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Sunshine Wheat Beer - New Belgium Brewing

Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

732 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 732
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: 732 | Reviews: 354 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KickInTheChalice


3.2/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 22:30:33 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of airforbes1

New York

3.53/5  rDev +2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 01:42:21 | More by airforbes1
Photo of Phelps


3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 05:20:44 | More by Phelps
Photo of Gatch


3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 23:00:21 | More by Gatch
Photo of iSip


3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 21:08:27 | More by iSip
Photo of leagr


3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 03:38:36 | More by leagr
Photo of SWMeyer4141


2.53/5  rDev -26.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 22:15:15 | More by SWMeyer4141
Photo of fltmedic


4/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 03:40:47 | More by fltmedic
Photo of MaltsOfGlory


3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 18:05:19 | More by MaltsOfGlory
Photo of Mora2000


3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 03:41:56 | More by Mora2000
Photo of loobear


2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 03:10:57 | More by loobear
Photo of ZenAgnostic


3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 03:05:17 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of BeerLover99


3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
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.


Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 19:54:06 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of DCon


3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 04:26:58 | More by DCon
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 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 jmvecchio1


3.58/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 00:06:21 | More by jmvecchio1
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 01:51:39 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of secondtooth


4.18/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale and cloudy, with a huge fizzy head of white foam.
Scent is lush and delicious, with ripe banana, lemon, and yeasty bread coming to mind.
Taste is sweet, but nicely subtle, with accents of spice. A superb wheat beer, with an easy, low-key character.
Delicious and quite drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 01:55:22 | More by secondtooth
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 EgadBananas


3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale light, clear yellow in color. Head was bright white and gone in an instant.

Some fruity esters, breadiness, some citrus zest. Light and faint.

Slightly bready sweet, with some spice, and citrus.

Light, crisp, bubble, and a bit dry.

Not a bad drinker, but nothing very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 02:16:30 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of depechemode1983


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

A - This beer looks very refreshing. Its a nice looking cloudy golden wheat color. Fluffy white head with a decent retention. Also just a bit of lacing.

S - In the nose you wheat and other grains as well as some lemon zest. All in all its a very clean smell. Reminds me of lemon pledge, but in a good way.

T - Taste is smooth and crisp with earth like tones and grains. Lemon is more pronounced in the taste than the smell. The lemon aspect comes out more towards the middle of the taste. It then finishes nice and clean.

M - Medium bodied and smooth. Carbonation is a bit high on this one but works really well with all the flavors. Seems to make it a lot more refreshing.

D - Very very drinkable. This would be a good beer for a hot South Texas summer day.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 01:14:19 | More by depechemode1983
Photo of Archelenon


3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Didn't know if I would like it because I don't like Fat Tire much. This one has an unusual flavor from the spicing, but it's not too bad. I would drink it again.

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Hefeweizen glass. Label had good description of beer, freshness date of 5 Dec. 10 (so it was about a month past its prime). No ABV listed. Left a small amount of lacing.

Appearance: Poured a light, light yellow (almost a sickly shade of yellow) with about a finger-width head that slowly dissipated to a thin foam ring. Quite bubbly.

Smell: Aroma is of wheat and the coriander/orange peel spicing.

Taste: Taste was slightly different from the normal wheat beer flavor, with the notes of orange and coriander shining through. Left a slightly weird aftertaste, but nothing too gross. Only slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Just a hair thin-feeling, with almost no hint of carbonation (but that could be due to it being past its prime.)

Drinkability: Good. The thinner body and orange/wheat flavor worked well together.

Overall: B-

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 00:17:39 | More by Archelenon
Photo of dudemuskie


3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Crystal clear, very pale straw in color with loads of bubbles feeding a big, pillowy bone white head. Head lingers for quite a while and leaves a delightful lace down the glass, to the last sip.

Aroma- Interesting apricot jam fruitiness mixed with notes of creamy wheat, leafy/herbal hops, candied orange peel, and subtle grassy coriander spice.

Flavor- Light grainy maltiness lays an easy drinking foundation and provides a pleasant delicate sweetness from start to finish. Orange peel and herbal hops/coriander balance out middle. Finishes like a Wit with the wheat/orange peel/coriander gig, but with a bit astringent graininess.

Mouthfeel- Light body, low hop bitterness, decent balance, and a light creamy feel thanks to the use of a higher proportion of wheat.

Overall- Nice brew, and a nice, drinkable, change of pace from the heavy, over the top, rich brews that often dominate the colder winter months. Though this is an odd cross between a Wit and an American Wheat. Would be very curious to see how this brew tastes unfiltered...might take the edge off the slightly astringent finish? Either way, I am happy I tried it!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 02:18:43 | More by dudemuskie
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou


2.48/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle pored into a stemmed (tulip) glass

A: Pale yellow with minimal head that leaves no lacing.

S: Orange and wheat. No nuance or intrigue.

T: Bland. Tastes a little like an orange flavored San Pelligrino.

M: Thin. Weak. The bubbles (carbonation) are pretty nice.

D: Only drinkable if I forget about enjoying myself and go directly to quenching a thirst. No thank you.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 06:14:04 | More by ForWhatAlesYou
Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 732 ratings.