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Island Wheat - Capital Brewery

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Island WheatIsland Wheat

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247 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 247
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 2
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Capital Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DaPeculierDane on 09-06-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 247 | Reviews: 103
Photo of CFbeermaker
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Started out light and golden but I like to take the last 1/3 of my wheat beers swirl them and add it to my pint glass. So now its a real murky yellow. Had a pretty nice head. It didn't stick around to long but there was about a 1/8 inch that held on.
S- Can smell wheat, yeast and a little citrus maybe lemon.
T - Pretty good. Tasted pretty much how it smelled to me.
M - light and creamy with decent carbonation.
D - I think this is a great session beer. I have had it in cans while on a river trip. Its good stuff.

Photo of brdc
2.97/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden beer with minimal haziness, no visible yeast. Almost no head despite all my efforts.
Nose is also faint, some yeats and bread but that is all.
Thin on the mouth, light taste of bread and alcohol, but mostly watered down.
A very unremarkable beer, will not have this one again.

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.31/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a nice yellow gold, a constant bubbling springs forth from below, a white cap settling down to film that looks remarkably like downtown Madison and its two lakes. The aroma is pale, wheaty malt, thats about it. Pleasant though. The taste is marginally better, some berries thrown in with the wheat. The body is pretty decent, the carbonation too low for the style. Overall, kind of a wierd American wheat, but not too shabby.

Photo of Beerman420
4.2/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorites. Good old wisconsin beer, great look, taste and drinkablility.
A - Poured out orange/bronze color. Medium Head, doesn't vanish quickly.
S - Tasty. A little yeasty with hints of sweet (almost bananna) potent aroma.
T - Very good. Goes down easy, good summer beer.
M - Not as "grainy" as other wheat beers. Best served extra cold.
D - Like other wheat beers this one is refreshing. Good with almost any food, not quite a pungent aftertaste as some.

This beer ranks about 5 on my top 10. Almost everyone I know that has tried it has liked it even though most are caught up in the "Budlite" crapshoot.

Photo of scaliasux
3.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance - Clear medium yellow. Short white foamy head with some staying power.

Smell - Mild sweet maltiness. Kind of bready. Good for style.

Taste - Begins with a very sweet surge. Quickly fades into a lingering grain flavor. Quite distinct. Hops not real noticable.

Mouthfeel - Light and well carbonated. Crisp.

Drinkability - This is one of my go-to beers, particularly in the summer. Light and refreshing and local. Well made beer from a high quality producer.

Photo of BeerCheese
4.18/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Straight out of the fridge. Poured form the bottle into my favorite glass. Poured surprisingly clear for a wheat, so I looked in the bottle and all the sediment was stuck to the bottom of the bottle. Medium yellow in color with thin white head. Very little head retention. Slight malty aroma, but I didn't really detect anything else. Medium/light body. Well balanced slight taste of hops and malt with a slight Citrus taste on the finish. I wonder if there may have been a more yeasty taste if I'd agitated at the finish of the pour to get the sediment into the beer? VERY drinkable beer. Alcohol not very detectable.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Capital's Island Wheat delivers the typical cloudy yellow-orange body and frothy bright white head that you'd expect. The head retention is very good, and it leaves rings of lace about the glass with each sip.

The nose is wheaty and yeasty with a delicate fruitiness.

Wheatish malt makes up the largest cut of the flavor, with it's delicate fruitiness (berries, very slight lemon) rounding it out. A mild yeasty tartness appears midway, cutting through the gently sweet and grainy malt, leading to a dry finish. The maltiness kind of sticks in the mouth a bit, but it's nice, and some low-key hops that weren't able to make their way through in the mouth come out to play. It's mildly bitter, allowing it to finish dry without lingering.

Very well done! An excellent American wheat that has at least some roots in the Bavarian style.

Photo of terrabyte
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy golden wheat color.

This has a yeasty smell with a high floral sweetness of banana, lemon and orange.

A very sweet beer. I taste flowers, orange, and lemon. Followed through by a heavy dose of wheat or barley biscuit flavor. It ends with a citrus tartness without much contribution of hops.

Mouth is a bit grainy (as expected) and creamy, but finishes well. Carbonation seems fine.

Drinkability: Too sweet for me, but I'm not a fan of the style. Watching others, I see it can be quite drinkable.

Although I love touring the brewery, and everyone there is really nice, I've just never been a big fan of their beers. They've always seemed just a bit similar to me. Obviously there's no way you can confuse this flavor due to its style. I also think they're being very bold with how sweet this is. This beer is also the only beer that sports a different styled logo. They KNOW that this beer is different, and are treating it so. Although it's too sweet for my liking, any wheat beer lover has GOT to try this.

Photo of granger10
3.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very hazy amber color with a medium white head. Decent lacing. Smell is weak with only notes of pale malt and wheat. Maybe a touch of bread. Taste is also a touch weak but most beers in this style can't really be too flavorful. A touch of wheat and some citrus lemon qualities to clean the palate in the finish. There's no off flavors or flaws in here which is most important when drinking a summer quencher like an American Wheat. Capital always shines in mouthfeel and drinkability and this is no different. Smooth, long flavors. Quite refreshing. Good for the summertime as a quencher but the style just doesn't do it for me as a whole.

Photo of pweis909
2.34/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This pours a pale golden, with a healthy white head.

Hardly any aroma at all, just a hint of grainy wheat. They must not have used a German weizen yeast -- no ester or phenol smells.

The flavor might kindly be described as delicate. Again, just enough flavor to hint that it is a wheat. No noticeable hops, esters, anything at all, really

The texture is soft, nice on the mouth, but the rest of it is bland, unremarkable. Drink it if you are afraid of beer. There is nothing here to offend you.

I am disappointed that I laid out $7.79 for this 6-pack

Photo of expatsteve
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy golden wheat color. 1/4 inch head, with heavy suds cover remaining. Medium viscosity.

Aroma: Banana notes with a light bitter finish. Plenty of nice yeast and wheat freshness.

Taste: Smooth, refreshing flavor fit for summer drinking. Not overwhelming or particularly heavy, with a mildly bitter aftertaste. Light, sudsy wheat finish that reminds me of more mild weissbiers without the sweetness. Nothing extraordinary, but definitely gets points for easy-going flavor and refreshing finish.

Mouthfeel: Light, smooth and slightly creamy. Not much flavorwise to detract from the finish.

Drinkability: Great summer drinking - the light flavor is what I tend to call macro/micro flavor, but after 30+ hours of driving in the last four days, this was totally what I was looking for - a beer that cleanses the palate and invigorates. Obviously not a beer for hopheads or big beer fans, and not a beer that will stun with its flavor, but definitely a nice offering within the style. But drinking a few while grilling or having a summer meal should prove satisfying.

Photo of Redrover
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at the Beaver Pub in Adams, WI. What a great beer bar!

Served in a standard pint, the beer is a cloudy dark yellow with a decent eggshell colored head.

The nose was decent but a bit faint. I picked-up some grains and bit of lemon zest.

The taste was a bit grainy with hints of citrus and a bit of grass.A touch of hops late.

I can see how this one could be a good crossover beer. It is slightly different, but close enough to a macro to be considered "safe".

The mouth is solid with a bit of slickness. Easy enough drinker, I could see having plenty of these with a fish fry or other non-spicy food.

Bottom line - well made but a bit boring.

Photo of Winter
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an unfiltered cloudy yellow in appearance with a white head. Aroma was somewhat lacking... hints of wheat malt with some feint lemon tartness. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and pretty clean overall. Wheat malt flavor from the get-go. Some mild citrusey (lemon) tartness midway. A mild graininess settles toward the back. The finish is crisp and clean for the most part. Lacking in hop bitterness.

I had put off purchasing this because I feared it would be nearly identical to Goose Island's Urban 312 from last year. For me that wasn't too far from the truth, but for some reason, I happen to like Island Wheat a tad better. Like others have said though, and the same thing I wrote about in my review of the 312 last year, this is probably created to appeal to the Spotted Cow and Cattail Ale group. A beer designed to cater to the masses.

Photo of aforbes10
2.85/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought a six pack of this for my wife (to accompany my sixer of bitter woman - no puns are intended... Tyranea's Bitter Woman IPA is a delicious beer and my wife is a sexy bitch) while we were on our camping trip in Gov. Dodge State Park. I smell wheat, nothing else. Taste is wheaty with a little bit of yeast. thin and kind of blah overall. Ok to drink on a hot day but overall not particularly satisfying. My main concern is that since this beer is so run-of-the-mill, I wonder if it's worth Capital's while to go out of their way to get wheat from Washington Island. Theres lots of wheat growing right around Madison, fellas.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Significantly cloudy amber with pastel lemon borders and a huge, creamy, pale beige head. The cap is persistent and maintains a gentle, 'rounded edges' rockiness as it slowly deflates. An acceptable amount of sudsy lace finds its way to the glass and is primarily arranged in short, linear squiggles. This is a good looking pale wheat.

As expected, the nose is short on personality. It has always been hard for me to get excited about pale malt, wheat and a neutral yeast strain. At least there's some mild sweetness to go along with the untoasted graininess. More hops would be welcome, as would a little clove and banana.

Island Wheat is okay beer given the style constraints. As noted, I'm not a big fan of APWAs, but if I had to drink one, this wouldn't be a bad way to go. There isn't a whole lot of flavor (and there would be even less if I drank the beer at 45 degrees, which is probably where it should be drunk in its capacity as a summertime quencher). It's now close to 55 degrees and no real flaws have appeared, so that's something.

No flaws, that is, except for a near criminal lack of flavor interest (that might be too harsh in retrospect). However, bland beer is infinitely more desirable than flavorful, yet offensive, beer. Pale barley and wheat dominate hops to such an extent that it's hard to identify much hop flavor. There may be a hint of lemon peel, however.

The body/mouthfeel is enjoyable. Each mouthful starts out medium in heft with a pleasing airy creaminess and ends up light-medium with less creaminess and more bubbles. Given the style and the conditions under which it will be consumed, I'd say the brewers hit the bull's eye.

I prefer Capital's Kloster Weizen (Hefe Weizen) to their new Island Wheat (American Pale Wheat) simply because I prefer the former style to the latter. However, they're both good versions of their respective styles and I'm sure that both have, or soon will have, their loyal fans. Drink up, for summer is upon us!

Photo of Bighuge
2.88/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clouded dull yellow. Lots of carbonation is present. Frothy white head sits on top for a while. Lace is good. The aroma seems a little smoky, a little phenolic and a little tart. Dumbed down flavors for a dumbed down beer for the dumbed down masses. But will the masses actually drink a clouded beer like this?? Don't think so. So this beer serves little purpose. Doesn't appeal to the dumbed down masses. Doesn't appeal to the knowledgeable beer fan. Stick to the Kloster Weizen. That one has some flavor. This is slightly tart and a little dry on the finish. Blandness across the board. A little acidity. Carbonation is frisky. Not much substance here. I'm disappointed.

Photo of lampkins
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my new favorite beer from Capital Brewery. Beer resembles a hefe weiss in appearance and aroma, but does not have the spiciness of that particular style of beer. Nonetheless this beer is a great session beer and one that I will enjoy in the upcoming summer months. Taste was a refereshing lighter beer that reminds me of a light white bread/angel food type cake. Give this beer a try.

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Island Wheat pours out a cloudy yellow color with a big, white head. Strong wheat aroma with some citrus. The tangy wheat flavor is light and totally inoffensive. The wheat flavor dominates. Just a bit lemony. I taste no hops. Finish is watery. No sign at all of alcohol. A poundable beer, indeed. This is a decent enough brew, if not this beer drinker's cup of tea. It's certainly worth trying once.

Photo of dirtylou
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap, out of a friend's kegerator, keg purchased at Riley's

appearance: pours a pale straw yellow color with thick and foamy head but minimal lacing

smell: nothing too exciting here, real grassy and earthy, some pale wheat aromas, delicate citrus

taste: a little bready, a bit of wheat, light lemon, mild citrus...nothing too explosive here, but not a bad pale wheat

mouthfeel: minimal hoppiness, smooth, easy drinking

drinkability: definate session

So my buddy has a kegerator and its always good to keep everyone happy. I'm just glad he didnt opt for miller lite or blue moon. American Pale Wheats are a tad boring in my opinion, but this serves as a nice session. It was far better out of the keg than when i had it on draft at state street brats

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at the Nitty Gritty here in Madison celebrating my girlfriend's birthday. Wanted to be one of the first to review this new offering from Capital.

Pours a pale, hazy golden yellow with a small tan head. Smell is funky sour at first, a little off-putting. Taste has that same sour bite but quickly transitions into an unispiring grassy wheat which mysteriously fades to water. Kind of like Budweiser Select. I guess this makes it pretty drinkable, I was able to put a few back, but doesn't really show any character either. Seems like Capital is trying to put out a macro here. They make it seem crafty and unique in its gimmick - it's made from wheat exclusively grown on Washington Island, right off Door County - but this is probably the most boring beer I've had from Capital. It'll be a big hit among the bar crowd and macro drinkers who think they're drinking fancy beer now for sure.

Photo of cokes
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Capital's newest offering, and it seems they have big plans for it. Most of it seems to involve the "dreaded" cross-over appeal, as this is distinctly un-German, as doesn't seem to fit comfortably within their portfolio.
The name comes from the fact it uses wheat from Washington Island (located off the tip of Door County).
Pours a lightly blurred, pale ochre with a flat linen foam.
Wheat bread nose, dusty with yeast, and otherwise hollow and vacant.
Begins with a mushy, wheat bread doughiness, and never vetures far from this base. Tickles of lemon and husk, but the middle only douses on more yeasty doughiness. It dries at the close, but outright hop contributions are neglegible.
This is medium-light bodied, and certainly downable in vats for those averse to strong malt or hop flavors.
This will certainly sell well, in the Spotted Cow vein. I just hope it is not at the sacrifice of other Capital tap offerings.
Klosterweizen accomplishes all this already, and so much more.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the newest annual from Capital Brewery in Middleton, WI.

It's tag line is, "Island Wheat takes its name from wheat used in the ale and grown on Door County’s Washington Island. The island’s fertile landscape and moisture-rich climate makes for a high-quality wheat crop that is credited for the refreshing flavors found in Island Wheat."

Rumor has it that this is the beginning of a move by capital to begin using more local ingredients in their beers. I think I might just change careers and become a barley farmer.

Island Wheat is currently available on tap in Madison and Door County until this spring when it will go state wide in bottles.

On to the beer itself:

I've tried several pints of this one over the last two weeks or so and I like it.

The appearance is a fairly clear and brightly lit golden. The head is a patchwork of sticky cream lace.

Island Wheat offers a mild fruit and floral bouquet. The fruit is just a little bit overripe. There are slight hints of citrus.

Island Wheat hits the palate like ice cold skim milk on a hot day. It’s creamy, but not too creamy and it’s very refreshing. The beer is medium bodied and fairly sweet, maybe just a bit too sweet for my tastes. The carbonation is just right.

The finish is crisp and clean with a very apparent cracked wheat flavor.

Not my favorite in the style but definitely another solid brew from Capital that I will drink again and again at my favorite watering holes downtown.

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Island Wheat from Capital Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 247 ratings.