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Sunshine Wheat Beer - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

361 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 361
Hads: 854
Avg: 3.47
pDev: 22.48%
Wants: 13
Gots: 75 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 361 | Hads: 854
Photo of phenomenologian
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Upon opening some smoke lingers. Upon pouring in a nice beer glass it looks like you are pouring water. It pours a 1/2 finger white head that laces a bit and does not retain well. The body is pretty pale and transparent. Bubbles rise to the top. It looks like Ginger Bee... not real appetizing in appearance. Maybe the taste will say differently just like with the Ginger Bee...after tasting it opinions changed.

It smells of wheat. It has nice wheat smells to it which makes it seem a little more appetizing than previously thought. It also smells of pepper and citrus. The citrus is really subtle but the pepper is subtle in a different way but intertwines with the wheat making it smell pretty pleasing even though its faint and I would have liked the aroma to be more strong or robust.

It has a pretty good taste to it. It tastes of course of wheat but tastes that follow include pepper (the bottle says its coriander but I cannot tell the difference it just tastes like Im drinking pepper but in a nice way), citrus (this comes in as an aftertaste that comes in and is less subtle than in the aroma but still real subtle, and finally barley (it was a surprising thing to encounter as I wasn't expecting this one but then I read the bottle and it said its brewed with barley malts). Together it taste peppery but it comes together nicely. Its not my favorite but its still pleasurable.

For drinkability its pepperiness and carbonation makes it have a bite and not soo soo smooth. The mouthfeel is still good enough that it works with the beer and can still be enjoyed.

Overall, it has some nice flavors and aromas but its not my favorite and I may or may not come back to this one. The pepperiness is something Im not familiar with...but thats just me. Give this one a try though as its definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Jra1985
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A-Vibrant yellow straw color with a one finger head with an average retention and lacing.

S-Smell of wheat and some citrus aromas. Very pleasing to the nose.

T-Tastes of wheat and some citrus flavors. Some spices are present as well. Tastes pretty good.

M-Good carbonation a light bodied. Goes down smooth.

O-This is a decent wheat beer. Very reasonably priced and I would drink this over a Boulevard Wheat any day.

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Photo of blakelive784
1.95/5  rDev -43.8%
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.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Sunshine is a good name, this beer has a powerful golden yellow color that is only interrupted by a slight haziness, otherwise it is very clear. When poured into a five ounce glass it produced a very minuscule amount of fine bubbled foam that vanished immediately.

Smell: A wonderful blend of the spices and a hint of orange peel hit the nose, a very pleasant aroma that hits the nose quite abruptly.

Taste: Unlike most wheat ales, this one is much more focused on the spice than the citrus, which brings up good and bad points. This beer does taste significantly different that some other ales I have had of the style. However, this beer also is much more one-sided than other beers of this style. It is very drinkable, but does not amaze you, it just pleases you. There is very little hop character and no sweetness to help round anything out, it lacks depth.

Mouthfeel: Very well carbonated, does not help add balance to the beer though, sort of adds to its already one-sided approach.

Overall: A very drinkable beer, and it has some flavor to make it appealing. However, with so many other more complex beers out there, it does come off as quite one-sided. All in all, the good points cancel out the bad points and you get a decent wheat ale.

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Photo of MrDonQuixote
2.4/5  rDev -30.8%
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.

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Photo of YourMomDrinksBud
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best buy date of 10/18/11.

A- Pours a clear golden yellow with one finger of white head. Crazy bubbles rising. Wish it was unfiltered. Lacing is lacking.

S- Really floral. Extremely light citrus aroma with a subdued spice note.

T- Wheat, light citrus, and a gentle spicyness.

M- Light. Carbonation is crisp and there is a subtle dry finish.

O- Easy drinking, good lawnmower beer. It's very light but it is refreshing and somewhat complex.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from a bottle into a New Belgium beer glass because you would too if you were as awesome as I am, this was an extra in a recent trade with mizzouguy. Thanks!

Beer is super light yellow and clear with a nice white head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is spicy, like heather and flowers. Nice.

Beer is light in body and sweet on the front with a mild grainy finish. Overall it is an interesting beer but not a favorite of mine. I like it but I don't know how much of it I would buy. Midpalate is a little flowery, fruity, mild yeast, overall just a decent beer, nothing special.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Out of the bottle, Sunshine Wheat pours a pale straw color, transparent enough to see the bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass. These bubbles reaffirm a small white head composed of tiny, tightly-wound bubbles.

Smell: The aroma is fairly basic and flat. A nice blend of orange peel and lemon zest, with some spicy coriander as well, all in front of a soft wheat aroma.

Taste: Some of what I enjoy about wheat beers seems to have been filtered out. The wheat is soft and shallow. A good amount of coriander seems to be the dominant (if I can call it that) flavor. A bit of the citrus from the aroma makes it into the end of the sip, creating a lightly tart edge, but it quickly fades away. I would say the end finishes clean, but it is more like the flavor just runs out of gas.

Mouthfeel: As per the style, this is light bodied with full carbonation. The wheat almost seems to add a graininess, but that was probably filtered out. A light citrus edge creates a bit of an edge toward the end.

Overall: I agree with the consensus that this is largely forgettable. There is nothing to really complain about, but there is just not a lot of flavor to maintain my interest.

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Photo of airforbes1
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a typical pale yellow, but has less haze than most wheat beers I've tried. It must be filtered. The nose is decent; I get citrus notes, with orange and maybe even some lemon. I'm not detecting much spice.

The taste reminds me of a more lemony version of Blue Moon, with a touch of coriander on the back end. At first, I was very unimpressed, but I find myself liking this beer more with each sip. The flavor profile was weak at first, but more starts to come through with time. I also thought the beer was watery thin in the beginning, but as I take additional sips I'm getting more of a velvety coating on my tongue.

This is a pleasant sipping beer but I do wish the flavor was stronger.

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Photo of Phelps
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a tall pilsner-style glass.

Pale straw yellow, perfect clarity. Little to no head, but there is a wispy white ring.

Soft, mildly fruity wheat nose. Very light bananas, pears. Hard to pick up anything at all.

Same experience in the flavor. Wheat, some lightly tangy grain, the lightest hint of spice. Coriander? Lingering cracker malt. Super light and refreshing.

Carbonation stabs the tongue repeatedly with tiny swords. Smooth body is a bit under medium. Soft fizz. Super crisp, snappy, a bit drying.

Sunshine Wheat would be good to enjoy in 100-degree heat, but that’s about the only time I’d reach for one. Very refreshing and very average.

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Photo of Gatch
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer where taste outshines every other aspect. When you pour it and smell it, your expectations may not be high. But when you taste it, you realize it's a good beer.

A - Not much a head builds. Thin white bubbles. Gold straw in color, looks like a macro lager.

S - I'm not getting much.

T - Honey, sweet malt, some dried fruit. Bread. Good when it's cold and while more flavors come out as the beer warms, it's most satisfying straight from the fridge.

M - Slight carbonation but it's clean and smooth. Great flavors fill the mouth.

Good beer.

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Photo of iSip
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Belgium Sunshine Wheat. If you have read some of my reviews, you know I dedicate the summer to celebration of wheat beers. The New Belgium Sunshine Wheat is a filtered wheat beer. Light in color and fragrance, it has a very clean taste without the yeast common to unfiltered wheat beers. Given the added spices, it has a flavor that puts is somewhere between my standard Odell Easy Street and the true Belgian whitbeer, such as a Hoegaarden. Nice for a change of pace, but I in general prefer unfiltered brews during the all to short wheat beer season.

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Photo of leagr
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pale-straw in color, very little head - dissipates quickly, minimal lacing, translucent

Smell: citrus, somewhat grassy

Taste: light citrus, maybe some berry falvor

Mouthfeel: crisp, dry

Overall/drinkability: Easy to drink - not my favorite beer for the summer but a welcomed change of pace

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.51/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance-Clear pale yellow. 1 1/2 fingers of head thats gone in a blink of an eye. Pretty transluscent. No lacing.

Smell-Lots of lemon. Very one dimensional. Smells like a citrusy BMC. Light yeast aroma.

Taste-Lemon, but not a fresh lemon, like a watered down lemon. Some spice and maybe even black pepper. Just very boring.

Mouthfeel-Definitely drinkable. Crisp, but nothing about it makes me want to finish it. Moderate carbonation, watery.

Overall-New Belgium seems to be hit or miss with me, I love them or hate them. This one is closer to the Hate List.

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

Poured a bright golden yellow with a very thin covering of light foam in the New Belgium beer glass.

A big bouquet of citrus fruits and some light flowery notes follow in the aromas.

The citrus hits the tongue first rapidly followed with the classic wheat beer barley and malt blends, notes of coriander and green tea leaf.

Carbonation is strong and continuous. The mouthfeel is light and prickly.

When the summer heat calls for setting aside the sipping beers and picking up a drinking beer, this one will prove worthy.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a perfect length two finger head that makes it right to the top of my wheat glass. The head is completely white with about half small bubbles and half big bubbles. Kinda creamy looking, but it's not hanging around very long. Pretty good lacing though. The body is see through in some areas and cloudy in other, but overall it's a lot lighter in color than it should be, and it's not as cloudy as it should be. The body is yellow, pretty much looks like a lager other than some of the cloudiness, way too much carbonation here as well. The only reason this beer is getting a 3.5 is because of the good lacing, and that's really a generous rating, it looks like a lager. The smell on this beer is good though, it sort of smell like a Hoegaarden, the spices are the most prominent thing, not too much fruit, but that's sometimes a good thing. I am picking up some small scents of fruit and a tiny bit of light malt, but for the most part it's all spice. The smell isn't very potent, and there isn't really much too it, but it's for sure better than the appearance. This beer really isn't impressing me at all, in any areas. The taste is no different, I get a little spice, and maybe some lemon or possibly orange on the taste, but that's about it. Some maltyness is present and a touch of wheat, but it's way too small for this to be considered a quality beer. Frankly it's just a little watery. Maybe this beer deserves better than a 3 on taste, but I think it's closer to a 3 than it is to a 3.5, what it comes down to is that the appearance was close to a 3 but the lacing bailed it out, and the smell was slightly better than the look, so that bailed it out, I can't keep cutting this beer more breaks, this maybe could get a 3.5, but it really doesn't deserve it, nothing about this is above average. Mouthfeel is the same story, it's close to being a 3.5, but not quite there, there is only a tiny tiny bit of wheat, and thats not going to fly in a wheat beer, especially for the mouthfeel. Other than the wheat it's just way too light, without any wheat it's obviously going to be light - and it is. I know wheat beers are a lighter style, but there really isn't much to this at all. Carbonation is better than I thought it would be, but overall, not a great mouthfeel. Drinkability is good, but only because it's so damn light, it's doesn't taste amazing or anything. Overall the best way to describe this beer is being one tiny step above a Blue Moon seasonal. The Blue Moon spring ale, and summer ale were pretty crappy, and this is just a little bit better than those two. The Blue Moon standard, the belgian white, was better than this beer. So overall, I can drink it, I won't mind drinking it, it's a spiced beer, so even though it's bad it's not terrible. But it's just not doing it for me in really any areas. Average beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a clear yellow color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the wheat with some coriander and some orange peel notes. Smells like a witbier that is heavy on the coriander. The flavor is more of the same. Coriander is the predominant flavor although there is a little bit of orange and other fruit as well. There is some light pepper notes in the flavor also. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of loobear
2.82/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Very pale, clear yellow body. The color reminds me of Michelob Ultra, though the head is a bit more retentive and creamy.

S - Smells fairly skunky for a wheat beer. I get a little bit of banana, but mostly skunk.

T - Tastes like someone mixed 2/3 of a Michelob Ultra with 1/3 of a Blue Moon and added a shot of Heineken. Tastes weird. Not bad, but not really good.

M - The mouthfeel is this beer's strongest feature, but it's still average compared to other wheat beers. Has some nice carbonation. The aftertaste lingers and is slightly bothersome.

O - I'd drink this if someone handed it to me, but I won't go out of my way to get one.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Huge pearly white head. Super pale body reminiscent of a super light AAL. Great lacing.

Smell - Grassy with a bit of spiciness.

Taste - Smooth light, delicate and somewhat refreshing. Hints of honey. Grass shavings.

Mouthfeel - Watery. No real crispness. No carbonation.

Overall Drinkability - Balanced at best, boring at worst.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: light yellow/straw body, 1 finger head, almost zero lacing.

S: hint of citrus, light wheat

T: light fruit up front, average wheat in middle, semi-dry finish

M: med/light body, fine carbonation, dry clean feel

O: Not a bad pick, but could be better. Excellent for newbies, discerning women, or different summer brew.


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Photo of DCon
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this beer @ the Sub Zero Vodka Bar in Central West End (St. Louis), MO. Poured from a 12oz bottle, unmarked with any B.O.D. label and poured into a Pint Glass. (Note: they almost served it to me with a Frosted Pint Glass and I said "well... I'm pretty sure the "ice" bar will cool down the beer. Don't need the extra frosted mug to ruin the taste of this wheat ale..")

Appearance- Given to me with 2 Fingers of head, Semi-clear, and Orange Color. A small amount of sudsy, lace is left behind on each side of the glass.

Smell- This scent has a great amount of the "bread" attribute I find in many wheats, and also has a lemon-citrus smell.

Taste- A very dull pale wheat ale. Starts of wit ha lemon taste and then a light amount of honey nut cheerios or honey-wheat bread mixture. Good but very tough to find the right characteristics possible to rate an ale.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Moderate amount of carbonation, and is gritty for me. Not one of the smoothest wheat beers I've ever had.

Overall- When it comes down to it, New Belgian makes a beer to accommodate each and every style but this one just didn't do it for me. I will say it has a great drinkability but I stopped with this one and switched over to the Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka.

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Photo of rawfish
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of jmvecchio1
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L - Well if you didn't know it, you'd think you pour out a Budweiser that suddenly had good head retention. The beer pour out pale, clear, light yellow in color with a very white very fluffy head on top. The head is really stick and leave residue all along the glass as it dissipates.

S - Okay, back to reality after the lack luster appearance, you have a great pop on the nose. You get lemon and orange peels, coriander, and some yeast playing in the background. The aroma is true to the description of a spiced wheat.

T - A little coriander on the front and throughout. You get the citrus on the front of the swallow and then a nice pop of spice on the swallow. This spice is what I think really saves the taste from just being average.

M - Unimposing, light and almost creamy mouthfeel. The finish is dry and pleasant.

D - The drink is nice. Overall, NB makes great beers. I'm always excited when their seasonals come out. When I took the time to pick the beer apart it seems like it falls flat, but really it's a great spring session beer. Hopefully the spice on this wheat won't disappoint you.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice three inch high head of white foam, fizzled out after just a few moments and then finally left behind nothing, no side glass lace to speak of either. Good carbonation bubbling up throughout the session. The aroma was extremely light. Some floral hops, hints of lemon, and grass, and a touch of wheat were about all you were picking up. Had nice bright profile though.

The flavor was much more of the same, with a very bright, and appropriate for summer taste. There was a decent hint of orange rind and lemon in the back, with a nice rounded wheat flavor, nothing shocking or extraordinary here though.The feel was very light and highly carbonated. Crisp, and clean with little in the way of aftertaste. Nice beverage for a hot day, This ties in here as well, as it was just very light, with low abv and just that slightest bit of citrus to make it pop. It could have easily been something that you have multiples of for sure.

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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 361 ratings.