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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 kmpitz2
2.38/5  rDev -31%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to the mystery beer-fairy that left this on my doorstep today. This one pours a very transparent slightly golden yellow. The nose is overpowering orange citrus. No malts come through in this one. The head is non-existant. The flavor is citrusy and thin. There is a grainy/grassy finish. Blah. Mouthfeel is light. This would be a good lawnmower beer on a very hot day, very cold. Bleh.

kmpitz2, Oct 15, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a decent pale gold and yellow color with a modest head. It's not leaving much lace behind.

Banana-like esters do come through, in the smell as well as the taste. Typical citrus flavors come out in the flavor as well. The mouthfeel could use some more body, but is easy to get along with.

It's light and refreshing, with a little Belgian snap to it.

watermelonman, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of woemad
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spopkane for $1.19. "Best by" date of "8SEPT04", so I'm taking that into account here.

Poured with very little head, and lo lacing at all. Is a pale gold color.

Smell is rather mildly malty, with a tiny bit of lemon noticeable.

Taste is pretty much like the smell. Mildly malty and very slightly lemonish. Not much going on here, though what is here doesn't taste bad.

Mouthfeel is a little too thick for a witbier. This is almost medium bodied, and for a wit, that's too much.

This is ok in a bland sort of way, but not very memorable. Since this one is past it's best by date, I'll give it another chance sometime, though it didn't taste spoiled in any way. There's just not much here, it seems.

woemad, Oct 06, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed in October, 2004 from a 12 oz bottle. Pours with a small head that disappears quickly with virtually zero lace. A deep yellow straw colored liquid sits in my glass. Smells of cloves and corriander fill the air. Maybe a grassy smell as well. Tastes pretty much like the smell. Dated Oct 14, so it's pretty close to it's freshnesses end. Tastes kinda like a witbier bud. Not the best thing. Has a bit of character though. Would like to try it from the tap and see the difference. No need to do the bottle again.

GClarkage, Oct 05, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Super light straw. Bridges of lace all over my goblet.

A spicy sweetness on the nose and blatant doses of coriander and/or orange peel. The herbal taste fights back a little plastic feel and taste in the malt.

I like this beer because its well-carbonated without being bubbly. Its so incredibly light it makes SN's wheat seem like a grain-bill whopper by comparison. I can't believe this is almost 5% - I knocked these back while doing yardwork with no hindrance.

There's a nice little bit of hoppiness here, but overall - well, its a light beer that would fit a few occasions perfectly. Would I lust over it or even really buy it? Nah.

GreenWBush, Oct 03, 2004
Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent as well. It has a mild wheat scent with limited yeast fruitiness. It seems to have some pale malts as well. The taste is good. It has a crisp and spicey wheat flavor with some malts. There is a touch of coriander and bitter orange peel in here to spice up the taste; nice touch. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good seasonal wheat beer. I was skeptical with the aroma and appearance, but the taste made up for it. This is a good drinking beer.

WesWes, Oct 02, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sat round waiting for a flight from Omaha to Denver and I fancied a brew. Not much to choose from amongst the bottles of pseudo-Irish brews, Lite’s, Ultra’s, Low Card shite except for this. So I figured I would give it a whirl.

Hazy, as opposed to truly cloudy, yellow gold body, thin looking, like someone produced a ‘Hefe-Lite’. Decent head, bone white and expansive with good staying power. Plenty of carbonation and a decent feel on the mouth. Lemony wheat feel is retrained in the nose, but detectable, however sweet malts are a little stronger. Spritzy feel in the mouth as the carbonation comes into play during the first swallow. Sweet malt in the start make way for a very clean hint of lemon wheat middle and a grassy finish that is precise and short. Crisp and refreshing and easy to drink, with or without food, but the thin aspect could make this a very boring offering on its own, unless it was very hot outside, as indeed it was when I supped this in air-conditioned surroundings.

Overall, felt like very much like a “Lite” Wheat Beer, and whilst it was better than the other Big3 choices on offer at the Airport, it is not one I would seek out again. Rather a disappointment actually, I expected better from New Belgium. Way too thin.

TheLongBeachBum, Aug 29, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden colored beer with a medium head with average retention. Aroma is quite strong on the coriander and orange peel side and a bit weak on the wheat side. I think just a bit more balance would have been appreciated. The Coriander and the orange peel, which lent a funky feeling, also overpower taste. Carbonation is a bit too thin and body is just above average. This is not a bad beer just not what was expected.

Phyl21ca, Aug 23, 2004
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sunshine Wheat pours a light and shiny golden shade with a two finger head that doesn't stick around very long. Carbonation is pretty high. Aroma is mainly of wheat, but a nice lemony zest is also detected. Taste is fairly light-bodied, especially the wheat. Lemony finish is the strong flavor here. Flavor is nice and light, but I think it could have been a little more complex. Drinkability is good, this is a nice summertime brew. This seems like a solid example of the style (based on the three witbiers I've had), but I'm sure there is plenty better out there.

Gagnonsux, Aug 05, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a darker golden yellow with slight haziness, the head is a nice 2 inch thick beauty, however doesn't hold up through the session, not much lacing to speak of. The smell is strong of straw and buttered bread, slight light sweet sugar malts detected. The taste is clean and refreshing but lacking alot of taste, the bready straw taste is what comes clear, a hint of lemon detected, the two don't creat the harmony I like. Light bodied and refreshing but not the best or even close really.

beertaster13, Jul 30, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bright yellow, or at least more yellow than amber. The head is eggshell white in color and leaves nothing more than a short collar of lace that follows the beer down the glass.

The aroma is very nice for a witbier; it's more candied lemony and orangy than most. There's also an appealing soft wheatiness that is, thankfully, superceded by citrus. The more I smell Sunshine Wheat, the more I like it.

Unfortunately, the flavor doesn't deliver on what the nose promised; primarily because the body/mouthfeel doesn't measure up. What mild wheatiness and orange/lemon flavor reaches the tastebuds is quickly washed away. And I don't appreciate any coriander at all. The flavor is enjoyable, there just isn't enough of it.

I get the feeling that there's a pretty decent witbier lurking in here somewhere if New Belgium would only let it out. Sunshine Wheat Beer is drinkable in a thirst quenching sort of way, but if you drink primarily for flavor, you're sure to be disappointed.

[note: the style has since been changed to American Pale Wheat Ale, which explains a lot]

BuckeyeNation, Jul 25, 2004
Photo of Loki
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: Cloudy, golden honey color with lots of suspended particles. Streams of carbonation.

Smell: Fairly muted nose of pepper, yeast, fruity esters. Reminds me of fruit loops.

Taste: Biscuity malt, banana bread, cloves, mild spice. Flavors of orange peel.

mouthfeel: one of the longest finishes I've had in a beer. Sticky middle.

Drinkability: Very good, not the best wit I've had, but better than most.

Loki, Jun 24, 2004
Photo of Bighuge
4.43/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like apple juice. Clear, light golden with an almost lifeless amount of carbonation. Almost the perfect aroma for a wit. Not too perfumey. Just the right amount of orange and corriander spice. A little wheat. And a little lemon. Nice refreshing brew. Good spicing on the palate. Some wheat tang. Just the slightest bit of bitterness. More carbonated than it looks, but could use a little more. Medium body. Leaves the palate clean. Not bad.

Bighuge, May 28, 2004
Photo of oberon
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light golden color with not much head to speak of no sediment no nice fluffy head not very impressive.Aromas of toasted malt and coriander but not much of the fruitiness I was hoping for.Taste like the aroma alot of toasted malt and some light spiciness with the toasted flavor coming thru again in the finish with a very light wheatiness to it.Not much to this beer thought it might be a little better but decent for the porch on a warm day like today.

oberon, May 27, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

New Belgium Sunshine is a pale American wheat ale that wastes a great Belgian yeast, but is spiced better than most other witbiers. Though striped of malt character, even for the style, the orange peel palate is soft and refreshing. The nose, unfortunately, is confused with coriander and some perfumey citrus. Much like the finish, it never really comes together. Stalking astringency. There's no real yeast character to back anything in this beer up, just some cloying esters; a good witbier relies on its yeast for structure. This tastes like what it is: a real Belgian beer made in America.

Relax, relax.

ngandhi, May 22, 2004
Photo of HochFliegen
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

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 .

HochFliegen, May 09, 2004
Photo of PSUDREW
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

PSUDREW, May 02, 2004
Photo of ChrisBowers
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

ChrisBowers, Apr 30, 2004
Photo of budgood1
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 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!

budgood1, Apr 29, 2004
Photo of chaduvel
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

chaduvel, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of MobBarley
4.58/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

MobBarley, Apr 09, 2004
Photo of BittRnessabounds
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

BittRnessabounds, Mar 26, 2004
Photo of ark57
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

ark57, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

RootedFool, Mar 07, 2004
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

UncleJimbo, Jan 11, 2004
Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 816 ratings.