John's Generations White Ale | Millstream Brewing Company

very good
156 Reviews
John's Generations White AleJohn's Generations White Ale

Brewed by:
Millstream Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
White Ale's are Belgian style beers, often refered to as "Wit" beer. Our version of this classic style is a wonderful spicy brew, infused with orange peel and coriander spices. It has a crisp refreshing flavor and a slight 'white' haze from the large percentage of wheat used in the mash.

14 IBU

Added by Todd on 05-01-2002

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Reviews: 156 | Ratings: 278
Photo of RBorsato
4.87/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very nice white-ish color with a nice white head. Classic appearance. Almost perfect orange and spice (coriander) aroma and flavor. Very nicely balanced orange and spice flavors with white pepper notes. Medium-light bodied and creamy smooth from oats with a beautifully balanced finish; maybe not as cramy as the best but damn good !

Per Bottle: "Produced to celebrate the 50th Anniv of John's Grocery; an Iowa City tradition since 1948"

Per MBC website: O.G. 12.9° Plato, F.G. 3.2° Plato, 14 IBU,
3 SRM, 5.2% ABV
Malt: 100% Briess Malt. 2row brewers malt, Red Wheat, Flaked Wheat, Flaked Oats.
Tettnanger Hops.
Sweet Orange Peel, Bitter Orange Peel, and Coriander.

'6071' lasered on bottom
Tasted: 06/30/06

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Photo of cokes
4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opaque milky yellow under a milky froth or solid duration and cling.
Nose is full of the archtypal Witbier aromas, coriander-and-Saaz-provided lemon grass, orange zest, wheat. Summer hay. Gentle breezes. Moderate humidity. Starry nights.
Begins with a cracker dryness. Snap of Pils malts, then it settles into a cushier wheat base. A mild, flaked sweetness creeps in. Spices follow. Leafy cilantro, lemon, lime, and orange rinds. Ends with a congruent Saaz lemon-herb clap.
Light bodied, but firm, and well-defined. This is a sleek and muscular beer. And drinkable in vats.
This one does everything exactly right. One of the best I've had.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours, like most Millstream beers, with a small head, this one less than one finger despite a rough pour. The head that is there is very white and sits on top of a orange/yellow, very hazy beer with great active carbonation. This beer could be a little paler, and have a better head, but overall it's pretty good looking. 4

S: As soon as this beer was poured I got the herbs and spices pretty heavy, it's was nice and refreshing. These are the dominating aromas, though the yeast, which has a nice mild Belgian funk to it. I don't get much for malt or hops, or if I do they blend really nicely into the rest of the beer. 4.5

T: Citrus and spice come through nicely here, very true to the Belgian origins of the style. It's light and crisp without being overly biting at all. The yeast, which carries no off flavors, is very prevalent and I think allows this beer to stand out amongst similar beers and be unique while at the same time being very true to the style. 4.5

M: A little rich, at first, but that's cutting back as the sharper spices and citrus come forward, making the beer feel pretty dang good. 4.5

D: Highly drinkable brew. It's refreshing, tasty and interesting all at the same time. 4.5

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Photo of tgbljb
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pale orange color with massive white puffy head. Nice lacing as the head slowly fell. Smell is an extraordinary mixture of citrus and spices (cloves, corriander, pepper) . Perfect for a witbier. Taste is also exceptional with the smells coming through in the taste to present a perfect refreshing beer. Excellent drinkability. Great beer for a summer afternoon. This one dissapeared faster than I wanted.

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Photo of bobsy
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from BigBry.

Straw colour body, with an effusive white head that slowly died down, allowing me to finally fit the rest of the liquid in the glass. Excellent appearance for a wit, and some good lacing. Fresh spicy smell, with obvious signs of a strong wheat backbone underneath. The flavour is excellent - intensely spicy with a big corriander presence, yet at the same time very well balanced and integrated. This is one of the spiciest beers I've had, but it doesn't feel like an artificial bomb (take note brewers of certain winter warmers). Beautifully soft wheat, lemon and Curacao round off a very solid profile. The effervescence makes for a creamy and satisfying mouthfeel.

An excellent beer. Cheers Bryan!

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy light gold with a touch of orange color. Large smooth, creamy, foamy white head with good retention and a nice sticky layer of lace.

S - Quite spicy with a lot of coriander, orange rind, some pepper and a bit of clove as well. A touch of breadiness as well. Good example of the style.

T - Nice bready and grainy malt taste make up the backbone. A lot of spices come out with coriander, orange and lemon rind, some pepper, some clove, and some lemongrass. Citrus, spice and bread flavors mix in and out very nicely.

M - Somewhere between light and medium body with a lot of carbonation. Very zesty, spritzy, and refreshing feel.

D - Very easy to drink beer that is extraordinarily crisp and refreshing. Spiced, bready, citrus flavors are great on the tongue and mix well together.

Notes: A very good witbier with a great amount and balance of flavors you would expect from the style. So easy to drink and enjoyable and refreshing.

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Photo of orangemoustache
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a kind of cloudy corn-silk blonde with a thicker than average white head that leaves some nice sticky sheets of lacing as it slowly deflates. The nose is spicy,full of pepper and corriander. The backbone is yeasty and full of gentle spice that maintains a complex smoothe character with optimum drinkability. Some buicuty malt flavors and minimal hoppage keep this one true to the style. Light body and subtly dry,yet very crisp and extremely clean finish rounds off one hell of a Witbier. I will be revisiting this one as soon as I can make it back to the local mix-a-six! Great warm weather thirst quencher or anytime sipper.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%

After a couple horrible beers I'm looking forward to this one being good. And I'll end the night on a good note (hopefully).

Serving style : 12 oz stubbie bottle poured into glass for appearance.

Appearance (4) : Yeee. About a four fingered head resting on top of an apricot-pineapple colored body. Density is great and shows character. Sediment floating as well, love it. Leaves some great lacing on the glass as the head slowly recedes.

Smell (4) : In the glass there's fresh orange rind, sunflower seeds, ripe banana. Dew grass, some tart pineapple.

Out of the bottle you get a better scent of orange dreaminess - perhaps a day old in the trash, with hits of ginger and peppermint. Strong banana. It's downright beautiful out of the bottle.

Taste (4.5) : Eyes-roll-into-back-of-head good. You get some lightly sour wheat notes out front, but that transforms into creamy banana, orange, pineapple, and finally a tart and smooth fruit smoothie finish. Dominant notes on the finish are pineapple and blood orange. Gingerbread. This is to die for.

Mouthfeel (4.5) : If there's a creamy beer, particularly a Wit, this is it. I can feel it flow down the back of my throat like I'm drinking whole milk. Yet out of the bottle it has a slight pop to it that makes it curiously exciting. It's up there with some of the best finishes I've had, ever.

Overall (4.29) : Totally a winner for sure. Go get you some. Smooth, creamy, buttery, full of pineapple, banana, blood orange, and fruit smoothie. All with a back taste of creamy wheat. It's got this baked bread/ginger bread aftertaste to it. My goodness. If you can find it, grab it.

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Photo of ballz50401
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a yeast swirl(bottled 4/10) into a Weizen glass. Pours a hazy golden yellow with a dense head that fades to a ring. A very nice yeast aroma fills my nose with notes of pepper, spice, and lemon; almost saison like. A complex balance of wheat and barley malts with some slight lemon zest. This really has a nice fullness to the mouthfeel that is smooth. Overall a very easy drinking beer that is very refreshing.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours slightly hazy straw gold under a ½” white foam cap. Refreshing, medium body and medium carbonation. It is pleasant enough and easy to drink but the wheat is a little restrained.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Thanks to drhinehart for this local gem.

A- Pours a hazy golden bright yellow color. One finger white head comes and caps on the top of the beer after a minute or so. No real lacing left behind....everything falls back into the beer.

S- Big spices in the front of this beer with some light orange in the front of the aroma. As the beer warms the wheat comes into play a lot more and becomes the dominate aroma. The orange makes a bigger appearance once the beer warms.

T- Big citrus flavors right off the get go. Lemon and orange are the main flavors. Light spices come into play in the middle with some light wheat. The wheat notes come into play in the ending of it and makes a little more presence when warmed up.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation was dead on for the style. Nice citrus upfront on the palate with some light wheaty notes and spicing in the aftertaste. Flavors blend perfect in the mouth and doesn't throw in any off flavors.

D- This is an amazing beer that I wish was available around here. I would make this a staple in my spring and summer time beer drinking. Very good with drinkability although I wouldn't want a sixer of this.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy light straw color with a finger of head that falls slowly to a full coat over top. A moderate carbonation is cascading through the beer and clarity is only slight, as a good yeasty blast came out at the end of the pour. Smell is creamy wheat, light banana and coriander spiceyness. It's very nicely balanced, with all the aromas coming together very well to present a blended smell. Nice. Flavor is a little subdued. Initially, I get a slight tartness on the side of my tongue, moving to creamy wheat and light spicey citrus and banana, but everything is just a bit distant. The finish is all about the wheat. Mouthfeel is light to moderate with a moderate to strong carbonation. This one really is light on my tongue. This is a nice beer. Its a the aroma is nice and the flavors are good, but could be a touch more bold. I think this will be the new brew I keep around for guests or people that don't want to drink my "weird" beers.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with a slight haze. The head is large and rocky and leaves a sticky lacing. Aroma is fruity (bubblegum and citrus) and spicy with an earthy background. Mouthfeel is light; crisp, and effervescent with a light hop finish. Flavor is light and sweet with fruit overtones and a well paced light hop finish.

Damn good. A pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of BuckeyeNation. Pours a nice hazy golden color with a thick and rocky off-white head that fizzed away slowly. Thin lacing toward the top of the glass and less as it was consumed. The aroma is well-spiced, along with citrus and wheat. Crisp, light body with a great flavor profile. Spice and herbs (coriander, clove) are predominant, plus citrus, malt and hops. The finish is creamy and wheaty, making for a great beer overall. This is definitely one of the better Wits I have tried.

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Photo of mynie
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Rudy's Tacos in Waterloo, Iowa.

Pours straw colored and hazy with a tight, sticky head.

Smells wonderful and complex! Spice and sugar: cloves and corriander. Fruits: bananas and apricots, with a dull lemony odor dancing around everything else. Wheatmalt, too. Saucersful.

This may smell more complex than the bottled version, but it tastes pretty much the same. Take a sip, the wheatmalt spice hits you first, mostly cloves, followed quickly by a lemon zing with subdued tartness. Banana is all throughout, from start to finish, creeping around the other flavors like a DEA agent around teenagers.

This is a damn good whitebeer: nice and complex but still very smooth and drinkable. Goes great with almost any type of food.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed pale yellow appearance, bubbles emanating up from below in a constant flow, with a tidy white head above.

Fresh aroma, citrus and spice, perfect witbier nose. Spot on.

Taste: nice, brisk meeting of hops with lips and tongue, fresh orange and lemon, blended with coriander, flavorful, but light and refreshing, the hallmark of any good witbier. Light bodied, soft, hoppy, spicy finish. Finds favor with my tastebuds.

Can't find a thing wrong with this guy.

Wish I had a case of this, rather than the one bottle, (much thanks to Chaz!)

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle from John's Grocery in Iowa City last week. Tonight I poured it into a tumbler, my thoughts follow:

The appearance is the usual pale hazy light yellow of a witbeer, not as white as Hoegaarden but with more of the floating yeasties which I like to see. The aroma is the standard wit yeast by-products, with cloves and such. Nice and classic smell, and the flavor pulled in the standard wit notes. Very well done, a great take on the style.

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Photo of daledeee
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is toll produced for John's Grocery Inc.-one of the great beer stores. It varies a little from batch to batch. The new batch does not have much of a head. I usually serve it pretty cold. The color is a yellow-orange. Nice nose. Spice and citrus. The taste is citrus and spice(mostly coriander). Very velvetty as you sip it. Finishes drier. This beer comes off as pretty sweet. That keeps me from wanting more than one at a time, but this beer is brewed very true to the genre.

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Photo of plaid75
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy medium straw hue with a one finger pillowy white head. There was good retention and very good sticky lacing.

The smell featured notes of lemon zest, orange peel and coriander spice. Some yeasty esters present as well.

The taste consisted of a smooth wheat malt with highlights of lemon, sweet orange and a soft complimentary coriander spice. Very well balanced and not overly spiced.

The mouthfeel was full, chewy and creamy without being too complicated from over spicing.

Overall a very nice wit. Very enjoyable and extremely easy to drink. Simple and straightforward.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Pours a hazy white-tinged straw with a couple fingers of white steasfast head. The smell is heavy on the citrus fruits and their peels/rinds, with some cloves and coriander thrown in for good measure. The taste follows, with some breadiness added to the citrus peels and coriander and the cloves taking a slightly greater prominence. The body is lightly moderate (very lightly), smooth, and has just the right amount of carbonation, making for one tasty, sessionable, highly drinkable brew, fit for the warmer months (or whenever the hell you feel like having a tasty wit).

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Photo of nycwinter
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one of my Beer of the Month by mail selections.
Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A= At the top, a cloudy orange transitioning to a yellow tint towards the bottom. Thick fluffy head initially from vigorously swirling the last 2/3rds as recommended. Settled to a consistently thin white head that allowed the sunshine below to glow through.

S= Primarily corriander and pepper with notes of roses. There is a smell reminiscent of a peanuty-Thai dish overall.

T= True to the style. Mildly spicy with wheat and citrus in the aftertaste.

M= Light and refreshing.

D= I think I'll have another.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a - pretty clear amber, small white head with retention around the edges, nice lacing

s - coriander and citrus, mostly orange, lots of wheat

t - same as the aroma, coriander and citrus dominate, not much hop bitterness, lots of wheat

m - light-bodied, creamy, coats the mouth well

d - very drinkable, especially on a hot day

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. A very fine wit. Great beer to drink all day in the summer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep golden heavily clouded hue with an orange golden rod tint to it, very heavy carbonation for the white quickly disipating head leaves some lacing sporadically with each sip. Aroma: Orange peel enters my senses profusely with coriander and other festive spices gives a very creamy citrusy smoothie approach, but very solid all around not hating very nice scent should sell insense that smells like this beauty. Taste: A great mix of sharp unmalted wheat and citrus notes along with ungodly amounts of spices including coriander and orange peel most notably. Big and flavorful heavily spiced in a very good way comes a close second to Great Lakes Holy Moses. Mouthfeel: High carbonation causes burping in the first few sips, creamy texture also comes through with each sip. Drinkability: I can't really complain one of the better American brewed flavorful witbiers, god bless. Oh and thanks BuckeyeNation for the sample.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a John's Grocery glass, naturally. (You can take the boy out of Iowa, but you can't take the Iowa out of the boy.) The head disappeared way too quickly, but the color is nice, with a slightly hazy, sunny golden-yellow glow.

Aroma resembles the best tripels, with a spicy, faintly yeasty, flowery sweetness. Citrus elements are here, but ride on the back of the aforementioned aromas.

Flavor-wise I'm again reminded just as much of a tripel as I am a white ale, due to the spiciness and yeasty presence, but certainly the citrusy aspect of the best white ales comes through. Light dessert-y spices, bitterness from the hops and a robust mustard-seed heartiness mingle and dominate. There's also a woodiness to the finish, and a nice aftertaste spreads throughout the mouth, keeping the flowery and sweet spices around a good while. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy but cut short by a quick-drying in the finish. That's not a criticism, just an observation, and I like this element of the beer best.

Really good white ale, different and confidently doing its own thing while not straying too far outside the style's parameters. Easily the best of the three Millstream beers I've had.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lemon juice yellow, same thickness too, thin starch white head, minimal lacing in spots. Aroma is all citris peels, lots of 'em, quite tart and souring thick lemon & orange juices with a nice display on top of clove, corriander, and a bit of yeasty barnyard funk even. Impressive nose. Taste has a nice firm character, nothing to sour or overwhelming which the nose led me to believe it would be. Dull orange and lemon juices darted with a soft sugary appeal, and slipping in around every corner is very tame corriander and peppery spices that make for a nice little mixuture. Nice feel thats smooth yet grabbing with its character, effective amounts of sourness along the citrus and mild enough spice over it to keep it from being overbearing. Medium body with a bit of quickness to it at first, but as it warmed the malts gained some composure overall and the finish began to grow with left over orange peel and bits of spice. A nicely crafted brew from Iowa, who would have thought? Millstream did, and pulled it off well I think. Thanks to mentor for the samples!

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John's Generations White Ale from Millstream Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 278 ratings.
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