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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
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 223
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 28.73%
Wants: 5
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
DC Brau Brewing Co. visit their website
District of Columbia, United States

Style | ABV
Hefeweizen |  5.20% 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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 223
Photo of corby112
2.58/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly hazy, pale golden yellow color with a frothy, two finger white head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very light colored for the style and possibly over carbonated. The pillowy white head takes forever to finally settle leaving chunks of soapy lacing behind.

Spicy aroma with a strong peppery clove presence that's followed by earthy hops, bready yeast, malted wheat and ain't light fruit. The clove character dominates the nose and overpowers most of the other wheat beer notes. Underneath, there are some stale, soil-y hops, bread, bubblegum, banana and apple. No citrus character or much else of interest in the nose. Other than the clove, the aroma is kind of bland.

Light bodied and a bit more interesting than the nose suggests but still somewhat pedestrian. Some dry, earthy clove and zesty citrus rind countered by bread, wheat and banana. Finishes with earthy hop bitterness that is fresher and more flavorful than the hop presence in the nose hinted at. The citrus character which was missing in the aroma shows up strong in the flavor with slightly tart lemon juice and zesty lemon pith. The flavor and mouthfeel fall off mid-palate resulting in a watered down, mediocre beer. Very easy to drink but not all that interesting.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
2.65/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tall pint glass, head is off white, open bubbles that dissipate to nothing. Color is copper, not too dense.

Smell is sharp, slightly bitter, not much hefe like profile and no noted malt profile; presenting notes are sour like, not vinegary but off and phenolic.

Taste is presents sweet at first, feint malt notes, no bread or toast, sweetness turns to slight sourness, more fruity than vinegar like but not an expected flavor.

Mouthfeel is dry, sharp and biting on the tongue.

Overall, this did not taste like a hefe to me in the least. Bad can? possibly. Maybe poor storage. Disappointing as a hefe, but still drinkable and slightly funky.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.79/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz can into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy golden color. The head is a finger high and white in shade. Retention isn't anything special, but it rarely is with this style. Streaks of lacing stick to the glass. (3)

Smell: There are some nice hefeweizen elements here: I pick up nice notes of banana, bubblegum, coriander, and clove. The wheat is there, too. There also seems to be something here a bit off. It does seem slightly acidic, and maybe a bit too buttery. Sadly, these flaws dog an otherwise decent hefeweizen fairly significantly. (2.75)

Taste: Nothing on the taste buds really pop out well. I do get some initial banana flavors, with a wheaty finish that's also slightly buttery. The butter goes away after a few sips. This tastes rather muddled, making this hard to review. Well, I can say this: it isn't great. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: This feels oddly heavy and sluggish on the palate. I feel some of that yeasty astringency post-swallow, but it just isn't enough. Carbonation is also rather low - maybe that's it? Drinkability isn't bad by any stretch, I just expect this kind of beer to be effortless. (3)

Overall: DC Brau didn't nail this one. The bare bones are there to be a rock-solid hefeweizen, it just comes across muddled and indistinct. Maybe because this isn't fresh enough? Not really, I've had similarly aged (~3 months) hefes that were far better than this. I won't be returning to this one (unless it's free, natch!) (2.75)

2.79/5: El Hefe may be speaking, but I can't hear him well

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Photo of gabrielsyme
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Nice hazy color with the right amount of lacing. Unfortunately, the appearance is the best part of this beer.

S: Slightly fruity smell, nothing too prominent.

T: A little bit of spice followed by some lager-y sulfur taste.

M: Very smooth and clean, well carbonated.

O: Average.

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Photo of RandomExile
2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: murky orange, barely passes light, scant head forming ring
S: must, orange
T: musty clove, orange, metallic aftertaste with bubblegum
M: medium-bodied, carbonated tang
O: unimpressive, almost a farmhouse hefe

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Photo of jwhancher
3.07/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Looks good with nice fluffy head and good carbonation. Relatively clear at first, then added yeast dregs to cloudy up this hefe. Smells clean and balanced with notes of wheat, clove , bubblegum. Tastes similar yet has a weird metallic flavor going. A little too thin bodied for my liking. Could drink a lot of this in the warmer months, only if they fix whatever metallic element seems to be going on.

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Photo of flexabull
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Can courtesy of joshdykema, thanks again!

Pours a bright and slightly hazy gold color with a very nice white head. Looks pretty good, but I like Hefeweizens to be cloudy.

Aromas are spicy, with notes of cloves, light lemon, and yeast.

Taste is light, slightly spicy, with some yeast, clothes, and mild lemon zest. It's a decent tasted beer, but the flavors are suble and muted.

Mouthfeel is thin, and almost a bit watery.

Overall, a decent but flawed hefe. This beer need some tweaking to be good.

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Photo of MrIncognito
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Pours a mostly clear bold body with a tight frothy white head. Nice lacing and retention.

Nice hefe flavors of yeast, light banana, and citrus. A tad flat in the flavor compared to some better German offerings.

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Photo of Jonada
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz can with no freshness date. Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden yellow color with 2 fingers of a white soapy head. Decent retention and light spotty lacing. Body is lightly hazy with some visible fine yeast particles. Medium levels of visible carbonation

Smell: Banana taffy, wheat, big yeast character, medicinal band-aid aroma, bubble gum.

Taste: More of the same as the aroma. Banana, spicy wheat/yeast character,lemon rind and a light tartness in the finish that I'm not a huge fan of.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp. The wheat contributes some body, but overall it has a somewhat watery feel.

Overall: Not bad by any means, not impressive either. I wouldn't say avoid it, but I see no reason to seek it out.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Those who know the DIstrict of Columbia know that summers can get really unpleasant there. Enter El Hefe Speaks, the antidote to a muggy summer's day. Brought back to Orange County, consumed on a hot day, on to the beer:

Very foamy on the pour, settling to a soapy two-fingers thick white collar. Dark blonde colored is the beer, cloudy, leaving a few spots of lace on the glass. My nose recognizes that smell; the clove, banana bread, kiss of fruit, done acceptably and on target per style. The taste goes on a similar route. A note of sharp berry hits, banana bread, clove, overall relaxing and easy going. This floats in a light bodied stream of booze, one that doesn't show much carbonation where a few more bubbles would have been preferred.

El Hefe is solid as a rock.

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Photo of JayQue
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad hefe. Has all of the right touches, just not that pronounced or memorable. Pours the right hazy straw gold color with a delicately bubbly white head. More lacing than many of the hefes I have had. Aroma has some cloves, bananas and other spices, just not as robust as I would have liked.

Flavor is pretty godd, but once again, pretty subdued. I like a more astringent, spicy hefe flavor.

Mouthfeel is just right, a little bite in an overall crisp and smooth beer.

A good, well priced averagy hefeweizen. Just right for a warm day. There are better, just as easily available ones out there. Having it in a can is a bonus.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a Flying Dog goblet (Please Please Me / DOB 7/3/14)

A: Hazy blonde copper color with no lacing, but a nice thick head upon pouring, which sticks around just long enough.

S: Yeasty goodness, lots of bread and cracker notes. Some nice slightly fruity esters when you pour and smell the foam.

T: The smoothness inherent in this is a key part of the flavor. It is like liquid wheat. If you like Hefeweizens then you will love this.

M: Smooth all the way through.

O: So much wheat. Got it to keep up with DC Brau. I know some people that will surely love this beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of banana, some spices. Taste is refreshing, some spice, a bit of banana, some mild wheat, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good choice on a hot night.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canned 4/28/15. 5.2% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of wheat, caramel, banana, spice, and slight chalk aromas. Taste is much the same with banana, caramel, spice, and cornflake flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is a solid American take on the style and has an interesting cornflake flavor after each sip.

Serving type: can.

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Photo of delta490
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
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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Photo of Thorpe429
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
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 MadCat
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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 +3.6%
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 billab914
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
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 brentk56
3.8/5  rDev +5%
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 tigg924
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
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 hagbergl
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
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 bubseymour
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
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 tlazaroff
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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 MNishCT77
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
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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El Hefe Speaks from DC Brau Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.