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Sunshine Wheat Beer - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

816 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 816
Reviews: 358
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 14.78%
Wants: 13
Gots: 38 | 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:
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: 816 | Reviews: 358 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bunnyhustle
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass, good 2 finger foamy head that left some nice lace. Golden yellow, almost straw-like in color, unique color in my opinion. Citrus like smell with a touch of hops. Citrus is present in the taste as well with lemon dominating the flavor, well balanced, not too bitter, not too sweet. Very light and crisp, very refreshing, good amount of carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer perfect for summer, my gal had a slice of orange in hers and I have to admit that really spiced it up a bit. Worth a try.

bunnyhustle, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of ccrida
1.9/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Crystal clear pale yellow with a thick white head, rocky and lots of bubbly lace. Looks like a coors light, maybe a creamier head.

Right off the bat, the smell is really foul. Literally, it smells like puke. Terrible. I will say that as I worked my way through, it was less of an issue. Not sure if it lessened as it warmed got a chance to breath, or I just got used to it.

Taste is typical, bland american wheat beer - like a coors light, with extra grain husks. The puke doesn't make an appearance, other then it's tough not to smell it as you drink.

The mouthfeel is thin, but creamy.

This was one and done for me. I love real hefe's, and hate american wheat's. Bland taste is one thing, but the nasty smell was just too much. Once I stopped breathing through my nose, I was able to suck it down in a hurry, but that was to get it over with.

I don't understand why New Belgium releases any of their non-belgian styles - I haven't liked one yet, including the famous fat tire. I guess you've got to pay the bills? I call BS.

ccrida, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Yellow, fizzy, okay head that leaves a collar of thin soapy lace.
S: I don't really smell much. Wheat is crispy, maybe a hint towards citric hopping. Mildest of coriander aromas as well.
T: Mild flavor, grain husk and wheat dominant, very little spicing or hops. Very straightforward, but nothing much to speak of.
M: Thin, weak, and washes away quickly. The wheat is easily washed from the palate leaving no aftertaste. A bonus here.
D: Easy to drink, but so is tap water. A little more flavor here would be much appreciated. Light is the operative word in the style description here.

BretSikkink, May 16, 2007
Photo of SaltyLime
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bartender offered a slice of lemon or lime to go along with the beer, but passed. I don't think it would have made a difference.

Appearance - Bright yellow, little to no head, but plenty of fizzy carbonation bubbles.

Smell - Citrus smell, like a lemon grass.

Taste - Light lemon. Not bitter and the opposite of what I expected from a wheat ale. Simple.

Mouthfeel - Very light, almost like a flavored water.

Drinkability - Refreshing. I might have it again at the restaurant I was eating at since it does little to impact the flavor of the food. However, I'm pretty confident that I won't go out and buy this one for home, unless it's to please a "lightweight" guest.

SaltyLime, May 04, 2007
Photo of dren
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smells of light citrus and yeast. Tastes fuller than expected. Orange flavors up front with a finish of the wheat. After a few more drinks a lime flavor comes out. No yeast flavor detected. This beer isn't quite as light as a white but is just as drinkable. I'd be able to down several on a hot summer's day. A good overall beer. I'd buy it again. This reminds me of the Blue Moon Spring Ale but better.

dren, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of beeragent
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. The beer poured a clear straw, forming a very thin head, and leaving very light lacing. Very light citrus aroma. Taste is very light wheat citrus flavor. Light mouthfeel. Overall, a very non-complex ale. Light and smooth. A very sessionable brew, but lacking in the flavor department.

beeragent, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of dstc
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow with thick white head which leaves a nice fine white lace behind as you drink. Smells clean and a bit fruity but nothing overpowering. Feels somewhat thick and smooth in the mouth with a nice balance of carbonation, not too watery as I was afraid it would be. Tastes quite pleasant with orange flavors coming out but very mild, not too strong. Overall a very enjoyable beer from New Belgium.

dstc, Apr 17, 2007
Photo of smcreator
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Preferred serving from the bottle instead of from on-tap (see below). The head that forms from the tap kills some of the citrus flavor.

T - When ordering on-tap, I would recommend drinking a Belgium Black Ale (1554) to make the Sunshine Wheat taste much sweeter since I believe some of the flavor gets lost for this beer coming from a keg.

M - The volume of beer that enters the mouth from a large-mouth glass causes the carbonation to be more abrasive.

D - This beer is easier to drink out of the bottle. With a lower ABV of 4.8% compared to other New Belgium beers it is easier to control a pleasant buzz. After a couple of these beers, the abrasiveness of the carbonation will start to compound might change the overall flavor.

smcreator, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of BigJTrucker
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this 12oz bottle from Market of Choice, Eugene, OR

Pours with a white head that settles vey quickly. Very clear yellow in color. Not overly carbonated. Not a lot of odor or discernable taste. Nothing that really stands out or offends the senses. Its good to see a beer that doesnt try to do too much. Extremely easy to drink, but other than that, nothing to write home about.

BigJTrucker, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of mickeymac
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Without the foamy white head, this beer would look very similar to a glass of Bud or Miller. Yes, it looks fizzy and yellow. The smell is beyond subtle and almost non-existent. Some spicy notes are barely detectable, but it has nothing else in the nose. The taste, unfortunately, is as lackluster as the smell. It's far from offensive but it has absolutely nothing to recommend it. Mouthfeel is a bit light. On the bright side, it does slide down the gullet quite easily on a warm early spring afternoon. However, this is a passer in the future.

mickeymac, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of Dubbercody
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a monster fluffy white head leaving fantastic fluff on the side of the glass. Really clean and clear beer, interesting for a wheat brew. Light smell, of fruit and almost a raw dirt smell, I don't know any better way to explain it but that. Taste is pretty redeeming, the wit brings a little bit of game here and for a very light brew it delivers what it says it will.

All in all easy as heck to drink, can't beat the price when you find it on sale for $6 a 6-pack. I'll enjoy this with my butt sitting in a patio chair and the bar-b-que getting ready to be lit.

First stop on my day with New Belgium.

Dubbercody, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow, clear. Moderate head and carbonation.

Wheaty sweet. Sub-candy sugary maltose. Light ripe fruits, grape, apple, banana, and hint of lemon. Mild piney/citric hop bouquet. Light but fairly complex.

Limon/orange-essence edge of wheat malt followed by that New Belgium taste that seems to be their common backbone. Little more orange flavor develops in back. Sticky toffee sweetness, especially in aftertaste.

Moderate carbonation, mild foamation. Frothy and light.

Decent wheat beer. Not the best.

MrHungryMonkey, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of goochpunch
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a bright oglden with good deal of carbonation, a thin head, and some decent lacing. Smell is, of course, wheaty, in a cracker-like way. Good amount of coriander and citrus peel as well. Smells rather clean. The flavor starts off really pleasant with the coriander, orange, and wheat, but then finishes a bit too grainy for my tastes. Light bodied and kind of prickly. This is far from stellar, but it is a good drinker, at least.

goochpunch, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of hckyfn9999
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poures a crystal clear yellow with a nice thick white head. Aromas of wheat and citrus, in particular lemon and a little orange. Taste is of spicy wheat and citrus. A pretty drinkable American wheat. A beer that I don't mind having once in a while and makes for a nice summer session brew.

hckyfn9999, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of drseamus
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sunshine Wheat Beer pours straw colored with a pure white head that falls quickly. Bubbles rise quickly from the glass. I smell wheat, citrus, and hints of pine. The flavor was mostly wheat with subtle citrusy hop flavors in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is great. Very full bodied for the color. The drinkability on this is good, and would be better if it was warm outside instead of Upstate NY in December.

drseamus, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer. It's a little spiced. It has a lemony and citrusy flavor. The head wasn't impressive, and the nose was nice but faint. I enjoyed this beer. It would probably be better as a summertime beer. It has a bit of a dry aftertaste, but it wasn't bad. Mouthfeel was good and the beer was easy to drink. It's worth a try.

jasonjlewis, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of shamus
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this at Illegal Pete's on Pearl St. while visiting Boulder. It's a straw yellow with a thin white head. Crisp and clean with a mild inoffensive flavour. A mild wheat beer to be sure. I tried this on a cold November day and I'm sure I would have enjoyed this more had it been summertime. To be fair I should try it again as I was more in the mood for a pale ale but my girlfriend wanted to share this with me.

shamus, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of woodychandler
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

woodychandler, Oct 27, 2006
Photo of afinepilsner
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle

Sunshine Wheat Beer was a pale yellow color with a white head. The head did not last long and soon only a ring remained. The aroma was mainly citrus. The taste was lemon, a little sweet upfront and drying out in the finish. The body was light with medium carbonation. Drinkability was fairly good. Overall it a pretty average wheat beer.

afinepilsner, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of loren01
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours an unimpressive bud light color, small white head, no lace down the glass
S: Smell is peppery, spicy some corriander also smells of wheat, also smells yeasty
T: Taste is sweet, same spiciness/peppery taste as in smell. Has a good bit of wheat maltiness
M: Seems to have quite a lot of carbonation, quite prickly on the tongue
D: Wasn't expecting much upon first pour, however smell and taste is very above average for wheat beers in my opinion.

loren01, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of CU570M
4.55/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think New Belgium did it right with this beer. I caught hints of fresh vegetables and citrus. Overall kind of earthy tasting but very fresh. Definately something i could drink on a hot day.

I drove about 30 minutes to get this beer and would gladly do it again.

CU570M, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into weizen glass.

Pours crystal clear light-straw yellow. Paper white head which doesn't last long then settles to a cap. Minimal lacing.

Faint fruity aromas mixed with light malt scents.

Very low wheat-malt flavors with a touch of sweetness at the end.

Watery with high carbonation lends a slight bite with a relatively smooth finish.

I was expecting something a little more flavorful, similar to a hefe weizen, but its decent for what it is. The filtering of the yeast seemed to remove some complexity. This beer is still refreshing, a good pick of the sunshine of summer.

BeerSox, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of thefenst
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy blonde very similar to a witbier or Hefe, with notable carbonation. Very small head, but with some lace making it all the way down to the bottom of the glass. Wheat and malt are in the forefront, with honey, lemon, and coriander also making an appearance. Overall, sweet and clean with a crisp carbonated mouthfeel. Very drinkable, especially during the summer.

thefenst, Sep 02, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A light pale, hazy blonde with strong bubbling emerges after the pour. A mild head and par foam is also noted. Plenty of light fruit and spices hit the nose. A nice wheat character is developed nicely in the front of teh palate. Thats where the spices make the best presence. PLenty of lighter malts also felt in the tongue. A pretty ginger ale dry, sweet beer nice and refreshing. Perfect for stefleling hot Summer afternoons and nights.

scruffwhor, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of Lancer211
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz into a weizen glass. After reviewing this brew I plan on pairing it with some tasty fresh mozzarella cheese.

A - Not particularly impressed, although, not really surprised, either. Macro colored. Somewhat flimsy head, disappears relatively quickly. Small ring of head remains around edge of the glass. Less than average lacing. Filtered, thus crystal clear.

S - Sweet, coriander with some lemony notes. Wheat is present but not as strong as I had anticipated.

T - Quite sweet, and very predictable based on the smell. Lemon is very present, with a bit of an undertaste of orange peel. Finish teases you with a shadow of hops.

M - Very clean finish, the citrus flavors linger longer than anything though. Can definitely feel the carbonation but it's not overwhelming. Goes down smooth.

D - Give me a thousand of these on a hot, muggy summer day like today, and you'll have a thousand empties by tomorrow. It's quite a thirst quencher. During the winter, though, I might only finish 500.

Lancer211, Aug 13, 2006
Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 816 ratings.