose, which is a bit disappointing.

T: Musky wheat malts, slight citrus sour tone, slight spiciness as well. Pretty grainy, but still definitely a wheat beer. Orange peel and coriander are definitely present as labeled, the orange peel stands out a bit more in the canned version than i remember the bottles.

M: Thin, light, and dry, this is exactly how I want my wheat beers to feel. This is probably because this is the first wheat beer I really got into.

D: Easy drinker, one of the easiest from New Belgium. This beer was somewhat of an obsession of mine when I first got into craft beer, and revisiting it has made me realize its not as good as I used to think it was, but it still is a tasty beer. Excellent gateway/transition beer. Glad to have revisited an old friend.

Serving type: can

06-06-2009 01:45:32 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of woodychandler


3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am currently in Denver, touching base, but not much more, with The Old Lady aka Ma Petite Abeille and the preponderance of CANned craft beer is astounding! It is enough to send The CANQuest (TM) into overdrive, but the problem is a lack of singles and I CANnot lug that many beers around, so a CANundrum arose. Fortunately, I am an old school pen & ink type of guy and if I CAN drink and review it at the bar, then so be it, geekery be damned!

Fresh Craft on Blake Street became my source for three such CANs, so this is transcribed from notes dtd Tuesday, 30 July 2013.

From the CAN: "Pack It In Pack It Out"; "Wheat beer brewed with coriander and orange peel"; "Alternatively Empowered/Employee Owned"; "We'd love to have you stop by the brewery - Jeff and Kim"; "Best Enjoyed Outside".

My server made the initial pour, so I was only a party to the Crack & Glug, rather than being directly involved. There was a quick, fizzy finger of bone-white head that experienced such limited retention that it was down t wisps upon arrival. Color was a pale lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had the classic wheat scent. I do not have words for it, but it smells like opening a box of Wheaties. Mouthfeel was kind of thin and the taste was very wheat-y. I really did not experience the coriander until the finish and th orange peel seemed to hav been lost on the mix. I was reminded of the bit in Catch-22 when Yossarian is handed a treat by his Supply Officer. "Light, airy, fluffy and with a robe of chocolate. What is it?" "Chocolate-covered cotton balls!" Oh well, CAN't win 'em all. I never professd to be other than a hophead.

My original, on-tap review dtd 10-26-2006 4.5; 3.0; 3.5; 5.0 4.0 follows:

This one arrived with a huge, frothy, bone-white head. It had extremely bright clarity in a pale-lemon colored beer with fantastic effervescence. The nose had a faint, wheat-driven sweetness. The mouthfeel was full, thanks to the aforementioned effervescence. The taste was light and slightly fruity with a very refreshing dryness on the finish.

Serving type: can

10-26-2006 23:04:52 | More by woodychandler
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
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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 729 ratings.