Live Oak HefeWeizen - Live Oak Brewing Company
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Ratings: 965 | Reviews: 354 | Display Reviews Only:
4.4/5 rDev +0.5%
Pours a cloudy lemon yellow. A huge frothy lovely head billows up and falls over the course of several minutes. No lace, though there's a bit more when poured from the tap.
Aroma is light and refreshing. Banana, clove, sweetness, a little bready.
Taste is classic hefe, lightly sweet and refreshing. Banana ripeness. A little brilliant tart in the middle with some bready/yeasty near the end.
Medium body, incredibly smooth, and a slight lingering sweetness in the finish.
This is a great beer. Not a favored style by me at all, but even I can taste the quality and craftmanship of this hefe.
03-28-2009 02:10:11 | More by goatgoat
4.25/5 rDev -3%
Growler courtesy of Strelnikov - many, many thanks!! Great trader. Poured a portion into my Aventinus weizenbock glass, both because it's one of the larger glasses I have, and because the long, tall, slender look always does wonders for hefes.
Appearance: Pours a wonderfully hazy, cloudy pale orange, bright in appearance while still being opaque. The one finger of white, foamy head fades relatively quickly into a persistent, spongy collar and a faint, occasional patch of dust on the surface. The lacing is glittery, white, bubbly, and runny, which is appropriate for the style from my experience. Holding this one up to the really light really allows you to see the literal suspended yeast floating around in this one, huge foamy clouds of them. Intense.
Aroma: Sweet, overripe bananas are the first thing to great the nose on this one, very pungent. Cloves aren't far behind, a very authentic and well-blended spice note. The whole thing is very bready, slightly roasted, almost reminiscent of honey in places (with the help of the spice). The whole thing is very earthy, too, more like the crust of the bread than the bread itself, definitely due to the yeast. Agitation releases a few of the lighter citrus esters that had probably escape before my initial assessment - lemon like, with a few heavier orange zest and peach notes. Very nice.
Taste: About as authentic tasting as they come, I'd imagine. It's similar to the nose, but the differences cost it half a point - it's just a little tarter, earthier, and less robust. The malts are still earthy, like bread crusts, but a little less sweet and honey-like than in the nose. The banana is still strong and upfront, but again, cut more by the tartness here, almost rendering them unripe, as opposed to overly ripe as in the nose. Everything's just a little "greener" and zestier, if that makes sense. Still a great tasting hefe.
Mouthfeel: Soft but expressive carbonation, plentiful and easily noticeable, all in a body of moderate thickness. Pleasant and quenching, given the tastes, with absolutely no cloy.
Drinkability: Well hot damn. A solid, drinkable, low-in-abv% (I'm assuming - couldn't be more than 5.5%) hefeweizen, extremely traditional, extremely true to style, and just solid all around. Not much wrong with this one, really, and my only wish was that I could get it around here. Until then, alas - though it's not much of an alas - Weihenstephaner will the go-to wheat beer of choice, a beer that this one reminded me of very much. This one comes highly recommended, and I completely understand why it's the highest rated hefeweizen on BA. Cheers.
03-27-2009 02:52:00 | More by CrellMoset
3.75/5 rDev -14.4%
Had my parents fill a growler on their trip to Austin.
A- Body is a light cloudy pale yellow hue. Pours with a large 2-3 finger foamy white head. Head eventually fades to about one finger and has great retention from there. Some lacing is left behind in the glass.
S- Nose is very good-and in line for a hefe. Soft cloves and a hint of banana come through as well as a hint of breadiness.
T- The flavor is soft and balanced all around. A presence of clove and the slightest hint of banana with a nice bready yeast backbone. The finish adds just a touch of hops and gets a little biscuty.
M- High tingly carbonation and yeasty body. The carbonation is somewhat seltzer-like. Body is nice but could be fuller and smoother.
D- This is a nice, mellow, balanced hefe. Reminds me a lot of Weihenstephaner-but doesn't do the trick as well for me. A good drinkable, sessionable beer that I would be ordering a lot if I lived in TX...but I don't think I will go out of my way to have it again here. We have local hefes that are just as nice. Still a great opportunity to try!
03-25-2009 20:37:54 | More by PittBeerGirl
4.28/5 rDev -2.3%
Had this beer and a lunch for FREE @ a SXSW event in Austin. The unfortunate part about the beer being free is that it wasn't poured into glass, but rather plastic.
A: Small 1 cm head, unfiltered hazy banana bread color, with dec lace.
S: Sweet and wheaty, the turd also dropped a lemon wedge on the side, so a lot of lemon zest.
T: Very clean and not extremely overpoweringly sweet. This is great, since a Hefeweizen isn't exactly my style of choice, but seemed perfect for a 80 degree Texas day. A nice slice of clovey bitterness.
M:Medium bodied, with good balance of carbonation.
D: I could drink a few of these, the number I would want to drink would increase as the temperatures started rising. Great summer beer, too bad it's only available on tap. You would think this precious swill would get bottled?
03-24-2009 23:58:49 | More by MPLS
4.25/5 rDev -3%
1 finger head with great retention. cloudy yellow color.
smell is of big banana phenol with some cloveyness underneath. the aroma of the wheat is amazing
light wheat taste with minimal bitterness. citrus wheat flavor underneath with some clovey flavors.
mouthfeel is dry and crisp, yet there is a hint of creaminess.
this hefe doesn't disappoint. try it
03-22-2009 23:09:34 | More by jasonjlewis
4/5 rDev -8.7%
Poured a cloudy yellow color with some good carbonation, nice white head. Nose is wheat, clove and little banana. Taste was clove, wheat and light banana but nothing to really grab my attention. Tasted good but not great. Mouthfeel was nice and this beer is easy to pour down.
03-21-2009 00:38:18 | More by barleywinefiend
4.45/5 rDev +1.6%
Thanks to brandoneast for this beer.
A = Good cloudy orange, yellow with small white head that recedes relatively quickly.
S = Cloves, bananas, some very sour scents of lemon zest with some funky barnyard smells much like a Saison.
T & D = Taste is much like the smell with cloves hitting the front of the tongue, lemon on the sides of the tongue but from midpalate to the finish it is thick banana flavor. It has just the right level of tartness to make it something that really makes you want another drink as the finish fades. In terms of hefe's I do not like it as much as my favorite (Weihenstephaner) but it is a totally different take on the style. Much more tartness and more funkiness in the smell. This is a really good beer.
M = Interesting body, it start out feeling light to medium but by the finish it feels medium to heavy. Very good mouthcoating and pleasant level of carbonation.
03-20-2009 23:23:45 | More by Traquairlover
4.25/5 rDev -3%
Thanks to brandoneast for sending me two hand-bottles of this hefe from a growler. I hadn't been seeking this brew, but when the opportunity popped up just as I signed on, hey, why not? It's supposed to be pretty decent, right?
Split a 12 oz. bottle with the wife, who's not a big hefe fan (I had to guarantee her half of the bottle). Brew is resoundingly cloudy, with massive amounts of suspended floaties. I wouldn't dare drain-pour this, I'd clog up the drain. Smell is like a hefe Ahnold, flexing banana with a hint of sour underneath.
Now, I had no idea what I was getting into when I took a sip, this has some sour tinge to it! Hefe? What the hell? Fortunately for me, it has just the right bit, I like my sour more subtle, & that's what this has. The banana gets drowned out, almost, by the gentle sour bite that's clearing my sinuses. Sipping this beer is like sitting in the sand, on the sun, waves lapping at your feet, a fishing rod at hand. Ahhh. The wife won't give her half up, either.
Mouthfeel is light & delicious. This is one fine hefe & definitely lives up to the hype. I can now rest easy knowing there's at least one hefe out there that kicks some serious ass. Excellent beer!
03-15-2009 01:37:21 | More by maximum12
4.47/5 rDev +2.1%
Thanks to my texas BA friend brandon! Cheers!
This beer is so great! The taste is full of refreshing banana taste and even some sour notes! This beer is really refreshing and drinkable! I would love to have this year round! I would say this has a enjoyable sour note to it that I have wonder if it's normal
03-13-2009 03:37:32 | More by iconoklaztor
4/5 rDev -8.7%
Reviewed 1/5/2008 (Tap @ Flying Saucer, Houston, TX):
Pours a very cloudy yellow color. Creamy white, small & somewhat lasting. Clove spicy banana aroma. Ripe bananas. Very enticing. Ripe banana taste. Clove, not too watery. Very fruity. Reminds me of a jelly-filled donut.
03-03-2009 13:43:28 | More by jujubeast6000
4.9/5 rDev +11.9%
After dreaming of tasting the only hefeweizen rated higher than my all-time favorite beer (Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier), I accepted the extraordinarily generous goatgoat's offer to ship me a growler of Live Oak Hefeweizen in return for some local beers. It was worth the wait, and I now owe goatgoat something equally majestic in return.
Appearance: Pours a hazy orange-ish gold in body, with a beautiful three-finger head of off-white foam. Lacing is substantial throughout drinking. This stuff looks exactly the way a hefeweizen should -- there's no watery soapiness, as is found in many American wheat beers.
Smell: Sweet, sweet banana, yeasty bread, and cloves, with a honey-ish undercurrent and a hint of wheaty twang. The aroma of this beer is quite complex (and spot-on for the style), but it's rather subdued and understated. Still, a whiff of this entices the senses and demands that I take a big sip immediately.
Taste: Unbelievably good. Cloves and wholesome banana bread, in beautiful harmony with yeast. I also pick up a substantial vanilla component to the flavor -- something I've never experienced in a hefeweizen, but it fits very well with the rest of the flavor components. There is no evidence of the metallic element present in many hefeweizens, and only the mildest hint of funky wheaty sourness can be found. Alcohol and hops are undetectable, as they should be in a traditional German-style hefeweizen. I still think Weihenstephaner brews the classic example of the style, but this one has a flavor all its own and is still almost perfect. In fact -- and this is near-blasphemy for me -- I think Live Oak's hefeweizen has more character than Weihenstephaner's, and I suspect that its flavor may vary somewhat from batch to batch (whereas Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier tastes the same year after year). At any rate...this Live Oak is awesome, awesome, awesome.
Mouthfeel: While refreshingly brisk in carbonation, Live Oak hefeweizen somehow retains a full, creamy mouthfeel the likes of which I've rarely -- maybe never -- experienced in a wheat beer. This mouthfeel only enhances the wholesome banana- and bread-like characteristics of the beer's smell and flavor, adding up to a mind-bogglingly great drinking experience. Each sip fills the mouth and glides down the throat like meringue.
Drinkability: I would LOVE to drink this on a Texan summer day. Incredibly thirst-quenching and refreshing, yet substantial and satisfying, this may be the ultimate hot-weather beer. (As it happens, I'm drinking it in early March in Atlanta, where it's currently 38 degrees outside...my next quest may be for Live Oak's possibly retired weizenbock.) I assume that the ABV is quite low -- about 5% would be average for the style -- and this only enhances the beer's drinkability. I may attempt to put away this whole growler over the next several hours, and I think I can do so without adverse consequences. This is a testament to the beer's overwhelmingly appealing flavor and drinkability, both of which are enhanced by the low ABV.
In pondering this beer's quality (and its high rating on this site), something occurred to me: every hefeweizen I've ever had on tap has benefitted greatly from that serving type. Maybe it's because the yeast is constantly stirred up when the beer's served that way, and maybe there are other factors, but it's apparent to me that every hefeweizen tastes noticeably better on tap than poured from the bottle.
With that in mind, I can't help but wonder if Live Oak hefeweizen would still be this good if they bottled it and shipped it out...I guess we may never know. But it bears mentioning that perhaps the reason for Live Oak hefeweizen's legendary quality lies in the fact that it is ONLY available on tap, and it therefore reaps the benefits of that serving style. I'd like to try this side-by-side with freshly-tapped Weihenstephaner, and then I'd like to try a bottle of this (if such a thing existed) side-by-side with a bottle of Weihenstephaner. I don't know which beer would win.
Regardless, in its present form, this is America's greatest hefeweizen. An extraordinary brew, it truly lives up to the hype. Worth trading for -- and probably worth a trip to Texas.
03-02-2009 21:53:01 | More by UGADawgGuy
4.38/5 rDev 0%
I had this on tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston. The beer was hazy pale yellow color with a poofy head. The smell is classic hefeweizen, bananas and cloves. Same with the taste, a little grainy but not as lactosy as many German hefes seem. The mouthfeel is thick and sort of creamy but light enough to keep from being bloating.
This beer's had a top spot on the site for a long time but wasn't exactly a "quest" beer for me. Nonetheless I was glad to find it on tap while in town.
02-23-2009 11:53:43 | More by TurdFurgison
4.72/5 rDev +7.8%
I got this properly bottled from a growler sample from brandoneast in a trade. Thanks Brandon!
This pours (after a nice fizz upon opening) a straw yellow with some orange hues with about an inch of foam. Holding the glass up, it looks like the classical hefeweizen. Very promising, me thinks. Head retention and lacing were not this brews strong points but it's still going to score decent because of the look of it.
The smell is wow. Lots of wheat and clove and lemon zest and other fruitiness. Very inviting.
The taste is great. All of the smells I noted are there in the flavour too. Delicious notes of corriander, clove, wheat, lemon, bubblegum, and an overall yeastiness that kicks major ass! It's going down way too easy so I better slow down. ;^)
It has a lightish mouthfeel and the carbonation is light as well. Appropriate for the style.
Drinkability? I'd say, judging by how quickly the 12oz bottle's contents are disappearing....great. This *is* an awesome Hefeweizen and I'm pleased as punch that I got to try it. Thanks again, Brandon!
02-20-2009 02:00:13 | More by Bitterbill
4.5/5 rDev +2.7%
Growler received in a trade with BgThang who is one of the nicest traders I've dealt with on BA.
Appearance: Lemon meringue cloudy body with an egg shell white 2+ finger foam head. Classic Belgian Wit / German Hefe look rather than the standard crappy American Wheat beer appearance. Well done!
Smell: Banana, lemon, bubblegum, and clove combine to make a signature Hefe nose. As crazy as it might sound, the smell reminds me of slightly rotten eggs / sulfer at times!
Taste: Oh baby I feel like I'm at a beer garden in Germany! Clove sings when its cold and the banana takes over as it warms. Lots of delicious grain flavor as well.
Mouthfeel: Spot on.
Drinkability: Drink this one all summer long!
01-30-2009 21:54:23 | More by koopa
4.83/5 rDev +10.3%
I've had this on-tap three times since moving to Austin and will review the most recent occasion, at Malagas Tapas and Bar on Saturday night.
Served a hazy, hefe yellow-orange in a pint glass with about a finger of pillowy white head. As others have noted, the color gradually changes from the top of the glass to the bottom. I felt this serving came a little colder than I would've preferred, and the rich aroma of bananas, clove, and citrus took a while to come out.
The pleasant smell of this beer is nothing compared to its taste, however. The banana and citrus--I got more lemon than in the past, and still took in plenty of orange--were up front, and the clove is deliciously spicy. An overall bubble gum flavor is present, particularly when the beer is colder.
Mouthfeel is creamy and full, no watered-down domestic hefe here. I'd love to sit down for a few of these, and hope to in the months to come.
01-27-2009 03:22:14 | More by Riccymon
5/5 rDev +14.2%
Had this on tap last night. This is my favorite session beer and the best hefeweizen I have had in the US by far. Simply amazing.
Pours light brown very cloudy with a small bit of foam.
Aroma: A bit of clove combined with a delicate floral scent.
Taste: cloves, bready, banana, slight amount of hops.
Mouthfeel: chewy, a little sweet. There's some graininess to this beer. How do they do that? The incredible mouthfeel of this sets this hefe apart from all the others.
drinkability: very refreshing beer. Super drinkable. Good year around.
This is the only beer I have gave a perfect score so far and it deserves it.
01-16-2009 17:17:23 | More by JonathanL7890
4.4/5 rDev +0.5%
Big, big thanks to hopsleeroy for sending me a growler of this brew (along with a Texas-sized box of extras). The growler was pitcher-filled (due to Texas law) on January 12th, but it was filled to the brim and taped so much that it took me a good 5 minutes to even get it open. Drank it out of my weizen glass.
A - Pours a milky golden yellow color - the hue lightens towards the bottom of the glass which is kind of unusual. Huge, huge creamy white foam that dissipates very slowly and leaves a nice amount of lacing. Lots of visible carbonation in this one. I'm not really sure what more I can expect here...
S - Really serious breadiness - like fresh cornbread. Some cloves, but not as much banana as you'd expect. This smells heavier and more serious than other hefeweizens I've had. There's a little bit of bubblegum and yeast character too. Yummy, but doesn't leap out of the glass.
T - This is like drinking liquid cornbread - sweet malt character mixed with spices, yeasts, and a touch of citrus. It starts out sweet but has a little bit of bite at the top of the palate. Leaves a sweet bready aftertaste.
M - Smooth, creamy, with some carbonation tingle that complements the spice in the flavor. It's light and refreshing like a hefe should be.
D - The only thing stopping this from being a perfect score is availability. I thought I'd be bringing the rest of this growler to a party tomorrow, but there is no way it's going to last that long! Tastes like low ABV, and crazily sessionable.
This stands up to the best German hefeweizens and probably exceeds them.
01-15-2009 21:10:56 | More by MasterSki
3.9/5 rDev -11%
Hazy light yellow color with a white head and little retention. Smell of banana, cooked vegetable, bread, and lemon. Taste has some banana, bread, and clove. Higher end of carbonation, thick, but still medium bodied. Pretty drinkable, and a good beer to drink for the summer. Thanks to pepsican for the sample.
01-03-2009 04:14:04 | More by badbeer
4.9/5 rDev +11.9%
Have been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time, since about the time a joined BA actually and xpimptastikx hooked me up big time with this much wanted brew.
From a growler, poured into a weizen glass
A: Glowing orange and golden staw clouded by the dustiest flakes of yeast I've ever seen, I let this sit in the fridge for a couple of days and it's like the yeast particles have completly integrated themselves into the beer itself. The only knock I have on this beer is the lack of lacing and that huge head, but this color is really something out of this world.
S: The beer has survived the journey from tap to glass and I am greeted with a heavenly fresh aroma of coriander and orange peel, super sweet orange juice and pineapple juice mixed together, super creamy orange but not like that fake orange cream soda aroma that you are probably thinking about, I mean this smells like someone spilled a glass of pineapple orange juice on a freshly baked and buttered biscuit, really. Thick doughy aromas combine
T/MF: Rich and thick, sweet ceral grain mixes with a subtle spicness and mild estery and floral fruit flavors. Feel is smooth and a bit tingly on the tongue but finishes clean and begs to be sipped again. Given some time to warm even more comes out: nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon and finally that good old fashioned bananna that we always hear so much about. I'm not even done with my first glass and already I'm ready for another. I really don't think I am doing the beer justice here. I mean I can go on and say that the beer has this or that and it might sound like not a BFD, but it is, this beer is amazing, it's like this beer takes the idea of a hefeweizen and notches up everything you have come to expect from the style, everything is just a bit brighter, a bit deeper and richer, the flavors more pronounced and complex. I could go on but then I wouldn't be drinking my beer.
D: Reading a few reviews I was worried that the growler would not have survived the trip across state lines and I would be left with a subpar and possibly flat beer, but my fears were put to rest and my expectations exceeded. this beer deserves more hype than it already has. Thanks again Michael.
12-20-2008 02:16:19 | More by bluemoonswoon
3.23/5 rDev -26.3%
Served on tap with a lemon poured into a pint glass.
A- Pale yellow coloring with not much head.
S- Had a somewhat lemon, citrus smell to it even before I put the lemon in it.
T- Not the best of this type I have ever had. A little too bitter, just not really a good blend here. Not as overpowering as a lot of hefeweizen's.
M- A little bitter, perhaps too much of a citrus taste.
D- Drinkable than a lot of beers of this time, but I wouldn't have more than 3 in a sitting.
12-13-2008 08:00:53 | More by Bagman007
4.68/5 rDev +6.8%
This beer had a helluva lot to live up to, and when all was said and done, I would say it surpassed expectations and lived up to its rarefied status. Had it on tap at the Draughthouse in Austin, which is a very unique place in it's own right. Poured a rich golden orange with two-finger of off white head with excellent retention. Tasted sweet and spicy and big on the bananas, oranges, orange peel and cloves. There was a certain breadiness involved that lead to a mouth-feel that was more on the medium side, which did not in any way detract from it's drinkability. Shared a couple of pitchers with friends, and will definitely head back to the draughthouse for more when I'm able to get back down to Austin. I hear that Live Oak is going to expand and begin bottling their beers in the near future. That is great news, and I seriusly hope they decide to distribute to their northern neighbors some day.
11-25-2008 03:38:47 | More by stephens101
4.65/5 rDev +6.2%
Poured this from a growler into a weizen glass. Thanks very much to screach for the trade and especially for getting it here so quick.
Appears a cloudy golden color with a one inch white head that is slowly rising above the rim. Ends up leaving some very nice lacing down the side of the glass.
The aroma is the perfect balance of clove and banana. At first the banana seems to dominate but with a deeper inhale the clove is right there with it and they blend together wonderfully. There are also some less noticeable bubble gum and apple esters. All that plus the wheat malt makes this one the tops.
Similar to the aroma there is an initial banana ester character but it quickly blends with the tangy breadiness of the wheat malt and then the clove flavor comes out in the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium-light, not quite as light as many Hefeweizens. It has a nice creamy consistency to it as well. Extremely drinkable and gets even better as it warms up a little bit. I had no problem finishing the growler in one sitting.
This one was very enjoyable for sure. Almost reminds me of a homebrew that I made but this one is better. This one is actually not overrated.
11-21-2008 05:17:27 | More by roadhouse
4.28/5 rDev -2.3%
Picked up a pint at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in downtown Austin, TX.
Although the theater was dark, the thick, creamy cap of eggshell foam was impossible not to notice. Sticky lacing draped along the insides of the glass, and after the lights came on when the film was over (Zack & Miri Make a Porno), I was able to fully appreciate the beautifully hazy, golden-yellow brew before me. Although the beer was initially served with a lemon wedge, after its removal the aroma held up well on its own, delivering notes of spicy clove, soft banana, and a pinch of vanilla.
I agree with Ding's review (below); while the flavors are solid for the style, the overall taste is not an eye-opening, nor "palate-opening" experience. Quite a bit of lemon zest, clove, banana, and breaded malts, which meld nicely and adhere to the style well. An invigorating carbonation level persuades the spiciness to ramp up a notch, while the medium body is smooth and finishes crisp and clean. Live Oak HefeWeizen is a fantastic brew that I cannot wait to have at my beckoning call once I move to Austin, but in all honesty, I've had other hefe's that are just as pleasing.
11-17-2008 06:08:49 | More by wagenvolks
4.15/5 rDev -5.3%
Growler thanks to JonathanL7890, who responded on a Friday and sent it on a Monday, crossing border and delivered to me for Friday supper. Cheers to my weekend highlight. Very tasty hefe, a style itself which is most pleasing. I haven't a vertical tasting with the Town Hall version, fond memories of blowing me away, rather this stands on its own. Tasty,though a tad dry. Very creamy mouthfeel. The head looked great.
11-16-2008 02:47:37 | More by Sammy
4.63/5 rDev +5.7%
This is one damn fine hefeweizen. Right up there or possibly even better than the best German versions. Pours a cloudy yet glowing straw color with a thick beige head. The nose has wheat malt, cirtus fruits and a collection of herbs and spices. Like the nose the taste has a big profile of herbs and fruits to add to the bready malts. Delicious. Creamy body goes down superbly. Fantastic.
10-13-2008 23:49:18 | More by rye726
Live Oak HefeWeizen from Live Oak Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 965 ratings.