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: 369 | Ratings: 887
Photo of vkv822
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip
best by: 9/15/13

Fairly clear, pale yellow with a medium, foamy white head.

Fruity, sweet citrus, with subtle herbal coriander notes backed by smooth malty base. Nice balance.

Crisp, clean mouthfeel, light bodied.

Certainly an easy drinking, casual beer, but it does have some pleasant, subtle, complexities if the time is taken to appreciate them.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.09/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, pale yellow with a very small white head. No retention at all. No lace, either.
Smell is malt, crackers, hops, light citrus and spice (mostly pepper) , a hint of vanilla.
Taste is better, more pronounced, with malt, hops, saltines, citrus, light spice notes all playing in the pool. Balance is good.
A lighter-side-of-medium body with an effervescence that bursts forth at the start, stays noticeable, and fades unwillingly. Fairly astringent throughout. I must say I'm not a big fan of filtered Wheatstone, I miss the yeastiness and the appearance. A decent beer overall but not worth searching for.

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

This is Blue Moon. I'm drinking Blue Moon right now. I pulled one of my roommate's Blue Moons out of the fridge just to compare. Sunshine Wheat tastes identical to Blue Moon. Interestingly enough, Blue Moon has a 78 rating, and this beer has a 79. Maybe BAs are less biased against the big brewers than they think. So yeah. Back to the beer. If you've had Blue Moon, you've had this. Big orange and coriander over a light body with noticeable adjuncts. The main difference is that Blue Moon pours whiter.

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Photo of bmwats
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Golden hue. Lots of rising effervescence. Pours a 2 finger, frothy, white head. Thick, pervasive lacing.

S: Wheat, white bread, a little citrus zest.

T: White bread with a little lemon citrus, and a light peppering.

M: Light body, crisp and refreshing character.

D: Session.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice, tight head, and lots of lacing. Nose is light and bready with a little lemon citrus. Flavor of white bread with lemon citrus and some pepper. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

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Photo of jcbogantes
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a very light turbid yellow not as white-ish as a hoegarden, small white head with no lacing
Smell: little spicy but not as surprising compared with other wit beers
Taste: clean taste, coriander, but I can't taste the citrus flavor from the orange peels
Mouthfeel: light bodied
Overall: good beer, refreshing, easy to drink.

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Photo of gpogo
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear pale yellow body(not as pale as mothership) with a small white head.

A- Sweet fruity citrus. Some light coriander.

T- Sweet but crisp citrusy malt flavor with a bit of coriander, not as heavy as some wits go. Kindof tart finish.

M- Light body with moderate carbonation. It's a very crisp refreshing feel, but the tartness somewhat detracts from that.

D- Enjoyable, when I first started enjoying beer I recall this being one of my favorites. It is decent, but not something to seek out.

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Photo of Florida9
2.89/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Slightly hazy pale yellow in color. Forms a moderate sized, fluffy white head. Good retention. Moderate lacing.

S: Aroma is a bit odd as it smells salty, a bit like sea water. I think there is a bit of coriander trying to poke itself out, but there is also a musty earthiness. Odd and unappealing.

T: Taste is fairly neutral. Light malt backbone with light grassy hops. Some very faint wheat notes. There is a bit of spice in the mix, maybe a little black pepper and a little coriander, but, in the end there really just isn't too much going on with this one.

M: Lighter bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Little bitterness. However, there is a dry, almost metallic, astringency, that seems out of place.

O: A fairly unexciting and rather average wheat ale.

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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 elNopalero
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a clear golden color with exceptional clarity.

I found a hint of banana and clove but it’s the lemony notes which dominate the aroma.

Tastes clean if unexceptional. The lemon tapers to a touch of banana and clove. It's a wheat beer, what do you expect? Not the most exciting expression of the style but I’ve certainly had much worse.

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Photo of constantine_272
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Yellow and bright. White head with low retention and medium carbonation.

S: Light sweetness. Golden fried breading. Hint of vanilla and nutmeg.

T: Sweetness with dried grassy notes and hay. A tangy spicy finish of coriander and nutmeg finishes the beer. Extremely mild yeast notes.

M: Very light and thin. Finishes slow but ends clean.

O: This is my kind of light beer! The spiciness has a great flavor and it is tangy and refreshing. The beer is smooth and mellow and easy drinking.

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Photo of acevenom
3.61/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. The beer pours clear light golden with a thick, white head that retains well. There are numerous tiny bubbles visible in the beer. There are aromas of orange and coriander. I also get some light malt in the nose. The flavors are mostly of the malt with support from orange and coriander. The body is medium with a nice, soft mouthfeel. There's enough carbonation to make this beer refreshing. This is an average, yet refreshing beer.

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Photo of JamesMN
2.99/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Neon yellow and crystal clear. Poured a three finger white head that quickly fizzled away.

Aroma: Bready and sweet wheat surrounded by a light blend of spices and something akin to orange peel.

Taste: Pretty much as expected from the nose. Starts with a sort of bland malty flavor that slowly develops a bready character. There is a very light hoppyness to the palate throughout that keeps the experience light and refreshing. The spices are a bit masked in the flavor but that might be for the best as some spices tend to be cloying, especially clove. The overall balance leans towards more sweet than anything else and comes off as very pedestrian. However, it is impressive that at 4.8% ABV there is never a watery moment.

Mouthfeel: Between thin and medium in body with average carbonation. Above average drinkability and sessionable if you're not particularly interested in drinking the most flavorful brew.

Final Thoughts: New Belgium Sunshine Wheat was one of the first beers I ever had that I truly enjoyed drinking. Now, a few years later and having tried hundreds of different beers, it comes off as rather bland and unremarkable. I'd recommend it for those just getting into craft beer. Would I drink it again? No.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss pint glass
From: VONS in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $12.97 (w/ VONS card) for a Folly 2002 revival 12-pack
Purchased: May 14, 20113
Consumed: May 20, 2013
Misc.: Best by Aug. 25, 2013

Poured straw pale clear color, almost green, with one finger of khaki white head. Some spots of lacing on the sides, albeit light. Average retention on the top.

Pleasant smell to kick things off with orange, orange rind, coriander, lemon, lime zest and wheat grass, all with noted Belgian spices.

Tasted not quite as good as the smell. Still got coriander, orange peel, orange, lime, lemon, wheat grass and sugary cereal. Still some Belgian spices. Not as clean and crisp it.

Light body. Thin texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Abrupt finish.

This beer didn’t grow on me. In fact, it was the opposite. I suppose it would be a good summer brew though.

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Photo of kshizzle101
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into pint glass

A - pale yellow in color, 2 inch head, doesnt last long, can see a lot of carb

S - straw, orange, coriander/floral notes, spicy

T - some spicyness, dry malts, grassy. hint of orange and and a bite of hops on the after taste.

M - light bodied, good carb. easy and refreshing to drink. as it should be

Overall - above average, but not spectacular. goes down easy

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Photo of CardiacNP
2.94/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Sunshine Wheat by New Belgium

Aroma citrus and maybe a hit of coriander. But something in the smells seems a bit strange. Not bad yet different

Appearance pale clear gold color with a nice think white 2 finger head. Light lacing on the glass

Taste a mild american wheat beer with orange/leomon flavors along with the coriander. Also an little apple flavor on the back end

Mouthfeel moderate carbonation mildly viscus that clings a little to the tongue

Overall a "ok" wheat style beer Mild flavor, drinkable But Nothing "WOW"

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium Sunshine Wheat has a very thick, fluffy, off-white head, a clear, quite bubbly, straw appearance, and a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The aroma and flavor are faint and dull, but one picks up a hint of spice and citrus (more lemon than orange, really) and bread. The taste is of white bread and tap water (a commonality for many wheat beers, I find). Mouthfeel is light and watery, and New Belgium Sunshine Wheat finishes crisp, refreshing, easy-drinking, and humdrum. Overall, this is at the lowest rung of what can be called "good", so check it out if you like bland beverages.


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, best before Dec 23, 2012. This pours a clear light yellow color with a mid sized white head which leaves a light lacing. The smell is light and of lemon, spice, wheat. The feel is medium light mid carbonination. The taste is okay, a little light, mild bitterness, lemon, lemon peels, spices.

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.94/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Two fingers of head. A clear, light straw colored body.
Smell is faint, lemon and orange if anything.
Light taste overall. Mild bitterness. The spices are just in the background, which accents the flavor well.
Texture is light and moderate carbonation.
A good "gateway" craft beer, but I probably won't find myself drinking it again.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Two-finger, soft white, foamy head. Brew is perfectly clear yellow.

Lots of lemon and spice. Wheat stands out too along with orange and coriander.

Super smooth and refreshing. Light carbonation. Lacking depth and interesting flavor beyond the initial orange peel that smacks your tongue. A bit on the thin and weak side of things.. Spice could stand to be a lot heavier and more wheated.

Refreshing for a hot summer day! Highly recommended!

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.23/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe. The beer is a crystal clear golden, with bubbles constantly rising from the bottom. A white head recedes to film and a concentrate circle of foam in the center. Light lacing makes rings on the glass. The beer smells fresh, and mainly of light lemony notes. A touch of orange peel. The beer tastes very refreshing, light and zesty. It has a nice mellow grassy, wheat body with a crisp finish, and coriander can be detected. Just enough of a citrus pinch to remind you of the zesty orange peel. Mouthfeel is light bodied and clean.

Overall, simply a clean, easy-to-session summer wheat beer. I have no problems giving this one high marks. Hardly any faults.

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

Pours out to a creamy but thin white head and hazy pale yellow color. Aroma is strong coriander and citrus with some grainy wheat blended in. Flavor corresponds to aroma with orange, pepper, lemon and dry wheat and biscuity "New Belgium" malt flavors. No discernible hop character. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing. Overall this is a delicious beer that I hope to have more of this summer.

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Photo of bsp77
2.81/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pint.

Appearance: Light straw with very thin head and no lacing. Almost has a grayish cast.

Smell: Mostly wheat, some light orange and coriander.

Taste: Strong wheat taste, with almost artificial orange. Light coriander on the finish as well as a wheaty "beer" aftertaste.

Feel: Not as crisp or effervescent as the light body should deliver. Poor off-dry finish.

Overall: New Belgium got rid of Mothership Wit and kept this shit? Seriously?

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Photo of ByMySword
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer has a very citrusy look, retaining a slightly golden-orange color, albeit cloudy as are most wheat beers. It retained about a 1 inch head.

Smell: The smell was contained a very light wheat smell that was very pleasant to the senses.

Taste: The taste was dominated by wheat and citrus.

Mouthfeel: This beer had a very light feel and is a perfect summer beer to drink on hot summer days. It wasn't too thick, but wasn't watered down either.

Overall: I enjoyed drinking this beer. It is perfect for drinking all day, and if it was a little lower in alcohol content, would make a perfect session beer if based on the tasting experience alone.

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Photo of onewetpaw
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Muted spice. Overall not much of a nose on this one.

A- Light blond with a very slight haze. Thin white head that dissipates quickly.

F- The coriander is definitely there, but subtle. I taste the slightly tart character of the wheat, but none of the clove flavors you see in at Wit.

M- Nice full body and almost thick mouthfeel. The carbonation is average. A little more might help this one come alive.

O- A pleasant beer. The subdued nature of the spice is just right. I like the added complexity without getting the impression of chewing on a mouthful of coriander. A nice wheat beer. I'd drink another bottle for sure.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very pale yellow for a wheat. Looks a lot like a Belgian wit. Kind of flat overall, but the color makes up for this.

Smell: Nice floral notes to accompany a yeasty background. More than enough lemon in the initial head.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This has flavor elements of a European pilsener, but definitely the heavy feel of a wheat. I wish the flavors were a bit stronger, but the mouthfeel is clean.

Overall Drinkability: A nice combination that I wish were a bit more forceful.

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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
3.47 out of 5 based on 887 ratings.
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