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Sunshine Wheat Beer - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer

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823 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 823
Reviews: 358
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 14.78%
Wants: 15
Gots: 46 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 04-28-2002

IBU - 14
Hops - Target
Malts - Pale, Carapils, Wheat
OG - 13.4
Fruits/Spice - Orange Peel, Coriander
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 823 | Reviews: 358 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light yellow color. White head and not much lacing. The nose is really quite plain. There are a few light notes of orange and lemon; maybe a tad bit of spice. The taste is slight malt with a bit of sugar. Light orange character. Feel is light and somewhat refreshing. Another very plain offering out of them; quite disappointing.

Photo of gueuzer
3.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 0z bottle

App- Very clear yellow color. Too clear.

Sm- Coriander and orange peel. Some slight skunkiness.

Ta- Good wheatiness,but lacks that mat coat you get from an unfiltered wheat. Spices are perfect and really shine through.

MF- Carbonation level a little high considering that it is unfiltered.

Dr- Very refreshing. Could have a lot of these on a hot day.

Photo of NODAK
4.6/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aroma here is mostly of lemon, and a bit of spiciness. Somewhat weak.

Taste is very crisp upfront, with a rush of lemon. The body is a mix of citrus, orange, and a healthy dose of coriander. It reminds me of a wit as far as the strength of the coriander, with a weaker orange character. I suppose it's as if they took a wit and mixed it with a summer citric beer. It wraps up with a bit of tartness. There is very little left over after the swallow; only some coriander.

It's actually very good, I'm impressed with it. This would probably go very well for a person who likes the flavors of a wit without all the sweetness.

Photo of Dionysius86
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance = A golden yellow, as is to be expected of a wheat beer. About a one-finger head that most fades away pretty quickly, though a smidge lingers on as you drink.

Smell = The dominant smell is citrusy (mostly lemon), though other spices are definitely present.

Taste = Much like the smell, the taste is dominated by a lemon/citrusy taste, though not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel = Crisp, refreshing, thin

Drinkability = This is a good summer time beer. Not a ton of flavor, but definitely refreshing. It goes down smooth and leaves a pleasant, sweet aftertaste.

Photo of bagpiper2005
2.87/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Light lager clear yellow color and effervescence with a finger and a half of white head that dissipates almost instantly and leaves almost no lacing on the glass.

Smell: The orange peel absolutely dominates the aroma, with underlying wheat malt sweetness. Not getting any of the corriander and no hops.

Taste: Fairly bland with hints of wheat, yeast, and citrus. A little bit of yeast, and rather grainy. Finishes with no hop bitterness or aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, and light with active carbonation, not dissimilar to sparkling water.

Drinkability: It's refreshing but that's about it.

Final Notes: I like a lot of the New Belgium beers but this one just isn't doing it for me. A little more flavor than a macro, but it's rather bland and unbalanced.

Photo of kimd03
2.58/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm a fan of New Belgium beers, but this one reminds me of Fruit Loops. Nuff Said.. A beer shouldn't taste like a breakfast cereal.

Drinkable in modest amounts (i.e 1) at 8 am followed by a cold glass of milk.

Overall it's still crisp and refreshing, but I can't deal with the Toucan Sam after taste.

Photo of froghop
3.16/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a clear pale yellow with a small white head that goes away quickly.

smell is faint, wheat, some citrus.

taste starts a little sour, refreshing, lemon, slight wheat, tart finish.

overall i like the taste, but downgraded on the smell and only so-so on the appearance.

Photo of arrangerx
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

When I first moved to Fort Collins, Fat Tire was just becoming a "thing". . . and Sunshine Wheat was the summer beer of choice.

This light, somewhat citrus flavored beer, is a major step forward for the crowd that thinks Coors Light is a summer ale.

I was spoiled in that I lived in the town it's brewed in, so I got the "fresh" stuff out of the tap. Always better with an orange slice, (yeah. . . I know. . . ) this is a good introduction to microbrews without being to shocking to the taste buds.

If you enjoy wheat beers, this is as good a start as any -- and far better than some of the lemon-flavored Wits or summer ales out there. Not bad in a bottle either. . .

And if you're someone who puts more than a couple away in an evening, it's very easy on the tastebuds.

Good start. . . when you're ready to move up, there's better, but this is good!

Photo of erosier
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a near clear straw yellow with a short and somewhat thing white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet toasted malts, hints of lemon, sweet wheat malt, and a touch of spices with a slight citrus-y hop finish.
T: Tastes of sweet toasted malts, nice wheat malt followed by big lemon and orange flavors which gives a smooth transition to the citrus-y hops that finish it off.
M: Crisp, fresh, refreshing, light bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable as all the flavors are there and it's not a huge abv beer.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale straw yellow, mostly clear, with not much head and minimal lacing. Obvious carbonation bubbles. Nothing special to look at, but not bad looking either.

Smells a touch of hops, plenty of lemon, light spices, some wheat and just a hint of malt. Doesn't smell that great but is pleasant nonetheless.

Tastes again of plenty of lemon, with a smidge of orange, although not overpoweringly so. Very nicely done on the citrus. Some smooth wheat also, along with indistinct but detectable spices.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp, plenty refreshing, and leaving me wanting another. Aftertaste is of sweet lemonade like Grandma used to make on a hot summer day.

This will never be a monster of the craft beer craze, but it's quite nice and easy to drink. Could be an excellent beer to wean crappy macro beer drinkers off the big brand, low taste type beers.

Highly drinkable and not at all overbearing. Would be excellent for a day of fishin' on the lake. I see from other reviews that cans are available; that would be excellent for this brew, since many lakes have a "no glass containers" rule.

Photo of stewart124
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy straw yellow with a centimeter of bright white head and an obviously high carbonation level.

The smell is of straw, lemon zest, and spices.

Medium bodied with a nice mouthfeel. The taste is grainy with spice notes and some noble spicy hops. Straw and rough grains really come through. It is almost like chewing on two-row and wheat malt. Just a touch of citrus and spice add complexity without taking away from the grain bill.

Quite drinkable and delicious on a warm day. Cheers!

Photo of bierenutz
2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a pale clear yellow color with a smallish head and minimal lacing.
S-Faint citrus although somewhat of a sour aroma and piney hops. Even agitating the glass I could only arose more of the grassy funky aroma...bad bottle?
T-Not a whole different than the smell. I'm just not liking this beer and I find myself continual lowering my rating as I drink on.
M-Thin and watery with moderate carbonation.
D-I am not impressed with this offering from NB. It's looking more like a drain pour the more I drink this. It was a gift, though, and I do not want to offend (gag!).

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a little light. Good aroma, wheat and lemon for sure. Minimal hop aroma.

Taste, light, yet refreshing, kinda like what macro light beers are advertised as, but this one actually substantively backs it up. It's a girlfriend beer, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its place. Minimal ingredients I would guess, but in the right ratios. All the usual suspects, the lemon, the light hopping, the small amount of haziness.

I think it fits the bill just right if you want a pale wheat ale.

Photo of emmasdad
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of burnerfinger
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my New Belgium goblet. Trying to maintian a open attitude, in the past I've not liked wheat beers very much.

A: The Pour produced a minimal half-finger eggshell-white head. VERY thin color light golden but super clear. BRIGHT yellow brew and very clear.

S: nice but light aroma - very light and clean citrus. absent are both hops and just barely a touch of malt.

T: again very CLEAN. a bit, just a bit, of maltiness comes thru as this beer warms, and in the aftertaste.

M:very light body, plety of carbonation.
NO alcohol taste, NO hops.

D: HIGHLY drinkable. baseball games, beach outings, etc. is how I see this beer shining.
really not bad at all recommended to buy this by the six pack or more.

Photo of meeekyh
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So here we have what may be the primary reason I dislike both New Belgium AND wheat beers. I grew up in Boulder, about two hours south of Fort Collins, and this beer was ubiquitous. I will now attempt to view it with new eyes (it was sitting in my fridge).

This beer went into a Belgian styled beer glass with a belled top and revealed a very pale and very clear, light straw colored ale with little head. This beer has nothing wrong looking with it and that is worth something.

Smell resembles apricot and is light but pleasant.

Taste is likewise on the light side and resembles apricot, there is also a notable grainy/wheaty presence. I am pleased that this beer is not offensive and to the contrary is rather pleasant in general.

Mouthfeel is slight and well carbonated, refreshing beer.

Drinkability is good and I am overall pleased with this re-trying of this perennial favourite.


Photo of SamN
3.84/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of mwa423
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours as light and clear as an adjunct lager with almost no head, what was there disappeared quickly.

S - Sweet smell, lots of honey, a hint of citrus, slightly wheaty. It reminds me a sickening amount of shock top or golden wheat.

T - Taste seems like one of the pathetic new taste offerings like Bud Light Golden Wheat. I really would suggest avoiding this summer seasonal.

M/D - Mouthfeel is watery, it's as drinkable as a weak lager.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours golden color. In the worlds of my non-beer geek friend, "it looks like sunshine!"

S- Smells like wheat and yeast and a bit of spice

T- Has very minimal flavour. Tastes like it smells... weak but nicely spiced. The flavour is nice and strong at first but it disappears way too fast.

M- Overcarbonated and a bit sweeter than I wanted.

D- Very drinkable.. Smooth with a bit sharpness but definitely light enough to drink down quick. Pretty lacking overall

Photo of climax
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sunshine wheat was a very pale gold/yellow with perfect filtered clarity. The good sized almost white head faded to some clumps with minimal lacing.

The nose was pretty clean and had decent pungency. White bread was the dominating flavor, with additional notes of coriander and orange peel.

The flavor was very wheaty, once again sticky white bread. Crisp coriander, orange peel, and honey all did a nice job of refreshing the warmer wheat tones.

The body was not watery as I expected after looking at it, in fact, it had quite a nice coating feel. Carbonation was maybe a little stiffer than I would have liked, but all in all it was very well done. This is no heavyweight, but it'd be incredibly easy to pound several of them on a sunny day outside.

Photo of jsprain1
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pale golden with very little head retention. generally unimpressive.
S- The smell is nice, a bit spicy, with a bit of wheat and yeast.
T- The taste is... lacking. Starts wheaty and yeasty. Light and refreshing, to be sure, but just didn't have the substance or the spicyness to it that I was hoping for. The flavor may be there but it lacked any real punch for me.
M- Light and perhaps a bit over carbonated. I suppose it fits the style, but an improved mouthfeel could help the lack of flavor with this one.
D- Very drinkable. Smooth, light, and not actively bad by any means. I don't dislike this beer, so much as I am just disappointed. It lacks the punch that I expected from a NB beer. Good enough, but just doesn't have anything exciting about it.

Photo of pmccallum86
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with a thick white head that dissipates quickly.

The smell is zesty. Lemon, coriander, citrus and malts.

Lots of spices come through right away, lemon and citrus too. Also some pear and banana notes in there as well. Light malt backbone and light hop flavors as well.

Light crisp mouthfeel, would be nice on a warm summer's eve.

Good drinkability, a fine offering from New Belgium.

Photo of homebrew311
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Local store is having a fire sale on this product, 3.99 a sixer..thought it was worth a shot- I am drinking it on the day of it's expiration date.

A: pours a very pale yellow, crystal clear, lots of bubbles, bone white foamy head, good lacing and retention

S: lemon on the front which sits on top of toasty wheat, some coriander, lots of fruit character

T: the front of the palate is bland which turns into the wheaty/bready flavors. The citrus character comes out on the end. Pretty nice balance, quite palatable, not a lot of character though.

MF: thin, crisp, light body

D: this beer is palatable and tastes decent, but lacks character

Photo of acelin
4.14/5  rDev +20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

Poured a very clear straw-colored cloud with a small white head.

The sweet wheat malt was very fruity in smell, with no hops present to the nose.

The taste was quite a surprise! What seemed to be a neglected beer from NB, and looked quite average at first really shocked my tastebuds. By far the fruitiest wheat beer I've had to date. Strong blueberry notes hit the tastebuds immediately, with banana and orange notes trailing. Hardly any bitterness, with a real creamy smooth texture. One of the more sessionalable wheat beers out there.

Photo of kjyost
3.94/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a beer mug, clear straw yellow with a fizzy unimpressive head that left minimal lacing and dissipated rather quickly. Utterly unimpressive. The nose of the beer held a slight bit of sweetness (almost like honey) underneath the prevailing light hop and clove aromas.

The beer was exceedingly crisp and smooth on the palate with a good balance of flavours. The spice was light on the tongue, and there was a touch of bitterness, but it finished cleanly. A rather nice wheat ale, that is entirely sessionable.

Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 823 ratings.