1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Sunshine Wheat Beer - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 823 | Reviews: 358 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Southernbrew
2.87/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, pale yellow with no head, not exactly impressive.

Medium aroma filled with mostly lemon and spice, a bit lacking.

Taste is sub-par, I was looking for something along the lines of a hefeweizen or witbier and neither truly emerged. No real hop presence, ditto for the malt. It started with a bit of orange and coriander but never really went anywhere.

Somewhat disappointing, with limited New Belgium experience, I was hoping for a bit more. This would be a good beer if you just finished mowing the yard, but not for much else.

Photo of rajendra82
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 12 oz. bottle was provide in person by Southernbrew. The beer poured pale macro yellow with a small ring of fizzy bubbles (I’d not even call it a head), that disappeared rapidly. The aroma was totally unlike the attributes the label suggested. All I could detect was graininess and faint sweetish malts. There was no hint of banana, orange peel, or coriander on the nose. The taste was clean, and dull. There was no wheat beer fruity edge. Instead this was basically a purified and cleaned up macro. There was a lemony twang in the finish with a hint of spiciness, and the mouthfeel was a few notches above most macros. There was nothing really wrong with the beer except for the allusion of getting a Belgian style wheat beer on the label. I am sorry, but this is not even close to that.

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

Poured a gold/yellow color with a nice white head. The aroma was of the wheat and malt with a very nice citrus smell mixed in.

The taste greatly resembled the smell, with a good base of wheat and malt, with a nice citrus tartness off setting it. This is a very refreshing and pleasent beer, that is great to drink anytime, and especially during the summer.

Photo of Mitchster
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out to a sparkingly clear straw blonde, forming a modest rocky white head with average retention and some lacing. The aroma is soft with coriander and distant orange peel, and grainy wheat. Carbonation is moderate. The mouthfeel is lively with a light body and crisp finish. Taste starts with a touch of soapy, perfumy coriander, a sensation of macro-brew corn (I dunno what's doing that in this beer), very distant orange towards the middle with a light grainy sweetness and a very crisp, clean, lightly dry finish with mild bitterness, and a touch of soapiness from the coriander in the aftertaste. No perceptable off-flavors other than the abbreviated macro-twang in the beginning.

A decent wit...I prefer mine with more substance, yeast, and orange oomph, but this would make a satisfying thirst-quencher on a hot summer-day.

Photo of Beaver13
2.17/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The Sunshine pours a clear light golden. It has a fizzy white head that quickly disappears.

Its aroma is yeasty and floral with slight hints of bready grain and citrus.

The flavor is very mild and somewhat bland...sweet malts, some yeast, a little orange and coriander with a slightly acidic crisp finish. It seems a little thin and watery.

Overall, this is not a very good wit. I have had better samples in the past, but even those are pretty mediocre.

Photo of Rio
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from Barley's Brewhaus (Overland Park, KS) on 11/04/04.

Poured a bright gold/yellow color, a bit hazy, with a pretty decent head that faded to a fine lacing. The solid sweetness of the grainy, wheat aroma of the malts is supplemented by a bit of a citrus smell, as well.

Much like the taste, the grain/wheat taste of the malts is the solid base here, while the citrus tastes provide more of a highlight to this brew. Very clean and a bit of an acidic sharpness in the feel.

All in all, a pretty good wheat by a company that I believe has a pretty good line-up over all. Very drinkable, and very refreshing. I'm not a fan of tossing a lemon into a beer, but the citrusy taste that this one brings with it is a very good addition.

Photo of clvand0
2.39/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a very pale color - reminds me of bud light. Way too light - needs some cloudyness. The aroma was very much orange citrus and not much else. The body wasn't there. The taste was very much citrus as well. I was very disappointed with this beer. It isn't what I call a witbier. Uninteresting.

Photo of kmpitz2
2.37/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

Photo of watermelonman
3.74/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of GreenWBush
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of WesWes
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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.

Photo of beertaster13
3.09/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.47/5  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]

Photo of Loki
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +28.1%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of ngandhi
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Photo of HochFliegen
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
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 .

Photo of PSUDREW
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
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

Photo of ChrisBowers
3.54/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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