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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 alexgash


3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I agree with some other reviews that the label "wheat" on this beer is a little misleading. I enjoyed this beer nonetheless. Pours a clear light yellow with lotsa bubbles and a big, white, marshmallowy head. I kinda wish that it was unfiltered though. Smell is tart, peppery, wheat and coriander. Spicy, peppery malts dominate the palate, followed by a yeastily-bitter, orange finish. Not great, and not my favorite New Belgium summer beer (see Loft and Porch Swing), but a nice refreshing brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2003 21:49:20 | More by alexgash
Photo of RoyalT


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

Appearance – Light yellow with a small head that quickly dissipates.

Smell – Almost no nose, but a faint fruit aroma if anything.

Taste – Light body with a fruity wheat flavor. Little to no hops and not a lot of depth to the malts. It finishes with a sweet, almost sour finish.

Mouthfeel – Light carbonation gives this beer a nice feel on the tongue.

Drinkability – Definitely a summer beer, and the bottle will have to be very cold to enjoy it.

Comments – This is a light, fruity type of beer. The “wheat” in the name is misleading as it conjures weitzen and hearty malts.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2003 05:15:07 | More by RoyalT
Photo of KroMagnon


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

I had this on July 11 2003, but it had a “best by” date of June 30 2003. The label is quite appealing with a folksy drawing of a wheat sheaf and sickle, with a background of hops curling around to form a frame. I had it in a brandy snifter type glass. The beer was slightly cloudy but not like a hefeweizen or witbier. It was a golden-yellow color, pale but not straw colored. The aroma features a slight spiciness note that is a little hard to place – vaguely floral, touched with something like faint coriander or mown hay (in a good way). The label says it is spiced with coriander and orange peel, but in this sample (on this day) I had a hard time picking out the orange peel; nevertheless the aroma was exotic and nice. The flavor was good, with not a lot of hoppiness or bitterness; rather, the main feature is a slight tartness (very slight) combined with some malty sweetness; I suspect the tartness is that hard to describe wheat flavor. Overall the brew is pretty light but tasty, definitely a good summertime treat. This beer is a little more lively and spicy than an “American wheat”, and perhaps stronger, but it is not as challenging as a Belgian Witbier or a Bavarian Weizenbier.

For the BJCP style "witbier", I'd give this beer maybe a 3.8 out of 5. As mentioned above I don't think this quite fits into witbier area although I'm not sure exactly where I'd put it. It wasn't dry enough and wasn't quite as tart or spicy as I'd have liked.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2003 18:56:18 | More by KroMagnon
Photo of Zraly


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

A pale, fizzy-yellow pour. Nothing out of the ordinary, but a pleasant sight for a hot summer day. There was very little head or cling, but the carbonation of this beer was on the money. This added to a crisp mouthfeel.

The scent is of cinnamon and clove, but it is rather faint. The flavors are of orange peel and a hint of sugary fruit candy. The notion of wheat is there, but not dominant.

I would say that this offering from New Belgium is a good, "summertime" transition beer for folks who have yet to have a non-macro beer. It's a fairly "safe" brew that doesn't totally lack in flavor.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2003 13:00:31 | More by Zraly
Photo of cokes


3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden with tiny grains of suspended sediment. Like sand in the tide. Plump white sea foam atop.
Tart and lemony aroma, with pricks of coriander.
Crisp and spicy up front, but seemingly dilute. Watery citrus peel and coriander notes mix with a wafer-like malt. Turns increasingly tart as lemon-rind flavors take control. Hopping (whatever there is) seems to accentuate the lemon impression.
Active, lively carbonation make this a good one to wash out the throat with on a steamy day. But all told, it is a middle of the road Wit.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2003 20:14:44 | More by cokes
Photo of Reidrover


4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok I had waited a while to try this offering from New belgium, but the price was right and it had been a hot sweaty day at work.
Comes in the usual New Belgium brown bottle..sheaf of wheat on the label.
Beer pours very nicelly certainly golden sunshine gold colour with a fair sized pure white head..that dissapeared fast but left some excellent lacing.
Very nice fresh aroma of doughy wheat and zesty coriander..nicely done.
MM nice first taste on the tongue is a refreshing sweet malt..followed by a rather thick wheaty taste then finished of with the cxoriander and zingy orange..very nice,.
Very good feel on the tongue well balanced beer.
Very drinkable beer indeed..despite the bad reviews I thouroughly enjoyed this.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2003 19:36:11 | More by Reidrover
Photo of Realale


3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy light orange. What little head there is dissipates quite quickly to a thin rim of foam.

Nose is intensely citric - lots of orange rind in this one. With time, a bit of grainy goodness comes through as well. Very appetizing nose.

A bit disappointing on the palate, as its out of balance towards the citrus notes. The malt and wheat eventually make an appearance, but they are definitely secondary. Its also quite short on the finish, but manages to have a thirst-quenching quality about it.

Its a not unpleasant exploration from the wit style, and might well be attractive to a potential convert from macros, and would certainly be welcome on a hot steamy St. Louis afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2003 06:15:20 | More by Realale
Photo of BeerManDan


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

It poured a nice light golden yellow with very little foam. The smell was not impressive. The aroma had just a hint of perfume or what ever. The flavor was nice, but not really what I was looking for. It had an citrus/grainy flavor, but, with a very pleasant after taste. I could not taste any wheat in this beer. I think, if you make a wheat beer, it should have a wheat taste. Nothing here!

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2003 16:53:52 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of MJR


3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a pale gold with perfect clarity. The head doesn't even bother to form...it's just a small ring of lace around the edge of the glass. The label states that equal portions of barley and wheat are used, yet this brew is perfectly clear. Hmmm... The lack of sediment is strange as well.

Smell: Faint and weak with a touch of wheat and a faint citrus note. Despite what the label says, I don't detect any coriander.

Taste: Thankfully, the taste is a little better than the appearance and smell. Not much better though... It tastes like a cross between a wit and a boring American-style wheat beer. Watery flavor with suggestions of wheat and citrus (lemon and orange peel.) I still don't pick up on coriander. Aftertaste of corn flakes...

Mouthfeel: Overcarbonated with a thin, watery mouthfeel. Finishes with a crisp dryness.

Drinkability: This is a subpar example of a Belgian wit. All of the traditional flavors are there, but in small quantities. Disappointing...

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2003 15:59:03 | More by MJR
Photo of RBorsato


4.83/5  rDev +39.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bright yellow, fairly clear (not a lot of sediment) with a good white head and good carbonation. Spicy aroma ! Very nice balanced spice and citrus flavor. Medium bodied and smooth for the style.

An excellent American example of a Belgian Witbier !

Label states: "Equal portions of wheat and barley malts" & "Spiced with Coriander and Orange Peel"

Best Before: 04/02/02
Tasted: 04/15/03

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2003 10:17:23 | More by RBorsato
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

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

Clear pale yellow, little lasting head, but with some lace. Citrus and coriander in the aroma. Palate is sweetish, but a balanced sweetness, slightly spicy, and softly citric, tasty, but i had higher hopes for this beer, still, well balanced, refreshing, i liked it.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2003 22:08:20 | More by rastaman
Photo of feloniousmonk


2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a clear, pale yellow, with a small white head. Aroma spills over with lemon, straw, a hint of spice and sea-air. Palate is soft, lush, and smooth. But hops are tiny, malt is minimal. Very little in texture and body, and the taste, though good, fades swiftly.
The foam tastes good, though!
All the pleasure in this beer lie in the aroma, the smooth drinkability, and,um, that's it. It's easily downable, but largely forgettably, I'm afraid. It tastes, for a while, like a witbier, but lacks the complexity and texture I enjoy in better versions of that style, Why did they take the yeast out, I wonder? Would make a fine "lawnmower" beer, better in that regard than a Bud, but to really enjoy a beer, I'll turn to an unfiltered weizen or wit.
(Thanks to jeffboo for procuring the bottle)

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2003 21:28:40 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Quaffer


2.48/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This was a golden and, oddly enough, crystal clear wheat beer. I swirled the last inch or so of beer to get the sediment out, only to discover that there was no sediment. A white head rose up to one finger and dissipated quickly. A thin ring around the beer was the only thing left after a few minutes. There was little to no lacing.

Smell: It was slightly grainy, with a strong sour odor. There was a hint of citrus, but it was very weak. There was also some corn in the background.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied and surprisingly smooth. Almost silky at times.

Taste: In terms of flavor, this brew had almost no wheat qualities. It reminded me of an American lager. There was some chewy grains up front. Those and a mild sweetness lingered for awhile, but that was it.

This was a very disappointing beer from New Belgium. I am a fan of many of their brews, but I will have to pass on this one in the future. If I hadn't poured the beer myself, I would have never known it was a wheat.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2003 18:56:20 | More by Quaffer
Photo of marburg


3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This was a little anemic as far as witbiers and other wheat ales are concerned. It lacked the aggressive over-hopping of most American wheat beers, and it certainly lacked the nearly excessively citrus aroma and flavor of the originals.

That said, I think this brew to be a prime example of a solid conversion beer. It's very light with just enough citrus flavor to intrigue any macro drinker, but that same light-bodied, light-flavor nature makes it as easy to consume as any served-sub-zero-in-a-frosted-mug macro swill.

Exceptionally light in color but not quite the pre-rain-storm haze of a traditional wit. Very light floral aroma -- like over-refrigerated carnations, perhaps -- with a citrus purfume only slightly greater in concentration. I just expect my witbiers to be bursting a bit more. Celis, Wittekerke, and Hoegaarden, in my mind, are prime examples of this characteristic. Taste is much the same. It's there but not in great abundance. Pretty straight forward as I think a lot of the better witbiers are, but just not enough of it. Subtly citrusy, really.

Very light-bodied. Consequently, it's like drinking water. These go down fast and easy. Nothing challenging about this brew -- which is oftentimes a good thing. I'd have it again though perhaps not purchase it -- and I'd definitely use it with friends not yet enlightened.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2003 16:58:15 | More by marburg
Photo of Dogbrick


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

Acquired this pleasant Witbier via trade. Sure it has a summer look and feel to it, but it sure hit the spot after shoveling snow! Pours a clear gold color with a thin white head and mild effervescence. Very little lacing. Aroma is lightly hopped with a little citrus and vanilla. Flavor is smooth, and consists of hops, citrus and a touch of honey. Not as yeasty as some Wits, which was a nice change. Finish is thin but most Wits seem that way to me. Low on the complexity scale but good for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2003 09:19:16 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is strange, no yeast sediment? No haziness? That's odd for this style. It must be filtered. Not much of a head in the beginning, and it doesn't stay all that well. Major appearance points off for these things. However, there is hope. Big and spicy aroma here, a very enjoyable one too. Coriander and wheat/grain hit you in a big way. A little bubble gum is noticeable too. As for the flavor, it's very tasty, more full-flavored than many other Belgian wits. The wheat/graininess and coriander again play a large role, but further complexities exist here, such as orange peel and small, but definitely noticeable, hop bitterness. Sweetness is more noticeable on the tongue in certain areas than in others. Overall, a bit off for the style (which according to the bottle is Belgian-style wheat/wit), but very tasty and enjoyable. Much better than I remember it being the last time I had it.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2003 01:59:49 | More by hyuga
Photo of yemenmocha


3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Disappointingly clear. This is 'clearly' a wit bier, as for some reason they filter this one.

Aroma is straw/hay like, perhaps almost a fresh dry grain aroma with some citrus & coriander in the background.

Taste is refreshingly fruity with some assertive sweetness mid way through as it trails off to a slight hop spice on the finish.

Good drinkability. An excellent accompaniment to salad or other light foods. A good bet for those who you seek to convert from the macros.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2003 18:35:17 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of LarryKemp


3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a bright, clear straw colored beer. It had a very low aroma. I was not able to smell either wheat or malt. The flavor had a very light malt taste. Neither the aroma nor the flavor had banana or cloves which for the style is correct. The mouthfeel was light and the overall drinkability was good. I got this beer at the Red Robin, a burger joint. It complemented my burger well but would not buy this beer for sipping.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2003 17:49:44 | More by LarryKemp
Photo of Morris729


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

Pours a pale golden straw color with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Very clear for a wheat beer. Nose is a fruity citrus aroma of orange and lemon peel and the taste is very light and crisp with a flavor dominated by coriander with hints of orange and honey. It is a very refreshing beer and would be nice on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2002 22:39:25 | More by Morris729
Photo of putnam


4.28/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely clear, yellow liquid.

Is that new oak on the nose? Or am I confusing that with lees exposure? (What a thing to mix up) A pleasantly chalky, toasted oak character carries through to the flavors. Along the way lemonade, green apples and blonde grains join in. The texture is pillowy smooth and, though thick, is lifted by the fine mousse latent in this tonic.

Another damn decent American Wheat!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2002 16:05:23 | More by putnam
Photo of Gusler


3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly "Chill Hazed" golden color, mighty white frothy head and lace that clings in sheets to the glass. Nose is lemony, malt, crisp and fresh. Start malt sweet, top reedy, the finish is scrupulously hopped, agreeably acidic, droughty long lasting aftertaste. I find most of New Belgium's beers to be top notch, this one while quite drinkable and a good change of pace is not a favorite.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2002 05:51:01 | More by Gusler
Photo of Jon


3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sunshine pours a clear, pale golden hue with a bubbly head, which leaves some really nice lace all the way down the glass. The smell is of orange peel, coriander and other spices. Taste is rather orange-ish with notes of coriander present. It's fairly well spiced, but seems somewhat artificial. Feels a little thin and, dare I say, watery in the mouth. Easy drinker -- would make for a great summer thirst-quencher. This is a decent American offering of a classic Belgian style.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2002 23:09:28 | More by Jon
Photo of BeerAngel


3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with a small head that dissipates very rapidly. The smell is that of an earthy burnt wheat. Very bubbly and looks very thin. Has a coriander spice that is very apparent followed by a mild wheat taste with some hops that hit in the middle and taper to the end. Very interesting brew. It is light bodied and drinkability doesn't really go as well as the flavor. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2002 18:16:28 | More by BeerAngel
Photo of tang214


4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another masterpiece by New Belgium. This beers appearance is true to the name. It has a distinct citrus smell to it, mostly orange and lemon. The taste much like the smell is distinctly citrusy with a lighter wheat taste. Personally, I think I would have enjoyed a bit more of a wheat taste to it. It has a only decent mouthfeel to it, but the drinkability is great. This would be a perfect beer for a sweltering hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2002 15:54:45 | More by tang214
Photo of bditty187


3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sunshine Wheat has a pleasant, but faint smell of spice, lemon, and wheat. You can actually enjoy the coriander in this one. The tang really lasts on the tongue.

The taste is complex and it won’t knock you over. The beer allows you to feel every delicious drop. During the summer this beer should be a fixture in your refrigerator or cooler.

Still another great (ok, very good) New Belgium product.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2002 09:30:05 | More by bditty187
Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 729 ratings.