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El Hefe Speaks - DC Brau Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
El Hefe SpeaksEl Hefe Speaks

Educational use only; do not reuse.

39 Reviews
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Reviews: 39
Hads: 216
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 28.65%
Wants: 4
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
DC Brau Brewing Co. visit their website
District of Columbia, United States

Style | ABV
Hefeweizen |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drabmuh on 08-27-2011

El Hefe Speaks! is a traditionally brewed German-style Hefe. It is fermented around 65°F and hopped with German Tettnang hops. 11 IBUs and 5.3% ABV make this one extremely drinkable. If you think it speaks to you as well, definitely try a glass... because it will be gone before you can say "sweater weather". “We’re tremendously excited to bring this specialty brew to the District,” said DC Brau Co-Founder and CEO, Brandon Skall, “Working with other local brewers on this project has made presenting the final product even better.” The beer was brewed at DC Brau in early August. “El Hefe Speaks” uses the Weihenstephaner yeast strain, a classic, popular German wheat beer strain used worldwide.
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 216
Photo of siege06nd
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the brewery poured into Rhettroactive's Bruges hybrid glass...

A: Pours a very cloudy straw gold color. Beautiful. A two finger eggshell head erupts from this golden deliciousness and gently settles to a quarter finger. Some gobs of head swirl on top of the beer while a fine coat of lacing slides down the sides of the glass. The only hefe I've seen that looks better is Dancing Man Wheat, and that's a huge freakin' compliment.

S: Banana, clove, and the faintest of orange and apple. A creamy spiciness. Really good.

T: Clove, allspice, and creamy banana. Also some light pear. Creamy, smooth, very well balanced, light yet savory. Doesn't linger as nicely as the best of this style, but it's certainly better than most.

M: Light, creamy, and delicious. Cotton candy like. Medium carbonation. Very smooth. Very well balanced.

O: It's getting redundant, but DC Brau hits it out of the park (again). This is really a delicious hefe, so much more than what I am accustomed to from the style. The balance of the light and refreshing with the creamy and savory is just perfect. Smell and taste are absolutely delicious. Great job Brandon and Jeff!!!

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Photo of nimrod979
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a .5L weizen glass.

Appearance: Pours a dense orange-ish color in the thick part of the glass with a more yellow haze in the thinner part. Cloudy. 2.5 finger frothy head with retention that just won't quite. Sudsy lacing and legs all the way down.

Aroma: Banana, lemony citrus, cloves, and wheat

Taste: banana fruity esters. clove spiciness. bubblegum. lemon zest. wheat. a little sweet.

Mouthfeel: light on the palate. Soft carbonation creamy texture. Wet. Finishes clean.

Once again. A solid brew from DC Brau, even if it's a slight departure from their flagship brews.

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Photo of GoodOmens
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can date on the beer is 06/07 and poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a cloudy yellow orange color with one inch of bright white head. My can seemed fairly carbonated but the head dissipated after a few minutes.

S - Smells of oranges, spices, citrus hops with a strong presence of banana.

T - A little disappointed here vs the tap I recently drank. Again the strong presence of bananas but the can doesn't seem to have the punch the on tap has.

M - Light body with a tingle of carbonation. Very easy to drink. A perfect hot day summer beer.

O - This will be my new goto canned DC brau if I can find it. A very refreshing summertime beer. My GF, who typically hates Hefe's, loves this.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer on draft at the brewery, also picked up a growler.

Beer is orangish and really hazy, nice thin white head of small bublbes, moderate to high carbonation, some retention, some lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is very yeasty, bready, lots of banana, some cloves, nice, a little grainy, I like the aroma a lot.

Beer is light in body and wet on the palate, the overall beer is quite fruity but finishes a little grainy but not dry. There is a minimal aftertaste. I enjoyed this beer and am looking forward to the growler I have.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wheat ale glass at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC.

Classic creamy white head and dark lemon body with orange edged hues. Lots of sticky lacing too, looks super refreshing.

Nose has a muted mushy lemon sense and mild clove, bringng a classic wheat chew with just a hint of dry husky ripping grain.

First taste is unexpected. Sweet milk, and cream, with slight grain on fnish and mushed banana. Mild carbonation but noticeable giving to a lemon soda with light fizz, slightly wet but not too bad.

Overall, this stands with the best of them for classic style. Very enjoyable these guys just can't seem to do no wrong. I particularly dig this cream angle on this brew.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice fresh take on a Hefewiezen, a tad too sweet but very, very quaffable.

Presentation: Growler from DC Brau's NE headquarters. Small dryboard with general growler offering notes. Tasting room staff offers a nice and diligent description of the brew, with an enticing free sample. Notes Alc. by Vol. (5.3%) Served in a Weissbier glass.

A - Very hazy deep gold pour, towering frothy head, fair retention, with good surface memory and lacing.

S - Nice nose, wheaty with a sweet character… Banana and clove start to emerge…

T - Sweet wheaty malt at first, maybe a bit too sweet but luckily never cloying and quickly followed by nice yeasty notes, with good banana and clove esters, characteristic bubblegum touch… Rich malty flow with that sweet fruitiness… Hint of cloved lemon peel in the finish…

M - Medium… Medium/light body with soft carbonation and a creamy sense.

O - It probably deserves the A- because ultimately it flows like a charm, with a pleasing range that lingers asking for more.

Notes: Kicking things up a notch. It is great to see this kind of operation take place in the district… The overall brewing experience, tour, tasting room, change of legislation to fill growlers, etc is quite remarkable and welcome. The pricing for a growler fill of this quality feels right ,and one can only hope that this venture solidifies and becomes a reference with this energy and bracket of quality.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 64oz growler to Bruges hybrid glass of 8/29/11
*From notes

-- Thanks for sharing, John. --

A: Extremely cloudy yellow-amber. A good pour yields a 2.25 finger head and some incredibly thick and sticky lacing.

S: Banana, but there's a firm maltiness to it, unlike so many in the hefe style.

T: Traditional hefe flavors of banana, yeast and so forth. There's also a decent amount of clove here. But what really stands out is that damn malt, which adds a sense of balance to the beer that I've never encountered in a hefe. The finish is yeasty, as it should be, and there's no trace of liquid smoke (thank god).

M: Considering how dense the beer appears, it's a slight bit sharper then expected, though luckily it keeps the brew from being too cloying, and makes it that much more approachable.

O: Regardless of not being a hefe guy, DC Brau's El Hefe Speaks is one of the finest American Hefe's I've encountered. Supremely well done, Brandon & Jeff.

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Photo of Rbodacious
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful rising sunglo.
Zesty German Hefe.
Smooth creamy banana wheat and pepper.
Silky whipped cream with good carb fizz.
Happy to add this local to the summer arsenal.

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +10.2%

My local, frequent in-person trader, tone77, recently dropped this off for me in his latest batch of beer in support of The CANQuest ™. I am always anxious to see what he has for me when he stops by!

From the CAN: “Limited-Release German-Style Wheat Beer”; “About ‘El Hefe Speaks’ [:] This traditionally brewed German-style wheat is our collaboration with Chris Frashier and John “Solly” Solomon, who are both well known for their delicious brewing work in the Washington DC area[.]”; “Please Recycle – Pack In, Pack Out”; “Serve in a Tulip, Goblet or Enjoy from the CAN[.]”

The CAN spoke to me in the form of a loud Crack! I decided to speak back in the form of an inverted Glug, which resulted in both a pseudo-cascade and the formation of two-plus fingers of bubbly, French Vanilla-colored head with good retention. Nose was heavy on the banana esters, filling my kitchen with a banana bread-like smell. Color was a cloudy Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7). Dense lacing began to line the glass as the head fell. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full. The taste, while quite banana-like, was also balanced by a pleasant clove spiciness. I frequently rail against hefeweizens due to their (usually) banana heavy esters when I know how to make one that could be clove-forward, which is what I prefer. This was quite good! I may never be a big fan of the style, but I do like to note when I find an example that I find drinkable.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 06/09/12 notes. Had on cask at Meridian Pint during their/BA/DC Brau Drink Local event. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a murky yellow orange color with one inch of bright white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of oranges, spices, citrus hops, bananas, lemon, wheat, bread, and grains. Nice nose, lots of bananas and oranges which I like a lot.

t - Tastes of bananas, spices, citrus hops, bananas, bread, grains, wheat. Some lightly bitter hops in the taste; again quite nice.

m - Light body and no carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty good hefeweizen. Glad to see them tyring new things and another good beer from DC Brau. Lots of oranges and bananas, and easy to drink, I look forward to having this one again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is hazy and yellow hued, with a half inch of fluffy, white head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass. The aroma is pleasant, but understated, even weak. Fortunately, the flavor picks up the slack a bit. Nice balance, with soft wheat malt and light notes of banana and clove. This beer really shines in the mouthfeel category. Creamy, soft, and smooth, this brew goes down effortlessly. Overall, a solid brew. It's a good omen to see more quality brews emerging from our relatively new local brewery.

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Photo of 31Sam13
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Won a t-shirt from this brewery that was shot out of one of those cannons--at the regional air-guitar championships of all things. I decided to check out their beer. My brother, who lives in DC, said they weren't great. I would have to echo that sentiment. The only thing that stood out about this was the can.

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Photo of malloyca
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, dingy yellow or light caramel color, with a prominent, frothy white head. Well-balanced aromas of banana, clove, orange cream and yeast. The banana and clove aromas carry into the flavor and are similarly well-balanced and not too sweet. This mildly carbonated beer stood up well to pizza and sandwiches but would also be excellent on its own, with or without a twist of lemon.

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Photo of soccrgump
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Straw colored w/ a thick two finger white frothy head. Smell of bananas, and lots of bubble gum. Taste of some banana, not getting much of the bubble gum, which is a shame; peppery at the back; nice hop balance. Mouthfeel is smooth, nice carbonation. Overall an OK hefe, but much better ones out there. Would drink it again.

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. purchased in DuPont Circle, NW D.C., poured into a 10 oz. DFH glass, drank 10/1/13 over a half-hour.

A: 2/3 - yellow-to-golden coloration, slightly more clarity than other hefeweissbiers but still cannot see or read through, huge 3-4 finger head on first pour that settled into a rock frothy white head; moderate-to-high carbonation; no alcohol legs

S: 10/12 - lots of class hefe flavors pouring out...curaco orange peel, cardammon, coriander et al.

T: 14/20 - as expected from the nose, there are some classic hefe flavors to be detected here too...lots of wheat malt and spicy hops; slightly lingering aftertaste is exceptionally refreshing and, as crazy as it may sound, makes me long for the dog days of Summer in D.C. for a thirst quencher

M: 4/5 - light-bodied and high carbonation = refreshing; very pleasant

O: 7/10 - not crazy about the style, especially when I have brewed homebrew examples that supercedes this offering, but it's pleasant, refreshing and welcomes the Boys of Summer as much as Aidan Moffat croning away live

TOTAL = 37/50

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the nose I get banana, wheat, and a nice breadyness, also are spices such as clove and something reminiscent of rye.

The beer is a really dark yellow to a light orange color with a crisp white head which laces lightly down the glass. Lots of carbonation visible in this one.

The flavor is like a punch in the face of banana right up front. Biscuits and a nice earthiness take shape in the mid palate but it finishes again with banana. Those are honestly the only two things I get from this beer, but it's well balanced and quite memorable.

Heaps of carbonation in this one just clean your palate, the body is on the medium side, allowing you to sip this, or quickly pour it down to beat that summer heat. I'm enjoying this beer a lot right now.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned in April/drinking in August (4 mo?). Look is somewhat dark and murky. Not bright like I like my Hefs to look. Head is ok on pour but the retention isn't the best. Smell is solid with slight banana/clove as you'd want. Taste is muted, not sweet nor grainy. Kinda watery. Overall, its ok, but many, many better options out there in this style that are easy to get.

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Photo of hagbergl
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I've been enjoying exploring DC Brau's lineup lately and picked up their hefeweizen, El Hefe Speaks. Few things go with summer as well as a nice, cold German-style wheat ale. Poured from the can into my Dogfish Head snifter.

Appearance (4/5): Huge, billowy white head. Three fingers. Reduces quickly to an eighth inch of foam. Straw colored and cloudy from the yeast, though it clears up somewhat as the beer settles and the head recedes. A good looking hefeweizen.

Smell (3.75/5): The yeast is, at first blush, a little odd smelling– somewhat like dentist's office toothpaste. It isn't a bad smell, just a tad more medicinal than I'm used to smelling in a German-style hefeweizen. Dominant notes are clove, bubble gum, and banana.

Taste (3.75/5): El Hefe Speaks is wheaty beyond belief. Each new sip brings on more wheat flavor in the foretaste. Clove is pronounced in the back. I'm slightly disappointed that there isn't much banana flavor to speak of in this hefe, but not every one of them can or should be a Weihenstephaner clone. The highly yeasty profile may turn some people off, but not me. A solid tasting beer, for certain.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): DC Brau really nails the mouthfeel on this one. Extremely well carbonated and has just enough body, while remaining light–some domestic hefeweizens really suffer from deficiencies in both categories; not this one. It has a nice creaminess to it right from the first sip. Very drinkable and quenching, though the dominant yeastiness of the beer may cause others to feel differently.

Overall (3.75/5): El Hefe Speaks is a very solid beer and a good one for DC Brau to keep in its summer seasonal rotation. I recommend this beer to anyone that likes hefeweizens. While not as great as Weihenstephaner's take on the style, it has its own unique strong points. This is a seriously wheaty, yeasty take on the style that really is a great summer quencher.

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Photo of tigg924
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Solid, clean, way above average domestic version of a hefe. Hits all of the expected flavors. Nice banana and clove flavors. Could easily do a six.

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Photo of brentk56
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Arrives with a cloudy honey amber sheen; the creamy head leaves a nice webbing of lace behind

Smell: Vague elements of banana and wheat with a twist of spicy rye

Taste: Banana and wheat, up front, with a spicy rye twist in the middle; the flavors flatten out in the finish, which is a bit of a demerit

Mouthfeel: Rather thin and watery, lacking the creamy body I like in the style; moderate carbonation

Overall: A bit of a half a hefe; starts out interesting but the finish and mouthfeel are lacking

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Photo of billab914
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into my Terrapin glass. It poured a hazy, light golden yellow color. A dense, foamy, inch thick foam filled the top inch of the glass. The head did fade almost completely away though after a minute or so.

The aroma shows a lot of the sweeter, wheat malts. Banana, clove and a little lemony citrus all come out in it as well. Pretty nice aroma for the style, it's light, crisp and refreshing.

The taste has a lot of the sweeter wheat malts showing up throughout. The banana is pretty prominent as well, while the clove spice seems to make an appearance more towards the finish.

The mouthfeel is towards the lighter side with carbonation being moderate for the style. Overall, it's a pretty good beer of the style. The wheat malts may have felt a little dominant and sweet at times, but I liked it overall. Pretty easy drinking and refreshing beer for this hot afternoon.

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Photo of MadCat
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Nice golden color with decent white head, leaves some lacing

Smell: Nice noble hop and wheat aroma

Taste: Wheat, clove, spice flavors up front. Next is some hop bitterness and noble hop flavors

Mouthfeel: Light body, good carbonation

Overall: Good but not fantastic or special hefeweizen. Could get much more yeast and wheat flavors in this. Not disappointed though.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a hazy straw/orange juice color, head is 1+ finger airy head, bubbles are huge, retention is poor lacing slides down the glass quickly. Color of beer itself is appealing but the head leaves a lot to be desired. Constant carbonation travels to the middle of the service all the way until I finish the brew.

S - Really nice. Lots of banana, clove, lemonish citrus, wheat, and bready aroma.

T - Tons of banana up front, which I dig. Banana and clove spices transition into a nice kick of lemon zest/fruity esters and a nice soft but well pronounced tart funkiness at the finish.

M - Well carbonated, medium bodied/thickish relative to the style, which I quite like. Quite drinkable but not as much so as most hefe's I've had.

O - Hate the look. Smell and taste is more pronounced than other hefe's which I really like. Mouthfeel is a bit thick for what it is, which I kind of like but that the same time it kind of defeats the purpose of a hefe. Don't regret drinking it, and would maybe pick it up if I had to pick up a 6er of hefe - hefes arent really my thing but if i want more flavor but am stuck with a hefe this isnt bad.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a mini snifter.

Pours a very cloudy bright yellow color with a very nice white head and plenty of lacing on the way down. Great retention. The nose is fairly tame, bringing notes of light clove and bubblegum. Mild wheat comes through in the flavor in addition to the traditional German yeast presence. Light body and slightly chewy with good carbonation. Finish asks you to drink more. Pretty good overall and a nice first attempt at a German style.

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Photo of delta490
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy light straw color with a creamy-ish white head. Head has moderate retention and some nice lacing. The aroma is spot-on with nice esters and fruit. The taste is a little washed out, like it had some water added after it was brewed. The flavors are there, they're just muted. The body is thin, as well. It's not bad and definitely an easy drinker.

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El Hefe Speaks from DC Brau Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.