Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Penn Weizen | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Penn WeizenPenn Weizen
Very Good
381 Ratings
Penn WeizenPenn Weizen

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Authentic wheat beer, brewed in the Southern German tradition, won the Silver Medal in 1997 and the Gold Medal at the 2000 in Denver, Colorado. Penn Weizen is top-fermented, cask-conditioned, and very effervescent with a slight hint of tangy clove flavor.

Added by SheepNutz on 03-06-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 381 |  Reviews: 238
Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: hazy golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: banana, citrus, clove, coriander, wheat

taste: banana, wheat, clove,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin to medium body,

overall: a nice refreshing summer time brew.


 272 characters

Photo of StBoisterous
4.84/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a cloudy golden color, slightly orange.

S - Very pleasant aroma, slight citrus smell, hint of banana. One of the best smelling Hefeweizen ales I have enjoyed.

T - Hints of citrus with a pleasant bananna bread & clove flavor. Has a well balanced taste.

M - Goes down quick, fairly light, leaves some carbonation behind for a tingly feeling.

D - Light, smooth, very drinkable. A very well balanced ale, with an exceptional flavor and aroma. This has got to be one of my all time favorite ales. One of the best I have ever tasted!

Serving type: bottle (poured into glass)

 584 characters

Photo of UGADawgGuy
4.79/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Paulys55, I finally get to try a bunch of traditional German-style beers brewed in Pennsylvania. This was the second one of them I cracked open (after Stoudt's Heifer-in-Wheat).

Appearance: Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into my half-liter generic weissbier glass, Penn Weizen honestly doesn't look perfect. Hefeweizens can range in color from a muddy, almost green-tinged yellow to a bright, effervescent orange, and this one leans slightly toward the green-tinged end of the spectrum. Still, the old "weizen pour" produces a typically impressive three- to four-finger head, with moderate retention throughout drinking.

Smell: Very nice overall, if not absolutely flawless. The first thing that hits me is a sour-ish wheaty twang, which initially is a bit off-putting. Shortly thereafter, I get the usual complement of hefeweizen aromas: sweet banana, clove, yeasty bread, and a vague whiff of vanilla.

Taste: I'm very pleasantly shocked -- flavor-wise, this stuff is up there with the finest hefeweizens I've ever had, from both sides of the pond! Penn Weizen delivers everything presaged by its nose, but that wheaty "funk" is way in the background, while the vanilla is almost as prominent as the cloves. Oh, man, this is good stuff!

Mouthfeel: Plays perfectly with the flavor -- copious effervescence helps to fill the mouth and elevate the beer's inherent wholesome sweetness. That, combined with a typical-for-weizens low serving temperature, makes this a short-lived glass of beer -- it invites you to guzzle it down.

Overall: Although the appearance isn't stellar, and the nose highlights the beer's least pleasant flavor component, everything else about Penn Weizen absolutely sings. While not QUITE as flawless as Live Oak Hefeweizen, I wouldn't hesitate to pit those two beers against one another, particularly if both were served fresh and on tap. Penn Weizen is highly recommended to all fans of wheat beer...and, really, to anybody who "gets" hefeweizens in general!

Note: Before trying this beer, I had heard from a number of people that Penn's quality had drastically declined since they changed ownership sometime fairly recently. To tell you the truth, I had no idea such a change had taken place...this is the first time I've ever had a Penn beer.

With that in mind, if this is a noticeable step DOWN from what the beer used to be, then it must have been one of the greatest hefeweizens in the world prior to that widely perceived decline in quality. If anybody out there reads this and can speak to that objectively (i.e., is this beer truly any worse than it was a couple of years ago?), please drop me a Beer Mail!

 2,657 characters

Photo of bamadog
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review is from notes taken on 6/4/2011 and had on tap at the brewery, poured into a hefeweizen glass.

Appearance: Pour comes out a creamy/milky/dull banana yellow and it starts with a 1 and 1/2 finger white head with decent retention; body is very murky/cloudy with sediment floating around; head fades to a thin, full and even cap and some patches of lacing are left behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Fantastic smell -- smooth, creamy banana -- I mean, so creamy and "thick" smelling that it reminds me of banana pudding; touch of clove-like spiciness to it and a bit of a grainy wheatiness as well.

Taste: Fantastic as well -- big, smooth and sweet banana (again I'm reminded of banana pudding); touch of clove spiciness and a bit of the grainy wheatiness as well; at the end, there is just a touch of an herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with spot-on carbonation that keeps it lively, yet it stays smooth and creamy; a thin, moist coating lingers for a moment and it really holds the yeasty banana flavors as well.

Overall: I would dare say that this is a world class beer and that I could drink it all day long during any season of the year. Excellent scents and flavors with an easy drinking, smooth body... Awesome.

 1,245 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a fizzy almost 1 finger head that fades quickly over super hazy peach orange wheat colored beer.

Nose is plenty of hefe, tons of wheat, light toasty, banana, clove, spices, citrus, little yeast, not bad.

Taste brings citrus to start, again plenty of hefe, little banana, clove, coriander, spices, little creamy wheat, toasty, finishes fairly dry with lingering wheat, spices, and citrus, and a toasty pilsner like malt flavor way on the back end of the finish.

Mouth is a bit lighter bodied, grainy, with decent carbonation but lower than I expected for the style.

Overall not bad, good nose, flavors a good, would have liked a bit more carbonation, but otherwise good and drinkable.

 693 characters

Photo of stckhndlr
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a traditional weizen glass.

A- This thing has a HUGE head on it. I counted more than 5 fingers on this beer. Thick foam but it seems to die out quickly but a good fingers worth lingers throughout. Champagne style bubbles racing up the glass from the bottom.

Golden color with just a touch of cloudiness.

S- yeasty banana bread, some spicy floral notes and cloves.

T- Banana is the main flavor to me. just a hint of spice like a clove/cinnamon. Not too strong though. kinda sweet flavor. The finish doesn't stick around very long. You have to keep drinking to keep the flavor on your palate.

M- Seems light to me. not very heavy but it has a bite to it.

O- Not a bad beer. Its drinkable thanks to it's sweetness but the lack of lingering flavor is a bit of a let down.

 799 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy gold with a big white foamy head. Head dissipates as you drink. Some lace.

Wow. Clove, some tropical fruit, wheat and yeast. Very nice for a domestic.

Sweet wheat, yeasty flavors, sweet breadiness, some spicy kick, light bitterness, mild bitter and grain finish. Well done.

Bummed a bit by mouthfeel. Seems a little mushy. Lighter bodied but feels like a sip is sucking away the head. Not a nice cake-like head, but pure big bubbled foam. A minor bitch on my part, but it is what it is.

Really good domestic hefe. Never saw this before, but glad I tried it.

 572 characters

Photo of gfreed
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Even when poured with a good deal of violence, I could only generate a moderate head from the bottle. When's the last time I had a German-style wheat beer that didn't have a head the height of a giant stick of cotton candy? What head there was faded quickly. No fun. Has a nice cloudy color and a promising clovey aroma, but in the end is rather thin in the body and light on the dense flavors one would expect in this style. A promising prospect that needs work.

 463 characters

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date: 14 May 2011
Glass: Standard nonic
Type: 12fl oz bottle

Poured gently, producing a brief 1-finger head which reduces to nothing, no lacing, typical weissbier cloudy yellow with a touch of orange.

Aroma is loaded with Bavarian malted wheat, followed by very bitter orange citrus, touches of clove and banana. Taste has well-balanced sweet wheat, lots of banana, ends with that ubiquitous wheat aftertaste, and a combo of orange and lemon. Very crisp mouthfeel, heavy flavors don't last long, but that only makes me want another sip. Excellent session beer as we dive into the summer weather.

 597 characters

Photo of AdamGarcia
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in Franziskaner Weiss glass.

A: Big fluffy head from a forceful pour. Clear golden color. Gave the bottle a swirl and added the yeast. Color becomes a bright cloudy orange. Very attractive. Head retention could be a little better.

S: Pretty typical aroma for a German-style wheat. Sweet bread. Some banana. Hints of clove. Maybe a touch of mint?

T: Sweet bready malt. Banana-clove. Some citrus. Just the faintest nip of hops provides balance. Missing that zesty little zing that is present in my favorite wheat beers.

M: Smooth, yet slightly spritzy. Light bodied.

O: I've always had a soft spot for this beer and the case that I recently purchased has been full of delicious nostalgia. There are many beers in this category that are much better and most of them are brewed in Germany. If you ever have a chance to grab one do it...it doesn't get much better than hanging out in the biergarten at the Penn Brewery with a tall glass of Weizen and a hefty dose of sunshine. This is one of my summertime favorites. Low abv and big flavor usually means that I want to drink unlimited amounts of this stuff.

 1,128 characters

Photo of greenmonstah
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass

A - Pours a cloudy yellow with half a finger of white head. Poor retention. Adding the sediment makes it completely opaque, even milky, like nothing I've seen before. Also added considerable head. Good lacing.

S - Banana, hint of clove. Bit of yeast and some lemon zest.

T - Follows the nose, but with more emphasis on the lemon and clove. Swirling and pouring in the huge amount of sediment brings a bready flavor and a good deal of yeast taste, rounding it out a bit.

M - Light body, refreshing. Good carbonation.

O - Overall this is a hefe I've only had a handful of times, but I love it. This is on the short list for my favorite warm-weather beers. Never seen so much sediment!

 716 characters

Photo of thebeerisgood
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: A nice bready aroma with light citrus

Appearance: Golden wheat colored and hazy with a frothy white head

Taste: Lightly toasted malt, bread, crackers, with hints of citrus and clove. A bit of tang also comes through on this

Mouthfeel: Nice light feeling with good carbonation, and no alcohol burn at all

Overall: Great light weizen and very smooth. At 4%, this would be very refreshing on a hot summer day

Notes: This is my first beer from Penn Brew Co, as well as from Clubs of America, which turned out to be a great first impression from both. This was a really solid beer, something I would be open to picking up from my local bottle shop on occasion if they had it, but it isn't available in this area. This brew has also won numerous awards in the craft beer community, most notably the Gold medal in 2000 at the Great American Beer Festival.

 860 characters

Photo of Tballz420
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy yellowish orange color, very big pillowy white head. Very nice classic hefe scent, fairly banana-y. Same with the taste, wheat, clove, banana, light touch of hops. Kinda sharp on the tongue. Pretty impressive, not quite on par with the classic german hefes but solid.

 277 characters

Photo of bnmir
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tab at the brewery.
Classic cloudy straw in color with a thick persistent head. Excellent aromoa banana forward with nice clove. No sulfur aroma.
Low bitterness barely noticeable behind the hints of citrus. Yeast flavors predominate but the breadiness lingers on the tongue fading to clove.
Medium bodied but with surprising drinkability.

Can't wait to try their weizenbock in the works!

 391 characters

Photo of jmyers89
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cloudy, and a nice rich gold color

S-Bananas, Clove,( thats all I could get, recovering from a cloged nose)

T- Bananas, pears, a good sweetness, and a nice clove flavor to smack you're tougne at the end

M- Smooth, silky, and rich

D- very good, def. drink a 12 pack of this

 279 characters

Photo of cooch69
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This Hefeweizen pours a striking multilayered deep cloudy yellow. There are some big floaters in here with a nice frothy head.

Nose is really tutti fruity, sweet bubble gum, and some sourness and acidity. Very in your face for a lighter beer.

Taste is pretty clovy, and slightly sweet with some tutti frutti banana bubble gum chicklets.

Mouthfeel is exeptional. One of the best in the business. It is so creamy that it puts cream of wheat to shame. So smooth that your charmins will be jealous. 10/5 for feel.

This beer without a doubt puts Penn Brewery at position #1 for PA acording to my experiences. There beers may not be the biggest or the baddest but they are for sure the tastiest.

 697 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a nice white head in the weizen glass. However, not too much retention as it fades quickly. Nose is light citrus and clove with a bit of grain. The taste has the grain really take over and not much of the yeast comes through. Feel is light. Not too drinkable as the notes from the nose really don't come through and this is quite ordinary.

 394 characters

Photo of david18
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had a sixteen ounce pour of this at Amsterdam Ale House in Manhattan's Upper West side. Visually, this is very much like a wheat beer. Quite cloudy, almost impossible to see through, with an intense esthery aroma. The flavor was ok but not all that memorable. Color was a little darker than expected.

 302 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Standard 12 oz. bottle meets standard pint glass.

Pours uber cloudy pale yellow with white foam. Wheaty smell. Some banana, stronger clove, both present. Tangy wheat taste, lots of citrus. Orange notes. Yeast backed. Good blend.

Good drinking hefe. Enjoyable.

 262 characters

Photo of rabsten
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap right at the brewery. I'd missed this one and now it's back.

Thick fluffy white head and good lacing atop a yellow/light amber body. Pretty.

Cloves, bananas, and some mild bread notes. Hefe-tastic!

More phenolic than estery in flavor, with cloves leading and bananas trailing. Some lemon qualities in the finish. More hefe-rifficness.

A little thin on the mouthfeel and the trailing lemon cuts the drinkablility a bit but other than that, this is a very good beer. One of, if not, Penn's best.

 504 characters

Photo of DerekP
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A glowing amber look. Decent lacing, not a lot of head.

Awesome smell of banana muffins. Yeasty.

Delicious taste - a good amount of wheat, a lot of sweet bananas. Clove.

A very nice medium body. A solid mouthfeel.

Definitely one of Penn Brewery's best.

 308 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this gem on-tap, fresh from the Penn Brewery (not Wilkesbarre).

Pours cloudy, unfettered, unfiltered. Nice creamy white head and some lacing.

Aroma chock full of hefe flavors, lemon, bready malt, hint of banana.

Taste is great. Banana/bubblegum from the bavarian style yeast and quite delicious. A touch of citrus and clove. The best part is that there are no off flavors in the beer anymore. Tastes pretty authentic.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a more-ish finish.

Certainly drinkable. I want a keg all to myself.

 528 characters

Photo of stakem
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Penn Brewery on the label, but brewed and bottled in Wilkes-Barre, PA... A friend currently living in Pittsburgh brought me this beer when he came back home to visit and comically enough it would have been less of a hassel if I purchased it myself seeing as though it was brewed closer to me living in Central PA than him in Pittsburgh. Anyway, moving on. Bottle date of 12/6/09

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a thin white head. Doesn't offer up much retension or lacing. Aroma is full of the typical hefeweizen characteristics: citrus predominantly with clove and a little bit of bubblegum. One of the frist things you notice when it hits your mouth (if the looks of this beer didn't already give it away) is the high carb. Very high amount of prickly carb which is usual for this style with a light feel. Tastes of this beer includes clove, citrus and an overal nice spice about it. Not really picking up on much banana found in some other breweries takes on the style but I am ok with that. Only evidence of hops is a slight bitterness upfront in the taste. All in all, quite good. I am picky about hefeweizens and this one is a cut above the standard in my opinion.

 1,172 characters

Photo of shanecb
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice hazy, golden color to it. Carbonation adds an appeal to it, also. Poured initially with about half inch of a white head, but that unfortunately didn't stick around very long. Some lacing, but not a whole lot.

S - Very strong, nice banana aroma. Backed up with some cloves and a little spiciness to it. I could smell something in the background, like maybe orange or a melon, but it was faint in everything but the biggest whiffs.

T - The spiciness and cloves from the aroma carry over quite well into the taste. Maybe it was just me, but I was expecting a little more fruity or banana flavor given the aroma, but it didn't seem to really be there. Aftertaste had some nice sweetness to it, and reminded me a little it of the fruit character I noticed in the aroma. Pretty nice taste, but I would have liked something else to be present with the clove/spiciness.

M - Rather light feel, with a good amount of carbonation. Tickles the tongue just enough, and isn't too much. I rather liked the mouthfeel of this one.

D - Very good drinkability here. The aroma and flavor combination is very appealing, and the beer is just smooth enough that there should be no problem with throwing a few of these back at a time.

 1,224 characters

Photo of AltBock
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with an updated label. The label has a really good drawing of good looking Farmer's wife or daughter hauling away stocks of wheat out of a wheat field. She has a look on her her that says she likes what she's doing. Missing from my bottle was a back label that would have had a description of the beer and the Government warning. There should be a number printed onto the back of the bottle. My number read 12609N0705. It might be a best before date of December 06, 2009.

I poured this Weizen into my Ayinger Weizen glass. Penn Weizen was the usual hazy lemon yellow, but this one didn't have the massive head of foam on it. It was a good size, but it wasn't all that big. It was white as a ghost and about 3/4 of an inch in height. It had fast retention that only left behind a faint tiny string of rings along the sides.

It had a nice solid banana aroma to it with some malted wheat, spices, and cloves backing it up. When it was swirled around, a minor whiff of bubblegum emerged from the background.

While the aroma was pretty much situated on the banana, the taste was mostly all about the malted wheat. Following the malted wheat was a hint of banana, a pinch of cloves, a touch of yeast, and a few spices at the end. The taste of bubblegum would have been a treat, but I'm just glad that the taste wasn't overly yeasty.

This was a light bodied Hefeweizen with a high amount of carbonation and a crispy aftertaste. In the aftertaste, you find the taste of malted wheat, a hint of banana, a pinch of cloves, and a few spices. The wheat is the only taste that sticks around for a few seconds.

The Lion Brewery did a nice job with Penn Brewery's Hefeweizen recipe. It was up there with the better Penn Brewery beers. I wouldn't turn down another bottle if it was offered to me.

 1,802 characters

Penn Weizen from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 381 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.