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Willy Wheat Ale - Alpine Beer Company

Willy Wheat AleWilly Wheat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

108 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 3.29
pDev: 16.11%

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
An American Wheat ale. More than half the malt used is White Wheat known for a sweetness not found in red wheat or malted barley. Unfiltered and easy to drink.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2003)
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 46 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear golden yellow with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, wheat, hay, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with wheat and grain flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that has a pretty solid wheat and grain aroma, but the flavors are a bit boring in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 06:41:50 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of gatornation


3.31/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a hazy golden yellow with a white head that recedes to a fresh collar
S-wheat malt and lemon grass some citrus and fruity peels and biscuit smells
T- watery wheat with a lemon spritzer taste some malts and bread slight hops
M- watery with medium carbonation
O- easy to drink but not very tasty

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 02:35:50 | More by gatornation
Photo of lsummers


3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bright golden yellow. Cloudy with a thin lisp of an off white head.

Smell is fantastic, lemon with a touch of orange and some floral notes. Biscuity sweetness.

Taste is initially not as impressive as the smell. It's very refreshing and crisp but has a watered down feel. That lemony clove hit initially with some very subtle wheat malt on the backend.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Maybe too light.

Overall, I think this is a good session beer, it just has a lighter, watered down note that doesn't serve it well. I was initially hoping for a more flavorful beer based off the smell.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 01:17:51 | More by lsummers
Photo of Mic-Lee

3.8/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden color. No lacing, about two fingers of foamy loose head. Smells lightly of sweet malt. Flavors of hazlenuts, with delicate, faint floral hops in the background. Extremely light, drinkable and refreshing. Medium to low carbonation. Light mouthfeel with a touch of creaminess.

Overall: Another delicious brew from Alpine. This beer is very refreshing and sessionable in a major way. It has a great balance of richness and lightness from the floral hops and creamy nuttiness. Growler worthy.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 03:00:25 | More by Mic-Lee
Photo of kojevergas


2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've grown to love Alpine within the past week after visiting their brewery. Purchased at the brewery two days ago.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Poured with average vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours evenly, with no signs of flawed carbonation. Pours a thin one finger beige colour head of no real cream and poor thickness. Colour is a clear pale yellow. Looks pretty off for a wheat beer. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Stale malts and plain barley. Background hopping. Stale lemon. Pleasant fresh wheat. Vague citrus. No yeast comes through. A mild strength aroma. I don't get the "nutty" character the label describes. Maybe in the taste...

T: Yeah, a little bit. There's a nutty character there. Plus the usual suspects: wheat, malts, and barley. The nut is mainly on the open, generating a strange structural balance. It's not watery, thankfully - but it is quite simple. I like what they're going for, but it's a bit pedestrian by Alpine standards. There's nothing unique or special here. It's clean and pleasant, but offers little in the way of complexity or subtlety.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated. A touch thin. Loses its body in the third act, leaving an empty flavour that is a rather bland way to close it out.

Dr: Pedestrian. Alpine does far better. This is one to skip if you're getting Alpine. I wouldn't get it again. Something of a disappointment. Overpriced. Drinkable but meh. Low alcohol.


Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 05:01:27 | More by kojevergas
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.18/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 9.11.12.

A - Pours a clear, light yellow with a fizzy white head that is gone quickly.

S - Nutty and sweet. Very light.

T - Nutty and a touch of sweet carmel. Very pilsner-like finish.

D - Good carbonation with very light body.

O - Light and crisp, nice nutty and carmel flavors.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 06:03:19 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of notchucknorris


2.95/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Alpine

A: Pale golden color with a thin tan head. Looks very lager-ish.

S: Toasted malt and sweet wheat aroma with a little mustiness to it. A little sweeter than I'd expect.

T: Lots of cereal and buttery yeast throughout. A hint of wheat, but there's a huge sweetness throughout that makes it a little hard to get through. Not really a fan.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 01:09:00 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of ngeunit1


4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-yellow with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet wheat with some with some citrus hop, lemon, and a touch of malt.

T - Starts off with sweet wheat flavor with some lemon zest and a touch of citrus hops. Through the middle, some light nutty malts come through with a bit more citrus hop. The finish is a mix of sweet wheat, bit of malt, and lemon.

M - Light bodied with moderate lively carbonation. Smooth with a lightly sweet and dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Very nice light wheat beer that does not sacrifice too much on flavor. There is a nice balance of wheat and citrus flavors while still staying very crisp.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 07:58:30 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of mactrail


2.9/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Light yellow in color with a slight foam that drops off fairly rapidly. Carbonation on the tongue is pleasant, however, for a while. Slightly sweet at first sip. Flavors are thin. Body is light. A little bit of orange peel flavor. Hopping is "mild and gentle," as they say on the label. Aroma is faintly malty and cardboardy. Drinkable, but it's more like a lager gone slightly off.

Ends with a metallic taste on the lips and some earthy, dirty hops. Certainly the classic flavor profile for the American wheat category, which is turning out to be one of my least favorites. A 22 oz bottle from the Olive Tree in OB.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 04:17:54 | More by mactrail
Photo of 100floods


4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What better wat to spend a warm January day off in San Francisco than pop open a brew?

Willy pours a crystal clear pale yellow. You can see a decent a mount of carbonation, but no head.

Sweet, malty, even grassy aroma. Big wheat malt aromas. Some juicy yeast notes, too. Reminds me of summer.

Very crisp and refreshing. Nice balance of sweetness and wheat flavors with a hop finish for bite. The sweet notes remind me of honey and something close to the less citrus aspects of an orange. The medium body helps the flavors move along, but without missing anything. The low carbonation isn't the worst thing in the world. I think I'd be missing a lot of the flavors if this were a straight up wheat ale. The malt start and the hoppy finish provide a good balance and not a collision. Perfect summer beer, or just a great beer to wind down with, without getting to suacy.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 22:58:56 | More by 100floods
Photo of pmarlowe

District of Columbia

3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tulip glass.

A: Pours clear pale with a quarter finger of white foam which quickly fizzles out, leaving a ring of large bubbles.

S: Briefly I get some lemon, reminding me of a chardonnay, and then some malt. The smell is pretty faint.

T: Basically just malt with some sweetness. After awhile the sweetness kind of wears you down. Decently long finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Kind of flabby.

O: Pretty mediocre, and the sweetness limits its drinkability. I'm amazed at how mediocre Alpine's regular rotation is given that it's one of my favorite breweries.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 06:06:23 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of inlimbo77


3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a Deschutes snifter glass. No bottle date present, but believe it's from late August from the trade I ran.

A: Pours a clear yellow color. Half finger bright white head. Not a lot of lacing. Low alcohol so no real feet.

S: Really malt forward. Their is some crisp hop flavor but age might have got to this one.

T: Really crisp clean wheat/pale ale. Even with some age it still has some hop bite. Not much going down here.

M: Light bodied with no real mouth coating.

O: I gotta go B- on this Alpine beer, which pains me to do. I love all their IPAs but this one falls a little below the mark.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 15:19:50 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of kevanb


2.53/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bomber into an Alpine Pint glass.

Pours a really bright golden straw color, no head at all. It's super transparent and looks basically like a bud, not very inviting at all. It smells better than it looks, but not much better, acidic, bit of wheat, but really smells more like a lager than a wheat ale. Again, I'm reminded of Bud here. Flavors are bland, no wheat at all, more acid and bits of lemon, not even a hint of biscuit or bread. It goes down pretty easily, I'll give it that, has a surprisingly nice body and the carbonation is a bit much, but not annoyingly so.

Verdict: Not very pleasant at all. I drain poured it, a real let down from Alpine who are pretty good at making a world class beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 03:36:29 | More by kevanb
Photo of scottfrie


3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into SN tulip pint glass.

A: Pours a clear light golden with two fingers of fluffy bright white head that slowly faded into a thick fuzzy film that left a good network of lacing down the glass.
S: I get notes of dry wheat, chalky yeast, cracked grains and maybe a hint of spicy hops.
T: Follows the nose with crisp flavors of cracked wheat and clean yeast and grains. Light flavors all around, and nothing distracting. Finish is lightly sweet and the aftertaste has just the fainted suggestion of citrus. Not getting any hops at all.
M: Light bodied, crisp and drying mouthfeel, and light refreshing carbonation.
O: A really clean and refreshing drinking beer, but it’s pretty low on flavor. I bet a lot of BMC drinkers would like this. It’s good, but there are better versions of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 20:36:39 | More by scottfrie
Photo of regspeir


2.5/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Disclaimer - I doubt this will ever be I style I could love, even though this brewery makes some of the world's most wonderful beers. Got this in a trade with hamilton23 (thank you!). 22 oz bottle into a wizen glass. This beer poured a light yellow with a tiny white head which disappeared almost immediately. There was almost no lacing to speak of. The nose was wheat, yeast, and some lemon zest but very faint. Taste was similar, i.e. wheat, yeast and a tiny lemon tinge. There was little carbonation and the mouthfeel was very light. While not displeasing, this is the most forgettable beer from a great brewery. I have had 9 Alpine beers and this is the ONLY one I would pass on, if offered.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 19:26:57 | More by regspeir
Photo of snpub540


2.45/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very fizzy pale yellow hue into my pint glass. Had a one finger white head that turned into fizzy bubbles fast. Not a bit of lacing.

Can't really say much about the smell. Grainy, slightly bready, and that's about it.

Taste was pretty much like a generic American lager. Really had not a lot going on.

Mouthfeel was very thin. Not a fan of this one at all.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 07:36:22 | More by snpub540
Photo of FosterJM


2.95/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

520th review on BA
Draft to pint
@Alpine Beer Pub

App- This was almost water clear with some yellow food coloring. No head just a thin layer of bubbles.

Smell- Very very light. A base of wheat with a little bit of peel or zest on the nose

Taste- Taste follows the nose. Its a run of the mill APWA but doesnt bring a whole lot to the table. Glad I had this on tap vs bottle.

Mouth- Light bodied and high carbed. Left just a watery wheat taste.

Drink- It was okay, just a base beer to appease the masses with something light. No real flavors behind it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2011 04:26:21 | More by FosterJM
Photo of dmsohyea


2.03/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On-tap at the Alpine brewpub.

A - light, straw yellow and very clear. No head or lacing to be seen.

S - Getting a good bit of skunk on the nose. Not enjoying the smell of this one at all. Some faint honey, wheat and orange notes come through under the skunk.

T - Tastes worse than it smells. A little lemon and orange but the yeast is overpowering to all other flavors. And the yeast tastes bad to me. You may like it if you're bit into whitbeers, but this one isn't to my liking.

M - Extremely watery and carbonated. Think Corona.

O - Not a beer I'll be sampling again. It hurts me to crush Alpine like this, but I couldn't finish 4 oz of this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2011 06:40:27 | More by dmsohyea
Photo of Trilogy31


3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear light gold with a finger of frothy head into my duvel tulip. Nose has a touch of biscuity malts with some grassy herbalness, also a bit of skunky hops. Almost smells like a cross between bud and heinken. Very refreshing mouthfeel and tastes of light clean crisp malts, grass and light nuttiness with an ever so light hoppiness. Very much like a quality bmc. Nice for what it is but would rather drink a bud at the price willy costs. Slightly more interesting with the hint of wheat and i feel better about myself drinking alpine but all in all its really not a special beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 05:46:00 | More by Trilogy31
Photo of Eriktheipaman


4.15/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a strange orange/yellow with white head that fades quickly and doesnt leave much lacing.

Smell is very faint and all I can pick up is slight biscut.

Now for the taste. At first sip it almost tastes like your drinking nothing, but the out of no where...WOW. Amazing malt comes through to kick you in the throat. I could see why this beer would be given a C+ average here on BA but I think its a great beer. Its very sessionable and the malt kick is very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 02:54:21 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of srandycarter


3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Light golden, pretty clear, not much head nor lace.

S - VERY light grass, wheat straw type smell. Not much else.

T - Pleasant enough flavor, matches smell pretty well.

M - Light bodied, ample carbonation, not much to balance.

D - It's hot and this is perfect right now.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 20:48:18 | More by srandycarter
Photo of nickd717


3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber from K&L Redwood City. I was so excited to see Alpine there that I just had to buy this one.

All right, time to Free Willy, or as iTunes' idiotic censorship algorithm puts it, Free W***y. Willy comes out of the bottle looking the color of, well, something that came out of a willy: pee. If not for the fact that it had better head retention than the infamous yellow liquid, I would be a little wary of drinking this. The beer is crystal clear and I don't see much to differentiate it from, say, Budweiser.

The aroma is wheaty, grainy, and subtle. Just a little citrus, without much real hop presence.

The flavor is also very simple. Wheaty and grainy with sweet pale malt and lemon. Very mildly sweet and not very bitter - not much of anything really. This is subtle as all hell.

Very smooth on the mouthfeel. Goes down almost like air. Fairly dry mouthfeel with a body on the lighter side.

Overall, well, I guess it's decent for what it is. Session beer? HELL NO! Not a session beer! There are British people who would kill me for claiming that, being >4.000% ABV. It is sessionable, or successionable, though.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 17:22:32 | More by nickd717
Photo of woodychandler


3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My pour resulted in a finger of foamy, bone-white head with solid retention. Color was a sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a light malty sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a mild sweetness. The label mentioned "a slightly sweet, nutty flavor." I got the nuttiness on the finish, kind of pecan or almond. This was perfect following a day at Petco Park in the blazing sun.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 14:49:03 | More by woodychandler
Photo of billshmeinke


2.6/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into my Hulk pint glass.

Thin bubbly white head that quickly dies down to a thing ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Extremely pale straw golden yellow in color and completely clear.

Smells almost like a light lager. Nothing really special here.

Tastes kinda like a light lager as well. Some light sweet malts. Mild hop presence on the end. Pretty unimpressive.

Mouthfeel is pretty low bodied with medium carbonation and a nice bite.

So basically this isn't a whole lot better than a light beer. It was kind of a bummer.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 07:58:26 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of TexIndy


3.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a weizen glass. No dating info but Milt picked this up at the brewery and shipped it so it's fresh. Was a slightly hazy pale yellow color with massive carb streams. It had a good sized white head that settled into a constant small foam cap. Quick sliding lace with some sticking.

The aroma was very weak. Lemon, wheat and not much else. Alpine usually has such good aromas but this one is way off the mark. The taste followed the aroma. Weak with lemon and wheat. The whole thing seems to be dumbed down to just be easy to put down without much consideration on the aroma or taste. It probably has a home but I'm way down the road from this one. Mouthfeel was light and a little watery.

Overall, a miss from an outstanding brewery. Just didn't have anything there to grab onto. Not available here - got shipped as an extra to fill out the box full of Ned's. Rotation - one is enough as they have more more excellent beers to have when out west. [N;N]

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 01:16:37 | More by TexIndy
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Willy Wheat Ale from Alpine Beer Company
76 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.