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

Willy Wheat Ale - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Willy Wheat AleWilly Wheat Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

155 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 14.07%
Wants: 0
Gots: 11 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2003

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.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 51
Reviews by Mic-Lee:
Photo of Mic-Lee
3.77/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of nickd717
3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of HalfFull
3.57/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a growler picked up at the brewery less than a week ago. Pours a clear(unfiltered?) deep straw with a short lived half inch of head. Lacing is likewise light but present, along with a surface ring. Closer to a Kristalweizen in appearance, this beer isn't pretending to foray into the Hefeweizen arena as are many of the style.

Smells of light malt, wheat germ, wet bread dough and a drop of vanilla. I pick up an occasional tiny bit of sour lemony funk. Minor enough that I won't find it if I seek it.

Taste is smooth and crisp with definite wheat on the palate as well as a subtle and light hazelnut in the background. A light sweetness closes with some nondescript fruit flavors. Mouth feel is good as the beer has a light yet decent structure in the finish and a good carbonation. This, along with the light ABV make it quite drinkable, yet not extreme for the style.

A nice non pretentious and subtle ale that likely gets frequented during those hot summer months in Alpine.

Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Some times you find a beer that may not be immensely complex or for that matter it may never win an award, but it delivers a very satisfying and delicious experience. This is one of those beers. The body holds a clean honey complexion while the nose and flavor mirror that. Fresh wheat malt, honey sweetness, a touch of bran or barley and a soft perfumey flower petal meet the nose and palate. The feel is very clean and easy and though it drinks like water it is never watery. Perfect for hot weather or to be a simple sessionable ale.

Photo of TexIndy
3.06/5  rDev -8.4%
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]

Photo of smakawhat
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%

Poured from the bottle into a wheat ale glass.

Thin head, off white, and very fleeting, barely makes a finger off the pour. Settles to a very thin puck, but gives a thin slightly hazy barely golden lemon body. Lots of carbonation, but barely keepin a two milimeter collar alive. Beer looks a little dead on arrival.

Aroma is not particularly impressive. Slightly dough malts but an off sense of rancid grain a bit. Manages a husky quality but there's an off sensation that almost borders vegetative character. Some decent quality and faint sweetness and chew hiding, but totally buried. Very borderline could go either way.

Palate mentions to show up. A surprising splash of lemon citrus and density, but an extremely fleeting palate. All the flavor is in the aftertaste. Bakery white bread finish and dough. Surprisingly very wet texture, with a flattened soda like carbonation. Warmth brings a bit more controlled flavor and drinkability, as the chewy character seems to build.

There's a good beer in here screaming to show up, but it just doesn't get out. Much better APWAs out there, and unfortunate bit of underwhelming brew from Alpine. Still drinkable.

Photo of mikesgroove
2.76/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz Bomber served right out of the fridge and poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very nice and crystal clear amber color with a very nice three finger high head of fizzy and foamy white froth across the top. Very nice retention as this hung around for a good few moments before finally settling down into a thin pillow of white the reached across the entire top of the glass and started to coat the sides. Very nice carbonation as there were streams of visible bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass and racing towards the top to reinforce the foam across the top. As the contents of the glass went down there was some nice side glass lace that started to become visible and drip down the sides of the glass giving it a rather nice look for a pale lager.

S – The aroma was very musty and just chock full of malts. This had to be one of the strongest aromas of musty bread that I have ever smelled coming off a brew. To be honest it set me back a little bit as I was not expecting it to be so strong of an aroma. Some other hints inside alluded to lots of grains, and a somewhat muted, but still present smell of apricots, very clear with this smell, and not really sure where it was coming from, but it was definitely there, but suppressed by the large dose of malty bread coming through.

T – Now again I have to be honest an upfront, this was not my favorite thing in the world that I have ever tried. That being said I can proceed. The flavor seemed old to me, like, I know this seems weird, but a sweaty gym sock, if you know what I mean you can figure where it went from there, if not, it was a very musky, almost moldy type of taste with a somewhat muted but still bitter aftertaste, but not really in a good way. It did not taste “skunked” or bad really, just a style and a flavor I do not care for. There were hints of apricots again, and a ton of bread and other malts inside, but to be honest, it just was not there for me. I am not sure just what it was, but every sip seemed a little more painful then the next, so I just chugged the rest of it.

M – Very light bodied ale, with more then ample carbonation; this was definitely trying to be a light crisp refreshing sort of drink. Now had it not been for the taste, it would have pulled that off just about perfectly, as the feel was light, well carbonated, and crisp and clean. It was the flavor that really threw me off and made it quite unpleasant.

D – Now this is a loaded question. On one hand, it is low ABV, crisp, clean and well carbonated with a very light body. Now all of this would lend itself to being a very sessionable ale with loads of drinkability potential. For me though the flavor just killed it. Again it’s hard for me to describe, but it was just a musky old type of flavor that I just did not find enjoyable.

Overall I was sad that this did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I really did think this was going to be quite good and actually was going to try and get some to have as it seemed like it would be perfect to enjoy while watching a game or something, but the flavor was just not up to my tastes. It’s a shame to as I have loved everything coming out of Alpine so far, just not this one. But you know what; I try so many new things I am bound to find one I do not like. I am still glad I tried it though, different, just not my thing.

Photo of franksnbeans
3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw color with a minimal white soapy head. Nothing much in the nose, a little grain and a hint of sweet malt. A minor nut flavor then the rest is corn like. Very minimal taste. Thin in the mouth but not crisp. Drinkable if you want something very light and flavorless.

Photo of rallison
3.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly hazy light golden color with mostly no head.

S: Citrusy with a slight toasted character. There is also a touch of diacetyl as well, unfortunately.

T: Relatively light flavor with citrusy hops and a decent touch of toasted malts. Diacetyl is slightly present in a sweet, buttery presence. Decent, but nothing special.

M: Decent. Lighter body with medium carbonation.

D: Decent. It's easy enough to drink, but the flavor does get a bit boring.

Overall, meh. Nothing really drew me back to this. It's ok, but I really don't see buying this again. Maybe, without the diacetyl. But, as is, it is flawed and a bit too simple.

Edit: Man, the diacetyl is getting annoying.

Photo of Sixofsigmas
3.01/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a slightly and I mean slightly muddled pale yellow. It's almost clear, but not quite.

Smell is wheat-ish...some sort of faint citrus...lemon most likely

Taste is strangely not overly dominated by wheat. Very mild and indifferent. You can taste that it's a beer lol.

The mouth is bubbly and pleasing.

This beer is very drinkable, but as others have mentioned, it's a summer brew best encountered at the beach or on a hot day.

Photo of Gusler
4.07/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Draught @ Alpine Brewery
The beer pours a limpid gold, the head smallish and bright white, creamy texture and the lace a thin sheet to cover the glass. Nose is sweet with a slight hint of fresh ground wheat grain; clean and fresh, start is sweet, the grain profile pleasing and the top light to the palate. Finish is leanly acidic, the hops mild and gentle, clean to the palate, oh how I will yearn for this beer after a long and hot day here in the desert.

Photo of errantnight
2.48/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

#2 in my quest to try The Other Alpine Beers Which Are Not Pure Hoppiness... and equally, if not more, disappointing than the last.

Pours a pale, slightly hazy straw with minimal head and no lacing.

Smell is initially a bit musty and tangy, amidst a grainy corn character.

Tastes... like a bad mix between a mediocre pilsner and an American Wheat. Which makes it out to be worse than it sounds... it's kinda neutral and non-terrible, pretty much what one would expect from an American Wheat of no particular distinction. Flavor is a bit muddled by a cooked corn note, particularly early, but it's pretty clean, medium to light bodied, crisp, largely inoffensive. The corn is just a bit much, and it ultimately intrudes on the grain and wheat characters, which are also pretty straightforward. No hop character to speak of except as part of an appropriate balance.

I'd expect a beer of this caliber from a "nothing-special" local brewpub, or as a reasonable home-brew... not from a brewery capable of so much more. Don't bother.

Photo of Sandalwood
3.16/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a golden yellow color with a smell white head with a lot of carbonation. The odor is grassy, herbal, spicy, citrus, lemon, apricot, orange, slight passion fruit. The taste is refreshing, light, lemon, spices, clove, coriander, fruity, slight bread like, not bitter.

Photo of dmsohyea
2.03/5  rDev -39.2%
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.

Photo of gatornation
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
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

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden color with a nice white head. The aroma is of a little wheat sweetness and some caramel-type flavors. The taste is quite similar, with a sweet graininess. A little bit of citrus there as well. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium with moderate levels of carbonation. Drinkability is quite good here. Alpine has the reputation of brewing great hoppy beers, but I was quite impressed with nearly everything else they did as well.

Photo of woodychandler
3.36/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Photo of FosterJM
2.95/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

C

Photo of notchucknorris
3/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of Trilogy31
3.26/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of mactrail
2.88/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Photo of srandycarter
3.52/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

to view more.
Willy Wheat Ale from Alpine Beer Company
77 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.