Sunshine Wheat Beer | New Belgium Brewing

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Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
IBU - 14
Hops - Target
Malts - Pale, Carapils, Wheat
OG - 13.4
Fruits/Spice - Orange Peel, Coriander

Added by kbub6f on 04-28-2002

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Reviews: 368 | Ratings: 885
Photo of jds1469
1.69/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Drank from the tap at Fireside Brewhouse on the south side of Indianapolis.

A - This beer looks like any other wheat ale made in the United States, and this is the strong point of the beer. No head to speak of.

S - Bitter and skunky. Bad keg? Maybe. Bad beer over all? Probibly. No smell of hops fruits. Just bitter smelling.

T - See smell...

M - good carbonation. Nothing else to say.

D - One and done. If u don't believe me, put one in a pick 6 and try it.

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Photo of Crosling
1.86/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a clear golden yellow with an ivory colored head.
Smell is faint and hardly there. Some citrus flavors in the aroma. Tastes of coriander and ground orange peel, but there needs to be much more flavor from the spices for this to even be considered adequate and the yeast and malt character are far from ample. Light in body and character. Dull, disappointig yeast character. Terrible, especially considering the style.

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Photo of ccrida
1.87/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Crystal clear pale yellow with a thick white head, rocky and lots of bubbly lace. Looks like a coors light, maybe a creamier head.

Right off the bat, the smell is really foul. Literally, it smells like puke. Terrible. I will say that as I worked my way through, it was less of an issue. Not sure if it lessened as it warmed got a chance to breath, or I just got used to it.

Taste is typical, bland american wheat beer - like a coors light, with extra grain husks. The puke doesn't make an appearance, other then it's tough not to smell it as you drink.

The mouthfeel is thin, but creamy.

This was one and done for me. I love real hefe's, and hate american wheat's. Bland taste is one thing, but the nasty smell was just too much. Once I stopped breathing through my nose, I was able to suck it down in a hurry, but that was to get it over with.

I don't understand why New Belgium releases any of their non-belgian styles - I haven't liked one yet, including the famous fat tire. I guess you've got to pay the bills? I call BS.

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Photo of blakelive784
1.95/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz can served in a pint glass, reviewed live -

A - presents a pale, transparent, straw golden color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Mediocre at best.

S - crisp wheat, spice. Honey and subtle citrus. Really mild in strength, put pleasant.

T - lemon grass over a pale barley and wheat foundation. The lemon is the most prevailing flavor in an otherwise watery beer. Weak.

M - entirely too smooth and wet for a wheat.

D - an easy drinker, but not one is have again.

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Photo of cnally
2.09/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This one has a fairly crystal clear golden body and a sticky white head with decent lacing.

Sour lemon, off aromas staring with the yeasts. Smells untamed and a little nasty. Kind of like a car air freshener.

The flavor is just pure sweet, but there is at least some depth. Now, whether that is a welcoming thing is up for debate. The sweetness is tempered by a punch of coriander, clove and anise, just barely noticeable, underneath a cloak of citrus. Layered, certainly, but because of its over-sweetness, sour citrus, and imbalance between the layers, it comes off as being absolutely unappealing.

Watery as piss. Low carbonation. Little to no body.

Yikes. Did I drink this past its prime? I guess I have to try it again when it is more in season, because as is, yuck.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.17/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The Sunshine pours a clear light golden. It has a fizzy white head that quickly disappears.

Its aroma is yeasty and floral with slight hints of bready grain and citrus.

The flavor is very mild and somewhat bland...sweet malts, some yeast, a little orange and coriander with a slightly acidic crisp finish. It seems a little thin and watery.

Overall, this is not a very good wit. I have had better samples in the past, but even those are pretty mediocre.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.25/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased at Liquor Shed in Casper.

This pours from 12oz bottle(best by 10 Aug 07) a clear light gold with a good head of foam that shrinks quickly to some islands in the middle of my glass. Good lacing though..

The smell is fruity first, of wheat second. I get a lot of orange in the nose.

The taste has orange and other citrus flavour up front followed by some wheat and coriander. Put them all together and doesn't seem to work for me at all. I can't say much more than that other than I won't be buying this again and the other 5 bottles of it that I have will be tough to finish.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
2.3/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap in a 12 oz pint glass (Denver, CO):

Served a pale clear golden yellow with a thin white head. Noticeable carbonation rising to the top of the glass.

Aroma is light, it has a citrus, maybe apricot or it could be lemon and grass. The light aroma is what I have really come to expect from this style.

The taste is very weak, no real yeast of wheat flavor to speak of. A very light grain flavor, tasted more like a light lager than anything else. It also had a metallic dry aftertaste.

The beer is light and very much over-carbonated.

Drinkability suffers greatly from the high carbonation and any real lack of flavor that exists, so much so that I could not finish it.

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Photo of kmpitz2
2.37/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to the mystery beer-fairy that left this on my doorstep today. This one pours a very transparent slightly golden yellow. The nose is overpowering orange citrus. No malts come through in this one. The head is non-existant. The flavor is citrusy and thin. There is a grainy/grassy finish. Blah. Mouthfeel is light. This would be a good lawnmower beer on a very hot day, very cold. Bleh.

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Photo of clvand0
2.39/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a very pale color - reminds me of bud light. Way too light - needs some cloudyness. The aroma was very much orange citrus and not much else. The body wasn't there. The taste was very much citrus as well. I was very disappointed with this beer. It isn't what I call a witbier. Uninteresting.

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Photo of MrDonQuixote
2.4/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a can into an oversized wine glass:

A- Pale straw yellow color with a slight white head

S- Smell is spicy. Light hops smell, wheat and citrus

T- Tastes of coriander and obviously of wheat. The citrus flavor is light, but it is present. Light bitterness on the finish. A bit too much of a peppery taste for my taste. Tastes like I am drinking a bottle of pepper with some beer mixed in

M- The mouthfeel is the best part of this beer. Smooth with a nice finish.

O- overall this beer is bland.

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Photo of mwa423
2.43/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours as light and clear as an adjunct lager with almost no head, what was there disappeared quickly.

S - Sweet smell, lots of honey, a hint of citrus, slightly wheaty. It reminds me a sickening amount of shock top or golden wheat.

T - Taste seems like one of the pathetic new taste offerings like Bud Light Golden Wheat. I really would suggest avoiding this summer seasonal.

M/D - Mouthfeel is watery, it's as drinkable as a weak lager.

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Photo of Quaffer
2.45/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This was a golden and, oddly enough, crystal clear wheat beer. I swirled the last inch or so of beer to get the sediment out, only to discover that there was no sediment. A white head rose up to one finger and dissipated quickly. A thin ring around the beer was the only thing left after a few minutes. There was little to no lacing.

Smell: It was slightly grainy, with a strong sour odor. There was a hint of citrus, but it was very weak. There was also some corn in the background.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied and surprisingly smooth. Almost silky at times.

Taste: In terms of flavor, this brew had almost no wheat qualities. It reminded me of an American lager. There was some chewy grains up front. Those and a mild sweetness lingered for awhile, but that was it.

This was a very disappointing beer from New Belgium. I am a fan of many of their brews, but I will have to pass on this one in the future. If I hadn't poured the beer myself, I would have never known it was a wheat.

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Photo of hero27
2.47/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle
4.8% abv

Pours a clear, pale yellow. Small head of fizzy white foam.
Weak aroma of pale malt & light spice..
Flavor of lemongrass & a touch of pepper & wheat. A bit of sweetness from the pale malts, but nothing too crazy going on. Thin mouthfeel.
There isn't very much wheat at all in this "so-called wheat". I'd certify this as a lackluster brew from New Belgium.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
2.49/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle pored into a stemmed (tulip) glass

A: Pale yellow with minimal head that leaves no lacing.

S: Orange and wheat. No nuance or intrigue.

T: Bland. Tastes a little like an orange flavored San Pelligrino.

M: Thin. Weak. The bubbles (carbonation) are pretty nice.

D: Only drinkable if I forget about enjoying myself and go directly to quenching a thirst. No thank you.

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Photo of kosmoraios
2.5/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First of all, let me say that I am rarely impressed by New Belgium.

This ale pours a clear light yellow with almost no head to speak of, even on an extremely agressive pour. Looks and smells like a macro pilsner with a bit of orange.

Taste is very bland. Again, coors with a hint of orange and coriander. A preponderance of wheat and some fruitiness. Almost nothing else. Water?

Mouthfeel is flat and watery with not much carbonation and almost no body. Drinkability is great if you don't want to taste your ale. If you're in to this kind of thing, save your money: buy Natural Light and squeeze a bit of orange into it. Maybe a dash of coriander if you're feeling rich.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.51/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance-Clear pale yellow. 1 1/2 fingers of head thats gone in a blink of an eye. Pretty transluscent. No lacing.

Smell-Lots of lemon. Very one dimensional. Smells like a citrusy BMC. Light yeast aroma.

Taste-Lemon, but not a fresh lemon, like a watered down lemon. Some spice and maybe even black pepper. Just very boring.

Mouthfeel-Definitely drinkable. Crisp, but nothing about it makes me want to finish it. Moderate carbonation, watery.

Overall-New Belgium seems to be hit or miss with me, I love them or hate them. This one is closer to the Hate List.

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Photo of Magpie14
2.56/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: interestingly enough, I recently took part in the consumption of the Hoptober beer and virtually no difference in hue is noticeable. Maybe this Sunshine Wheat is a touch lighter in saturation. I would swear I am drinking an American Macro/Adjunct lager by the look of things. The body is fizzy and a transparent white yellow. The head consists of bone-white fizz and lacing has some presence and is by far the best feature

S: the smell is virtually non-existent. I maybe gather sugary lemons and oranges and water logged toasted wheat accents. Let us hope that the flavor delivers a little more

T: gleam of hope deciphered by the nose was cut short. The flavors quickly drench the taste buds and are quickly washed away. I am left with a highly carbonated zip of watery lemons, coriander, and meagerly spiced hops. It seems that what flavors exist could be good. But where did they go? Toasted notes are in the mix as well

M: snappy, bright, and carbonated. Very crisp and has ample summery feel on a hot day. Body is light and weak with no lasting presence. Big gulps induces watery eyes...

D: you probably could drink these all night long...light ABV% and light flavor, but why? I pass on this brew and deem it my worst New Belgium experience yet. I have not had this bad of an experience since I watched that Ronald Reagan film

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Photo of kimd03
2.58/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm a fan of New Belgium beers, but this one reminds me of Fruit Loops. Nuff Said.. A beer shouldn't taste like a breakfast cereal.

Drinkable in modest amounts (i.e 1) at 8 am followed by a cold glass of milk.

Overall it's still crisp and refreshing, but I can't deal with the Toucan Sam after taste.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
2.62/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into standard pint glass

Appearance: Very clear golden yellow color. Nice foamy head that didn't last long, but left nice lacing.

Smell: Citrus and spices with sweet whiffs of wheat.

Taste: The orange and spices are right up front, but subtle. Wheaty and sweet, but very subtle and light tasting. Not bad, but not breaking any new ground here either. Not crazy about the spice aftertaste.

Mouth feel: Nicely carbonated and light.

Drinkability: Not bad, but I wouldn't seek it out again. It's a pretty run of the mill light wheat beer.

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Photo of bierenutz
2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a pale clear yellow color with a smallish head and minimal lacing.
S-Faint citrus although somewhat of a sour aroma and piney hops. Even agitating the glass I could only arose more of the grassy funky aroma...bad bottle?
T-Not a whole different than the smell. I'm just not liking this beer and I find myself continual lowering my rating as I drink on.
M-Thin and watery with moderate carbonation.
D-I am not impressed with this offering from NB. It's looking more like a drain pour the more I drink this. It was a gift, though, and I do not want to offend (gag!).

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Photo of rajendra82
2.68/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 12 oz. bottle was provide in person by Southernbrew. The beer poured pale macro yellow with a small ring of fizzy bubbles (I’d not even call it a head), that disappeared rapidly. The aroma was totally unlike the attributes the label suggested. All I could detect was graininess and faint sweetish malts. There was no hint of banana, orange peel, or coriander on the nose. The taste was clean, and dull. There was no wheat beer fruity edge. Instead this was basically a purified and cleaned up macro. There was a lemony twang in the finish with a hint of spiciness, and the mouthfeel was a few notches above most macros. There was nothing really wrong with the beer except for the allusion of getting a Belgian style wheat beer on the label. I am sorry, but this is not even close to that.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2.69/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presented in a 12oz brown bottle with a “best before” date of 01-28-04 on the label. Poured a clear light gold color with virtually no carbonation and a piteously tiny skim of white bubbles for a head. Add no lace and I started getting a bad feeling about this offering from New Belgium Brewing Co.
The smell was dominated by a citrus aroma like orange peels, with a grassy malt smell and some modest spice (mainly coriander) serving as background. The taste had a orange citrus tang that immediately hit the tongue as did a dusty malt flavor. The beer’s spicy aspect briefly put in an appearance mid-range before beating a hasty retreat, leaving a grainy malt residue of taste in the finish. The feel was light, rather dry, and crisp.
Question: where’d the yeast go? I don’t know except that it wasn’t in the bottom of the bottle. While Sunshine Wheat is drinkable (I didn’t dump it), it looks more like a pilsener minus the hops profile. This beer is almost macro-esque in stature, lacking any of the more robust aromas and flavors of other witbiers. Overall, a dull, boring beer that I have a hard time believing is designed “in the Belgian wheat beer tradition” as stated on the label.

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Photo of andyj
2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was somewhat dissappointed with this beer because I have enjoyed many other Fat Tire beers within their line and I really feel they do a great job. In my opinion this one came off more as an American style wheat beer. It has a very nice unoffensive taste. A nice lemony-citrusy aroma and a mild spiciness. Compared to some other American Belgian-Wit beers, this one lacks the spiciness and flavor that is present in many other varieties like Allaghash or Victory. I would say this is more of an American Wheat/Belgian Wit hybrid. Drinkable, but not awe-inspiring.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Single brought back from Lake Havasu City, AZ over spring break.

Pours an almost neon straw yellow with a cm of snow white head that fades instantly. Nose is a weak mix of cracker, lemon juice, ground pepper and a hint of coriander. Taste is slightly acidic, a bit spicy, a little citrus sweet, yet overall uninspiring, even for an APWA. Mouthfeel is very thin and watery, very little body to speak of. A rather uninspiring stab at a lawnmower beer. Not bad, but not impressive in any way either. Yawn.

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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
3.47 out of 5 based on 885 ratings.
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