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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.

776 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 776
Reviews: 355
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 14
Gots: 28 | 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: 776 | Reviews: 355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HochFliegen


3.35/5  rDev -3.2%

This beer poured a very faint yellow with a head that dissapated really fast. The smell is a citrus and kinda spicy smell to it. The taste sure has some spice to it from the coriander. Its a well rounded beer. Has a nice clean flavorfull aftertaste .

05-09-2004 07:38:07 | More by HochFliegen
Photo of PSUDREW


3.48/5  rDev +0.6%

Not an amazing brew, but it is above standard. Very very light, and very very pleasent. Like I said, not mazing, but not bad whatsoever.

Light golden, dark yellow color. Bubbly head that dissaptes quickly.

Smell is dominatee by the orange, and it is light present in the beer itself

Nice spicey wheat beer. Mixed the solid wheat flavor, with the orange taste, and citrus form the hops, and hints of coriander going throu it. Nice finish, with its dull sweetness that leaves you wanting more.

You could pound this all day long, You could down it any chance, easier then some BMC creation, but it's sublte cahrecters are the reason why you slwoly savor this well made brew

05-02-2004 04:01:14 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of ChrisBowers


3.53/5  rDev +2%

I had this beer at the brewery originally, and I think my excitement of actually being there a day after skiing in June and a week into a beer/skiing/fly-fishing cross country trip may have tainted my original judgement. At the time I thought it was an exceptional wheat beer, now I'd place it at average. I just cracked open a bottle brought to me by a friend and I was a bit let down. Its better than your average american wheat beer, but it doesn't approach other belgian style offerings such as Blanche de Brooklyn or Whirlwind Wit from Victory. Its a bit of a paradox... a filtered spiced wheat beer. Pours almost lager-golden with a nice fluffy head. Spices and orange are evident in the smell. At first taste, the beer is a bit too carbonated in my opinion. Not nearly as smooth as it could be. Spicing is evident, but not as pronounced as I'd expect from a NB brew. Finishes a bit tart and dry. Not a bad beer at all, just not up to what I would expect from NB.

04-29-2004 23:57:02 | More by ChrisBowers
Photo of budgood1


3.1/5  rDev -10.4%

pours out a mostly clear brilliant yellow colour...a thin fine bone white head appears and is sustained by some active carbonation. bits of lace. pretty clean smelling...lots of pale malts...sort of pils smelling. a hint of spice, too. very light spice and orange peel flavour; mildly malty and a hint of bittering hops. slightly fruity and estery. i'd say the mouthfeel and body are on the light side...keeping it quite slammable especially after a hot day like today. i'm not quite up to snuff on american versions of belgian style wits, but i'm sure this was brewed for delicate and finicky american tastes. therefore it's quite tame in my opinion.

a nice summer slammer.

thanks to beer angel for the sample!

04-28-2004 23:41:55 | More by budgood1
Photo of chaduvel


3.4/5  rDev -1.7%

Nice golden yellow color, lofty head. Smell is dominated by lemon and citrus, just a hint of pepper and spice. Taste is smooth and mellow, but very citrusy and lemony. The most lemony beer I've every had. Not much wheat or yeast to speak of, and the pepper and spices are subtle at best. Tasty but not spectacular.

04-12-2004 14:14:14 | More by chaduvel
Photo of MobBarley


4.58/5  rDev +32.4%

Now, I'm not a Witbier guy by any stretch but I have noticed a bias against them among the American quaffing community, esp. as represented on the 'net. Enough editorializing: this is kind, kind beer, all talk of "style" aside. Pours a sparkling golden, sunny color that has a slight green cast. Feeble head, nil lacing. Certainly, appearane is the weak link of this brew's attributes.

The smell reaches out of the glass and throttles your olfactory system with a nice range of fruit (pears), mulled cider, and a hint of tangy oak. The added herbs make their presence know as well, adding a green, springtime aspect.

The taste is mild but multifaceted and oh so refreshing. There is the semi-substantial wheat, hanging there like warm bread over the other, more intruiging, flavors. The frutiness of the nose come through, but this time it is clear that the frutiness is the result of the orange peel. A citric, crisp hoppiness tickles my velum before a sweet, herbal finish chock-full of coriander. Truly, absolutely appetizing beer.

The mouthfeel is thin, but refreshing. The carbonation makes this behave more like a malty cider or something. Drinkability is nice, but beware the increasing mustiness as the room temp approaches.

This is exemplary beer, and towers above most of New Belgium's brews, even Fat Tire.

04-09-2004 01:31:06 | More by MobBarley
Photo of BittRnessabounds


3/5  rDev -13.3%

I was hoping for some haziness in his beer, but I found none. Sunshine pours clear as well…..sunshine. A very clear straw color, and really looks like a decent lager, which is too bad considering it is a wheat. The smell was light and crisp with a bit of graininess. There wasn't a whole lot to the taste in this beer. It tasted like a watered down wheat. There was a very subtle hint of spices that were so weak I couldn't place them. I was hoping to find some complex yeast flavors, but found none. The bottle says it was brewed in Belgian wheat tradition, but how can that be if they don't bother with the secondary fermentation. All in all this seems sort of like the diet coke of wheat beers. If you want something light and refreshing, that isn't a lager, this is for you, but if you want an interesting and tasty wheat beer look elsewhere.

03-26-2004 02:39:30 | More by BittRnessabounds
Photo of ark57


3.88/5  rDev +12.1%

It is a slightly hazy pale golden color. The aroma is light and has some berries in the nose. The body is creamy yet light with some fruitiness. It finishes with a delicate bitterness. A decent refreshing wheat beer. Since NB is not local to me, I won't be stretching too far to drink this beer often.

03-24-2004 19:35:01 | More by ark57
Photo of RootedFool


4.08/5  rDev +17.9%

Served at The Sidelines in Arcata, California.

Arrives in a pint glass with a frothy, bright white head -- somewhat thin because the bartender kindly filled me to the brim -- straw yellow body. Smell is a subtle flourish of yeast and subdued malt sweetness -- earthy and solid. Taste opens with a yeasty hop bitterness that levels out into a slightly spicy blunt plain of malts and yeast. Aftertaste is sweet -- like buttery fresh baked croissants. Lots of carbonation -- body is thin and refreshing. Very enjoyable.

03-07-2004 03:50:42 | More by RootedFool
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.2/5  rDev -7.5%

Sampled on tap at Soulard Ale House in St. Louis, MO.

This wheat beer poured a clear, golden yellow color with creamy, white foam that settled but clung to the glass. The smell was very faint (but perhaps a slight fruitiness could be detected). The taste was slightly fruity with notes of wheat, some floral hops, light grain, and very light citrus. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium-light body and good carbonation. This was a decent, light wheat ale on tap.

01-11-2004 21:07:19 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of BierReise


3.28/5  rDev -5.2%

Big dissapointment. Reminded me of Harpoons UFO. There aren't many American brewers that can acomplish a decent wheat beer in my opinion. This one poured slightly hazy and gold with an ample white head. Aroma was ok, wheatmalt and spice perhaps. Flavor was not very good. Overall very average.

01-09-2004 20:33:11 | More by BierReise
Photo of BigRedN


3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Appearance: Light golden in color. Slightly cloudy as I finished pouring the bottle. Thin white head.
Smell: "Fresh" came to mind. It just smelled like a cool summer evening (strange description, I know). Hint of fruit and spice.
Taste: Wheaty and grainy, yet slightly sweet.
Mouthfeel: Light body, slightly carbonated.
Drinkability: Easy to drink. Easy to drink more than one on a sunny day. Definitely a good refresher.

Final Thoughts: First had on tap. Came served COLD, with a lemon. This is always done here (especially with the Boulevard Wheat). I HATE lemon wedges (or lime) in my beer. If I want fruit in my beer I'll ask for it. Had to buy a six to review at home. Can be had on sale for about $5.99 a six. Will definately purchase again, without the lemons.

12-30-2003 20:54:47 | More by BigRedN
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +7.8%

Tasted 12/28 at the Minturn Country Club.

This beer epitomizes the characteristics of some wits that I can't think of any word better to describe than "vegetabley," though I suppose, technically, that's not really a word.

My Sunshine was a strong straw colored beer with a pure white head and a strong aroma of wheat and the aforementioned vegetables (carrots comes to mind, though that's not exactly right). A nice dry finish follows, with hints of sweetness feathered around the edges.

Reminds me a lot of Blue Moon, but probably better--though I haven't had a Blue Moon recently enough to really compare.

Solid, but I don't know if I like my beers vegetabley...

12-29-2003 21:12:12 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +17.9%

Appearance: Slightly cloudy golden hue with a rather thin white head but it does leave behind thin strips of lacing between each sip. Aroma: Coriander blended with wheat bread sweetness some definite orange peel evident as well, a bit tame but nice and balanced. Taste: Incredibly refreshing with the smack your lips together sharp sweetness blended with the spices makes me happy a very refreshing tasty version of this style. Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied strong carbonation blends well in the mouth has a nice texture going down adding to the drinkability. Drinkability: Summer wheat that can be enjoyed year round in my opinion this is excellent so drinkable and tasty, I am a fan.

12-16-2003 17:52:58 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Boilermaker88


2.68/5  rDev -22.5%

Presented in a 12oz brown bottle with a “best before” date of 01-28-04 on the label. Poured a clear light gold color with virtually no carbonation and a piteously tiny skim of white bubbles for a head. Add no lace and I started getting a bad feeling about this offering from New Belgium Brewing Co.
The smell was dominated by a citrus aroma like orange peels, with a grassy malt smell and some modest spice (mainly coriander) serving as background. The taste had a orange citrus tang that immediately hit the tongue as did a dusty malt flavor. The beer’s spicy aspect briefly put in an appearance mid-range before beating a hasty retreat, leaving a grainy malt residue of taste in the finish. The feel was light, rather dry, and crisp.
Question: where’d the yeast go? I don’t know except that it wasn’t in the bottom of the bottle. While Sunshine Wheat is drinkable (I didn’t dump it), it looks more like a pilsener minus the hops profile. This beer is almost macro-esque in stature, lacking any of the more robust aromas and flavors of other witbiers. Overall, a dull, boring beer that I have a hard time believing is designed “in the Belgian wheat beer tradition” as stated on the label.

12-03-2003 18:23:12 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of inebrius


4.05/5  rDev +17.1%

Mow the lawn, schmow the lawn! If this beer had some unpronounceable name and an "imported from Belgium" stamp on it, it would be rated at least a half-point higher.

Lemon frosted sugar cookie nose drifts above wan yellow wheat. Flavor is partially spice, hop, citrus and sweet malt, but all balanced. Charged and light through the pipes. A quality brew even if you live in an apartment.

11-13-2003 01:44:55 | More by inebrius
Photo of RenoZymurgist


3.68/5  rDev +6.4%

Poured a clear golden with little carbonation and a thin white head. Aroma is spicy hops with a touch of coriander and a definite orange scent. Taste is very clean with a light fruity flavor that is citrus with a further citrus flavor from the coriander. It is very clean and refreshing though a little weak on the spices. It has a creamy maltiness that is very appealing and gives this beer a smooth flavor. Drinkable on a sunny day when the lawnmower calls for a sacrifice.

10-13-2003 07:21:36 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of andyj


2.65/5  rDev -23.4%

I was somewhat dissappointed with this beer because I have enjoyed many other Fat Tire beers within their line and I really feel they do a great job. In my opinion this one came off more as an American style wheat beer. It has a very nice unoffensive taste. A nice lemony-citrusy aroma and a mild spiciness. Compared to some other American Belgian-Wit beers, this one lacks the spiciness and flavor that is present in many other varieties like Allaghash or Victory. I would say this is more of an American Wheat/Belgian Wit hybrid. Drinkable, but not awe-inspiring.

10-01-2003 14:15:36 | More by andyj
Photo of jtfest


4.03/5  rDev +16.5%

Appearance: Pours a clear, light golden-yellow, with a small diminishing white head.

Smell: Subtle-sweet malt with little or no hop aroma.

Taste: Sweet, but not candy-like -- very rewarding and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, sparkling with medium carbonation. A satisfying and substantial finish.

Drinkability: Very high. This goes down easy without sacrificing flavor or substance.

Comments: This is a very nice wheat and a great summer drink. I wish I had discovered it earlier in the season. A warm afternoon by the grill with a few of these would have been really nice!

09-16-2003 03:02:25 | More by jtfest
Photo of beerguy101


3.15/5  rDev -9%

Light gold color, small foamy head. Aroma is grassy, grainy and sweet. Light bodied wheat. A lighter tasting, mild flavored wheat beer. Light malts and hops. Light and refreshing. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly malty.

09-05-2003 02:20:21 | More by beerguy101
Photo of jcalabre


3.1/5  rDev -10.4%

I sampled this on draught at New Belgium's brewery in Fort Collins, CO.
Appearance: This brew has a pale straw color and is relatively clear. The other Wit's I've had are cloudy
Aroma: The nose has citrus and yeasty notes in it.
Flavor: this is a slightly crisp, hot weather beer. Definitely something you'd have after mowing the lawn

08-27-2003 01:47:52 | More by jcalabre
Photo of kindestcut

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +3.5%

Yeah, I agree with my fellow BA's that this beer isn't great but I wouldn't call it "boring." In fact, when I have a wheat beer, I'm truly not looking for the Moby Dick of beers. Usually, I'm looking to be refreshed. Wheat beers are a hot wather beer to me.

The New Belgium Wheat poured a pretty gold with abundent carbonation. I poured the beer into a traditional weizen glass and was able to pour a nice head.

The aroma was definite spiciness with hints of pepper, coriander and floral.

The taste was definitely different than a German hefe. The New Belgium Wheat lacked the dominant citrus fruit flavor. However, it is quite refreshing and thirst-quenching. I have take points off for ftaste, though, if only for its lightness.

I will definitely have this beer again. It is good, not great.

08-09-2003 15:20:22 | More by kindestcut
Photo of alexgash


3.9/5  rDev +12.7%

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.

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


2.95/5  rDev -14.7%

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.

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


3.88/5  rDev +12.1%

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.

07-11-2003 18:56:18 | More by KroMagnon
Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 776 ratings.