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 kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery.

A: Clear and straw yellow. Thin head. Not much lace

S: biscuit and bread with a little bitter note

T: very light but with a nice lemon zest finish. Otherwise has more of a macro light lager taste.

M: light body and high carbonation.

Overall: Too much of a macro light for me. Drinkable none the less and not as watery as a macro lager.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best before 10/27/13.

Pours a hazy light yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, wheat, and subdued spice and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with slight citrus and spice flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but the aromas and flavors are pretty subdued all around.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

not real impressed with this one. super light cloudy whiteish yellow pale color with a short white head that doesnt last long. smells lemony and yeasty and the flavor matches. extraordinarily light on the tongue in the mouth, similar in feel to their mothership wit. lots of carbonation. low abv makes it sessionable, but its got a funky rindy sort of aftertaste that makes it funny in the stomach after a few. not new belgium's best product, but i suppose it satisfies those looking for a shocktop style beer from a craft operation

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Photo of biboergosum
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, at the New Belgium bar in Denver International Airport.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with one finger of puffy and bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some minor island group lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of gritty wheat malt, hard water minerals, musty coriander, weak generic citrus rind, faintly funky yeast, and mild earthy hops. The taste is semi-sweet grainy wheat, earthy coriander, understated fleshy orange, ethereal white pepper, a touch of isolated caramel, and somewhat phenolic yeast.

The carbonation is moderate, if quite frothy at times, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth, though perhaps a tad watery. It finishes off-dry, with the wheaty malt and muddled spices persisting.

A kind of plain wheat beer, the attempts to Wit(icize) it, while not overly successful, working well for me now, as the week has been rather summery in Denver, and this hits the spot as my last brew here for another year.

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly clear pale golden color with a foamy head that sticks well and shards the glass with lace

Smell: Bready malt with a bit of coriander and some orange citrus

Taste: Starts out with a honey wheat bread flavor that is joined, mid-palate by the spices - coriander and orange peel; not as powerful as a wit, however, even though the same spices are used; after the swallow, the spices fade and the honey bread elements re-emerge through to the finish

Mouthfeel: Light body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Another of New Belgium's highly drinkable lighter styles

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Photo of kojevergas
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired as part of the New Belgium summer variety box 2013 at Von's grocery. Best before: September 15th, 2013. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery. 4.8% ABV confirmed. I dig the straightforward simple label art. Pry-off cap is branded and red in coour. Self-identifies as a wheat beer; reviewed as such.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a quickly dissipating head of four finger width. Beige in colour. Slight creaminess. Decent frothiness. Nice thickness. Good (~7+ minute) retention, though the ABV is rather modest which makes that much easier. No bubble show.

Body colour is a clear pale yellow. Average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. Translucent.

Generally appealing for the style, but it's far from unique and/or special. No overt flaws.

Sm: Mild floral hops. Lemon peel/lemon zest. Clean wheat. Clean barley. Hints of cilantro. Light orange peel. An above average to mild strength aroma. Features some subtlety. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Pleasant and approachable. Looking forward to trying it.

T: Clean barley and wheat. Light lemon peel and lemon zest. Light complementary floral hop notes. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Lightly grassy. Some light cilantro. Balanced but rather simple. Not sure if they're going for a witbier or an American wheat; they failed at both. Some subtlety, but not much. No real complexity or intricate layering. I like it in a general sense for what it is.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and light on the palate. Overcarbonated. Refreshing, sure. Suits the flavour profile decently, but doesn't come off custom-tailored to it. Nice presence on the palate. Not oily or harsh. Quite approachable. Nice thickness for what it's trying to do. Good body.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from great. Not sure quite what style they're after, but styles aside it still doesn't quite hit the sweet spot. Hides its ABV well. A pleasant little beer from New Belgium, but a largely forgettable one. I might get it again at the same price point; I do like the value. But I wouldn't order it at a bar or anything. Low ambition.

Low C+

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden colored beer with a medium head with average retention. Aroma is quite strong on the coriander and orange peel side and a bit weak on the wheat side. I think just a bit more balance would have been appreciated. The Coriander and the orange peel, which lent a funky feeling, also overpower taste. Carbonation is a bit too thin and body is just above average. This is not a bad beer just not what was expected.

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Photo of zeff80
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pour into a pint glass, it was highly carbonated with a straw yellow color and a small, bubbly, white head. There were small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus and orange. Also, a nice wheat and yeast aroma.

T - It tasted of wheat with some bitter hop spice. There was also a citrus kick.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is a really easy drinking wheat beer. A nice session brew.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light yellow color. White head and not much lacing. The nose is really quite plain. There are a few light notes of orange and lemon; maybe a tad bit of spice. The taste is slight malt with a bit of sugar. Light orange character. Feel is light and somewhat refreshing. Another very plain offering out of them; quite disappointing.

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Photo of mothman
3.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass

Color is a a very clear light straw yellow. Hardly any color to it. Pours a little over 1 finger of white head. Decent retention with little lace.

Aroma: A ton of spices. They remind me of the spices in a saison. Some pepper. Orange peel. Some citrus note and wheat. A pretty straight forward beer. Very zesty.

Taste: A ton of spices off the top. Pepper and orange peel. A lot of citrus and zest. Wheat. Finishes with lime citrus.

Mouthfeel: Very zesty on the tongue. Leaves a very gross spiced aftertaste. Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation for this beer.

Overall, this is an OK beer. Very drinkable on a hot summer day. I like the spice flavor that this beer has to offer.

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Photo of oberon
3.27/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light golden color with not much head to speak of no sediment no nice fluffy head not very impressive.Aromas of toasted malt and coriander but not much of the fruitiness I was hoping for.Taste like the aroma alot of toasted malt and some light spiciness with the toasted flavor coming thru again in the finish with a very light wheatiness to it.Not much to this beer thought it might be a little better but decent for the porch on a warm day like today.

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Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can into pint glass, best before 8/7/2016. Pours lightly hazy golden straw color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, orange peel, pear, apple, coriander, pepper, clove, light banana, wheat, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasnat aromas with good balance of pale malt, spices, and fruity/earthy yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, orange peel, pear, apple, coriander, pepper, clove, light banana, wheat, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange peel, coriander, pepper, clove, wheat, cracker, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Nice robustness and balance of pale malt, spices, and fruity/earthy yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/grainy/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.8%. Overall this is a good pale wheat ale style. All around good robustness and balance of pale malt, spices, and fruity/earthy yeast flavors; and very smooth, crisp, and refreshing to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from RickSawyer, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a very thin white head that fades quickly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of wheat, coriander spice and citrus (orange & lemon) with a touch of hops.

T: The taste is fruity and spicy with flavors of orange, lemon & coriander, but there’s also a little bit of a sour quality to it, with a decent background of wheat. The malt character is very light and there’s not much of a hops presence. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and a little smooth, light body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not filling at all, good representation of style but leans toward being a Witbier. This one is definitely worth drinking for a long time if you want something light, but it might not necessarily be my first choice.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.76/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Enjoy By: 25SEP16.

Appearance: Pours a softly hazed, daffodil-colored body with a medium-small, white head.

Smell: A scent of clean, scrubbed wheat, tangy orange and a lil' pinch of spice.

Taste: Slightly sweet, honey-tinged wheat with a small, small hint of grain. Lightly fruity, lightly citrusy. Modest spiciness. Sweetish, cereal-laden finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice, nicely light summertime offering.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bright yellow, or at least more yellow than amber. The head is eggshell white in color and leaves nothing more than a short collar of lace that follows the beer down the glass.

The aroma is very nice for a witbier; it's more candied lemony and orangy than most. There's also an appealing soft wheatiness that is, thankfully, superceded by citrus. The more I smell Sunshine Wheat, the more I like it.

Unfortunately, the flavor doesn't deliver on what the nose promised; primarily because the body/mouthfeel doesn't measure up. What mild wheatiness and orange/lemon flavor reaches the tastebuds is quickly washed away. And I don't appreciate any coriander at all. The flavor is enjoyable, there just isn't enough of it.

I get the feeling that there's a pretty decent witbier lurking in here somewhere if New Belgium would only let it out. Sunshine Wheat Beer is drinkable in a thirst quenching sort of way, but if you drink primarily for flavor, you're sure to be disappointed.

[note: the style has since been changed to American Pale Wheat Ale, which explains a lot]

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice three inch high head of white foam, fizzled out after just a few moments and then finally left behind nothing, no side glass lace to speak of either. Good carbonation bubbling up throughout the session. The aroma was extremely light. Some floral hops, hints of lemon, and grass, and a touch of wheat were about all you were picking up. Had nice bright profile though.

The flavor was much more of the same, with a very bright, and appropriate for summer taste. There was a decent hint of orange rind and lemon in the back, with a nice rounded wheat flavor, nothing shocking or extraordinary here though.The feel was very light and highly carbonated. Crisp, and clean with little in the way of aftertaste. Nice beverage for a hot day, This ties in here as well, as it was just very light, with low abv and just that slightest bit of citrus to make it pop. It could have easily been something that you have multiples of for sure.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone weizen glass.

There seems to be no real dearth of "Summer style" beers in Winter. Hmm... This one pours a clear pale straw topped by a bit more than a finger of white froth. The nose comprises lemon zest, cardamom, a lot of cracked black pepper, and white bread. The taste does not deviate from this prescribed path, though a slight mild sour crick wanders through along the base of the mountain. (Imagery, yeah!) The body is pretty light, with a very light carbonation and a smooth, nearly watery feel. Overall, a nice bit o' APWA, though I could see some not appreciating the pepper as I do.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am currently in Denver, touching base, but not much more, with The Old Lady aka Ma Petite Abeille and the preponderance of CANned craft beer is astounding! It is enough to send The CANQuest (TM) into overdrive, but the problem is a lack of singles and I CANnot lug that many beers around, so a CANundrum arose. Fortunately, I am an old school pen & ink type of guy and if I CAN drink and review it at the bar, then so be it, geekery be damned!

Fresh Craft on Blake Street became my source for three such CANs, so this is transcribed from notes dtd Tuesday, 30 July 2013.

From the CAN: "Pack It In Pack It Out"; "Wheat beer brewed with coriander and orange peel"; "Alternatively Empowered/Employee Owned"; "We'd love to have you stop by the brewery - Jeff and Kim"; "Best Enjoyed Outside".

My server made the initial pour, so I was only a party to the Crack & Glug, rather than being directly involved. There was a quick, fizzy finger of bone-white head that experienced such limited retention that it was down t wisps upon arrival. Color was a pale lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had the classic wheat scent. I do not have words for it, but it smells like opening a box of Wheaties. Mouthfeel was kind of thin and the taste was very wheat-y. I really did not experience the coriander until the finish and th orange peel seemed to hav been lost on the mix. I was reminded of the bit in Catch-22 when Yossarian is handed a treat by his Supply Officer. "Light, airy, fluffy and with a robe of chocolate. What is it?" "Chocolate-covered cotton balls!" Oh well, CAN't win 'em all. I never professd to be other than a hophead.

My original, on-tap review dtd 10-26-2006 4.5; 3.0; 3.5; 5.0 4.0 follows:

This one arrived with a huge, frothy, bone-white head. It had extremely bright clarity in a pale-lemon colored beer with fantastic effervescence. The nose had a faint, wheat-driven sweetness. The mouthfeel was full, thanks to the aforementioned effervescence. The taste was light and slightly fruity with a very refreshing dryness on the finish.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sunshine Wheat pours a light and shiny golden shade with a two finger head that doesn't stick around very long. Carbonation is pretty high. Aroma is mainly of wheat, but a nice lemony zest is also detected. Taste is fairly light-bodied, especially the wheat. Lemony finish is the strong flavor here. Flavor is nice and light, but I think it could have been a little more complex. Drinkability is good, this is a nice summertime brew. This seems like a solid example of the style (based on the three witbiers I've had), but I'm sure there is plenty better out there.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slightly cloudy golden hue with a rather thin white head but it does leave behind thin strips of lacing between each sip. Aroma: Coriander blended with wheat bread sweetness some definite orange peel evident as well, a bit tame but nice and balanced. Taste: Incredibly refreshing with the smack your lips together sharp sweetness blended with the spices makes me happy a very refreshing tasty version of this style. Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied strong carbonation blends well in the mouth has a nice texture going down adding to the drinkability. Drinkability: Summer wheat that can be enjoyed year round in my opinion this is excellent so drinkable and tasty, I am a fan.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.85/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a clear, pale yellow, with a small white head. Aroma spills over with lemon, straw, a hint of spice and sea-air. Palate is soft, lush, and smooth. But hops are tiny, malt is minimal. Very little in texture and body, and the taste, though good, fades swiftly.
The foam tastes good, though!
All the pleasure in this beer lie in the aroma, the smooth drinkability, and,um, that's it. It's easily downable, but largely forgettably, I'm afraid. It tastes, for a while, like a witbier, but lacks the complexity and texture I enjoy in better versions of that style, Why did they take the yeast out, I wonder? Would make a fine "lawnmower" beer, better in that regard than a Bud, but to really enjoy a beer, I'll turn to an unfiltered weizen or wit.
(Thanks to jeffboo for procuring the bottle)

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Photo of GClarkage
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed in October, 2004 from a 12 oz bottle. Pours with a small head that disappears quickly with virtually zero lace. A deep yellow straw colored liquid sits in my glass. Smells of cloves and corriander fill the air. Maybe a grassy smell as well. Tastes pretty much like the smell. Dated Oct 14, so it's pretty close to it's freshnesses end. Tastes kinda like a witbier bud. Not the best thing. Has a bit of character though. Would like to try it from the tap and see the difference. No need to do the bottle again.

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Photo of Tone
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong wheat, strong citrus hops, strong floral hops, slight yeast, and a hint of pale malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Wheat Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong wheat, slight earthy malt, strong citrus hops, strong floral hops, and slight yeast. Overall, weak appearance, but an aroma and body that are reminiscent of fruit loops.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from a bottle into a New Belgium beer glass because you would too if you were as awesome as I am, this was an extra in a recent trade with mizzouguy. Thanks!

Beer is super light yellow and clear with a nice white head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is spicy, like heather and flowers. Nice.

Beer is light in body and sweet on the front with a mild grainy finish. Overall it is an interesting beer but not a favorite of mine. I like it but I don't know how much of it I would buy. Midpalate is a little flowery, fruity, mild yeast, overall just a decent beer, nothing special.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice head, firm and a finger thick...smaller than what I expected, however.
Bright yellow, hazy body. Looks like...the sun. Go figure.
Big citrus aroma, hops, floral and biscuit tones.
Taste was thicker than it looked, but still a bit thin. Floral and hops overrun by citrus. Of course the bartender put a lemon in it before I could smack him.
Crisp/clean feeling. Leaves me thirsty.

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