Wheat Beer | Napa Smith Brewery

26 Reviews
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Wheat BeerWheat Beer

Brewed by:
Napa Smith Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by aforbes10 on 12-09-2008

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 52
Photo of Beginner2
3.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Listed on the "1001 Beers To Drink Before You Die", this probably deserves to be on the list because the master brewer is one of the grand-daddy's of the craft beer movement. And because Napa is in the cradle of American wine, so it is a gentle dig on the competition. This was part of the flight I Had of six brews. I can see why this brewery has a reputation for culinary compatibility; most of the flight I can imagine as companions to a narrow range of mild-ish foods. Not even the IPA was too hoppy.

Had in Napa's taproom, my ratings are much higher than other BA average and three years more recent. So I asked one of the brew workers if this wheat beer was close to the one being reviewed earlier. He didn't know for sure because he didn't know the previous recipe but had been told that the current one was a tweaked experiment. Obviously, I think they tweaked it for the better.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
2.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a clear, rather wan solar yellow with a thick, if not too persistent, white head. Wheaty aroma is none too strong and has a hint of yeast. Flavor has a malty core and wheaty and yeasty notes, plus a hint of fruit. Smooth texture has typical body and fizz, leaving a tingle that is persistent if not strong. Though not the best wheat I’ve had, give it a try if this is your favorite style.

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Photo of chinchill
2.92/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz undated bottle served in a lager glass.
A: pours clear golden with a well-proportioned, dense, off-white head. It has a high level of visible carbonation and leaves some nice lacing. Small amount of sediment in the bottle, a bit of which was included with the pour.

S: a mostly unappealing floral aroma with musty, yeasty and grassy notes. Hints of cardamon and ginger.

Taste is way better and fresher, as well as more delicate and less spicy than expected. Wheat is evident but subtle, Hints of cinnamon, cardamon and ginger. Light on hops for style. (yes, I know this style is supposed to be light on hops.)

M: Medium-light bodied; medium-high but soft carbonation.

O: a delicate, lightly spicy wheat beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.54/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thin head on a clear, medium straw colored body.
Smells of fruit: apple and pear mostly and a little honey.
Taste starts with a little sweet note, then dry bitterness... the middle and end are watery and bland. Starts out okay and then runs out of flavor halfway through.
Crisp texture, low carbonation and medium body.
The taste was a real disappointment, the rest of it was average.

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Photo of Mojo
3.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this bottle for several months and figured I'd better drink it before it got too old. I didn't expect much from it but I was pleasantly surprised. It poured a clear gold with a nice fluffy two finger head, decent retention, and decent lacing. The nose was mainly floral. Mouthfeel was good but maybe just a wee bit too much carbonation. Taste was mainly fruit but with some bitterness to balance. It sort of reminded me of a weaker IPA (not a bad thing.) Overall I loved it and the low ABV along with an easy drinkability would make this offering ideal as a session beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Again for this brewery: a drinkable beer that doesn't really go anywhere near the style parameters. Very mild wheat tones that show an extremely small amount of character. Little bit of spice. Kind of a dirty, earthy aftertaste. Easy drinking beer, but I'm here to be impressed, not to just have something to drink.

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Photo of BrewAskew
2.06/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out to a thin head that dies quickly. Amber-gold color. Aroma is stale and flat--smells of Play-Doh and stale bread. Flavor is gross, metallic and woody, sharpness from the wheat is ok, but hops and other subtleties are faded. Mouthfeel is average. This stuff tastes like crap. I can't imagine this is fresh--this is more of a distribution and storage problem. It tastes like old beer. If I ever get to have a sample at the brewery or in California, I will re- review and hopefully get to revise this assessment.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: thin head on a murky golden with amber hues body.

S: light on the nose with mild wheat and orange notes.

T: this one is very fizzy with almost no flavor. mild wheat and grains up front fade to a slightly less mild bitter hop note.

M: high carbonation and lighter side of medium body.

Overall: maybe mine was bad but there was almost no flavor or aroma with a club soda like mouthfeel.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.45/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Quick six in west York, PA. poured chilled into a cervoise.

A deep golden apricot shade with mild haze and thick white cap that settles to a ring with ultra fine bead, good retention is noted. The smell is very fruity from the yeast ester which is slightly apple and floral in odor. The feel is slightly sweet with mild malt body and gentle tangy yeast with a slightly high carbonation level and semi-dry finish.

The taste is good with some fruitiness from the yeast and slightly toasted wheat flavor which complements the notes of light golden apple in the background. The flavor has an almost white-wine like tangy flavor which is brought out by the effervescence. The overall vibe is a pretty average beer, but it is quaffable and brewed well enough to enjoy again. I considered it a decent wheat with better than average drinkability.

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Photo of zeff80
3.25/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear, golden color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left very little lacing.

S - It smelled of lemon, coriander and wheat.

T - It tasted strongly of coriander with a good dose of lemon. There was some nice wheat flavor underneath the overpowering coriander.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This was over done with the coriander. Certainly not the best wheat.

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Photo of Offa
3/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is another very mediocre beer from this brewery, although I like it better than some of their others.

Gold, it has a small white head slowly shrinking to a lasting, foamy ring.

Aroma is wheat, grass, soap, with faint hint of lightly flowery apple juice.

Taste is light, basic but decent wheat ale character, light fermented lemon, wheat, grass, hay, and a 7-up hint in finish. It is a bit soapy overall, a tad rough, and slightly on the sweet side. It's one of their better beers in my book, but still only decent, but at least it's enjoyable enough to drink.

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Photo of climax
3.1/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Napa Smith's wheat pours a straw yellow, murky but not cloudy. The fizzy eggshell white head forms quickly and gets pretty tall, then fades methodically leaving not too much behind.

I'm surprised by the hop character in the aroma. It is very sharp and has a bold herbal and citrus bite to it. Behind the lupulin dark horse, sits a well balanced fruit and wheat backbone. Banana and pepper make an appearance as well.

The flavor is a bit vague compared to the nose, but it has a good balance of power between sweet and spicy. The wheat flavors pretty much carry the load, but that same kiss of hops lingers. Accompaniment by sweet lemon and earthy grains are greatly appreciated, as they add some fleeting character.

The feel is crisp and sharp, but seems on the light side as it lacks the creamy full feel that so many wheats do well. This beer is no award winner, but it's crisp and refreshing, and that's what it's made for.

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Photo of david18
3/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not a huge wheat beer fan and I typically have to really like it for it to stand out to me. Unfortunately this was not one of the stand out wheats for me. I had this on a recent trip to Orlando.

Appearance was a light straw color with a typically wheat-y active head and overall cloudiness.

Aroma was quite yeasty, with hints of bread and little corriander.

Flavor was unremarkable, actually quite light on the palate. Nothing wrong with it but nothing that stood out either.

Overall, an unmemorable beer that I probably won't seek out again.

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Photo of schoolboy
2.94/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When I pored this, it had head that wouldn't quit. The head didn't taste like much, but I had to eat it off to finish the pour. I was impressed. The rest of the experience has been not so good.

The smell and taste have an off, chemical thing going on. Something is wrong. It only gets worse the more you drink. I would say that maybe it was a bad bottle, but others seem to not like it either.

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Photo of atigerlife
2.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours light golden with small carbonation rising. 2-finger creamy whie head. Good retention. Not bad...but not what I was expecting. A very slight haze...but not much. Curious.

Aroma of wheat, ctirus, sweet...very light aroma.

Taste of wheat, hay, light spices. Overall, very light flavor. Not much going on.

Mouthfeel is crisp, med-light bodied. Cleansing. Semi-dry.

Overall, an OK beer but not a lot going on. Lacking in the flavor area. Also, not what one would expect from a "wheat" beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
1.79/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a hazy yellow-gold coloring with a thin, filmy head and lots of carbonation visible in the glass. The beer has smells of sweet malt and wheat/grainy characteristics. A little too sweet, and somewhat musty. The beer is a bit sour on the flavor, with a strong malt backbone, and not much else coming off from that. The beer has no other strong flavors coming out, which is a bit of a letdown. The beer is dry and over crisp/overcarbonated in mouth, and the sourness carries through into the aftertaste. The finish is unpleasant, and this is a tough one to drink. Wierd blend of mouthfeel and lacking flavors. The beer could be decent, but it needs an overhaul.

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Photo of soonergeddon
1.8/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not impressed, it poured a weak head with a very translucent off amber color. A weak aroma of a cheap desert wine. A very below average variation of a wheat beer. Not recommened for experianced beer drinkers but ok for beginners to get a taste for differant types of beers.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a nearly clear, golden-orange body with a smallish, tepid, white head.

Smell: Weak whiffs of malted wheat, tart citrus fruits, and some stray ginger particles. Pretty plain all around.

Taste: Uber-light pale malts and a soft taste of wheat, faintly sweet, and with a light underlying tartness. A bit flat in the hop department, with only the merest hints of spicy and citrus. Very low bitterness. The ginger doesn't add much, if any flavor, really, but does imparts a tiny bit of that characteristic ginger sting. Thinning, watery finish that goes beyond being simply clean.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Surely being a light and refreshing wheat beer doesn't also guarantee blandness. Surely?! And the ginger-- they added a flavoring agent and the beer still comes up way, waaayy short.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.98/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

With very little information to go on, the lable confuses on whether this 'ginger infused' wheat is the same as the heat beer described on the website.

The standard hazy golden color pours from the bottle with as much fizzy character as froathy. Initially good head character soon falls with little lace and slight retention.

Grainy sweet aromas are mixed with spicy ginger, a mix of white and black pepper. Stong, pungently so with the spice.

Flavors are very sweet and very spicy, and without the supportive wheat malt base to substantiate the strong confection and bite. Low in hop character, this could be the element to round the beer out better.

Sweet and fizzy to the texture- amplified by the heat of the ginger and yeasty-phenolic pepper. As the carbonation subides, the beer sits heavily on the mouth surfaces, adding to the tacky texture.

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Photo of bump8628
2.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Filtered, clear golden wheat beer with a tightly bubbled white head that fades to a thin ring.

Spicy hops are moderately strong in the aroma with a crackery graininess hanging in the back. The same elements are found on the palate, but so is some buttery diacetyl that's distracting, especially in such a crisp and clean style, and it really detracts from the positive aspects of the beer.

The diacetyl ruins this one for me, but I think that if it were eliminated this could be a serviceable American Wheat with a little extra hop kick.

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Photo of Otesanek
2.62/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice looking label. Pours with no head, super clear (wheat??), nice golden color, looks a little macro. Smells a little malty, a little orangey, kinda hoppy or something. Flavor is kinda wack, a weird green peppercorn thing, malty sweet, needs more hop bitterness to cut the sweetness and balance the mess out. Mouthfeel is fine, a little heavy, coats a little which I don't love, but it does have some prickly carbonation. It drinks easily enough, but I don't really like it very much. This is a strange beer, drinks like a golden macro lager, I can't really tell where this beer is supposed to be heading.

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Photo of hustlesworth
2.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- clear golden with a big dense puffy white head. foam loosens as it settles and leaves some very nice rings of lace.

S- sweet, hoppy, and buttery. butterscotch/toffee/brittle to be precise. not bad though. fresh raw grains, grassy, green. a bit soapy and peppery and rather spicy.

T- taste is very fresh, and of quality, but kind of strange. wheat is evident. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. almost as if there were spices in the brew. must be the yeast or something. grassy herbal hop flavor is more pronounced than in other APWAs but not very bitter. burps are nearly all hop flavor with notes of pine and grapefruit. malted barley flavor comes out as the beer warms.

MF- light bodied and cool with very soft delicate carbonation. bubbles still have enough vigor to keep the beer from feeling flat. kinda sticky.

D- a weird brew. i like the fact that hops are a focal point but as a whole, something doesn't fit with me. i'm beginning to feel that experimental american types are over-rated and i should stick with the european wheats.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.11/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours up a hazy gold with a thick, long-lasting, white head.

S - Smells of wheat and grain. No hops detected.

T - malt graininess, some hop bitterness in the finish, but subdued. Like most American wheats, it's pretty bland. A hint of butterscotch

M - A little thin, good carbonation

D - Nothing offensive about the beer. A typical wheat, a little underwhelming.

 370 characters

Photo of washburnkid
2.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Split this bomber with friends. I hope they still like me after this one...
A: Dark yellow/nearing golden color with a slight chill haze. Head does very little to retain and there's not much on the body during the session.
S: Sweet syrupy, some corn?, and the diacetyl/overwhelming butterscotch aroma.
T/M: Same as aroma. Not reminiscent of wheat in the slightest. Undercarbonated. I thought I was drinking an adjunct.
D and notes: Difficult to palate. Unpleasing flavors overall. If I remember correctly, I really enjoyed this brewery's porter. I hope they can churn out some new beers soon. I want to support the locals!

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Photo of yeastsipper
2.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Beer looks nice from the outset. Nice golden color with a fine head. The nose is difficult - very cloying, buttery scent. Butterscotch it seems and if there are other smells you can't notice as butterscotch is all you get. I have difficulty describing it, as this is a new experience with a beer. The taste, when cold, was actually pretty nice. A nice, pale wheat beer with a subtle hop aftertaste. However, as it warms, annoying aspects arise. The nose becomes stronger, and more astringent. The taste starts to mimic the nose and there are medicinal and metallic qualities. Debating whether to pour or finish. The unflattering notes/flavors are just so strong as to diminish the positive aspects of the beer. For me, this is a home brew and one where the kinks need to be ironed out. Unfortunately, as a professional brewery, I expect more. I want to support local breweries, but I can't recommend that you try this.

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Wheat Beer from Napa Smith Brewery
2.81 out of 5 based on 52 ratings.
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