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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 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 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 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 mdfb79
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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 drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
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 Huhzubendah
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
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 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 woodychandler
4/5  rDev +10.5%

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 smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
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 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 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 Rhettroactive
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
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 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 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 Daniellobo
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
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 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 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 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 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 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 siege06nd
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
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 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 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 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 31Sam13
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
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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El Hefe Speaks from DC Brau Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.