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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Ratings: 887 |  Reviews: 369
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 Beerandraiderfan
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a little light. Good aroma, wheat and lemon for sure. Minimal hop aroma.

Taste, light, yet refreshing, kinda like what macro light beers are advertised as, but this one actually substantively backs it up. It's a girlfriend beer, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its place. Minimal ingredients I would guess, but in the right ratios. All the usual suspects, the lemon, the light hopping, the small amount of haziness.

I think it fits the bill just right if you want a pale wheat ale.

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

Poured into pint glass from a 12 oz can. I am personally very excited to see so many Colorado brewers putting beers like this into cans; perfect for the park. This one was a pale golden color, with a nice fluffy white head. Aromas of light wheat, lemon and citrus. Lots of lemony flavors here, along with wheat and a hint of hops. I will be buying more of this one to drink during the upcoming hot summer days.

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

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my New Belgium goblet. Trying to maintian a open attitude, in the past I've not liked wheat beers very much.

A: The Pour produced a minimal half-finger eggshell-white head. VERY thin color light golden but super clear. BRIGHT yellow brew and very clear.

S: nice but light aroma - very light and clean citrus. absent are both hops and just barely a touch of malt.

T: again very CLEAN. a bit, just a bit, of maltiness comes thru as this beer warms, and in the aftertaste.

M:very light body, plety of carbonation.
NO alcohol taste, NO hops.

D: HIGHLY drinkable. baseball games, beach outings, etc. is how I see this beer shining.
really not bad at all recommended to buy this by the six pack or more.

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Photo of meeekyh
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So here we have what may be the primary reason I dislike both New Belgium AND wheat beers. I grew up in Boulder, about two hours south of Fort Collins, and this beer was ubiquitous. I will now attempt to view it with new eyes (it was sitting in my fridge).

This beer went into a Belgian styled beer glass with a belled top and revealed a very pale and very clear, light straw colored ale with little head. This beer has nothing wrong looking with it and that is worth something.

Smell resembles apricot and is light but pleasant.

Taste is likewise on the light side and resembles apricot, there is also a notable grainy/wheaty presence. I am pleased that this beer is not offensive and to the contrary is rather pleasant in general.

Mouthfeel is slight and well carbonated, refreshing beer.

Drinkability is good and I am overall pleased with this re-trying of this perennial favourite.


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Photo of SamN
3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Crystal clear beer, pale yellow color. Fine foamy head with very tiny bubbles. Surprisingly little visible carbonation. Very clear, sort of pale.

S- Seems like a stronger smell than from a bottle, although I don't know if it's actually stronger or why that would be if it was. Overripe bananas, pepper, egg whites, creamy wheat malts blended with subdued lemon citruses. Powerfully creamy and citrus. When the hell did this start smelling so good?! Not terribly complex, but such an intoxicatingly good scent.

T- Too bad that smell dosen't translate to taste. Still a thin taste. Nice creamy bread-like quality. Dry, citursy lemons, coriander and orange interplay in the middle, finishes on biscuits and lemon zest. Dry and somewhat "bone" like, if that makes sense.

M- Zesty and lively, much carbonation to keep this beer lively. Wakes you up with zesty bubbles, could pull smoother from glass. Tingling on the finish, just a little too much carbonation for me, could be less and still be a refreshing wheat beer. Light body, of course, not a lot to it.

D- Out of a can does seem somewhat different, although I can't figure out why. I would prefer this beer in this medium.

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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 Urbancaver
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours golden color. In the worlds of my non-beer geek friend, "it looks like sunshine!"

S- Smells like wheat and yeast and a bit of spice

T- Has very minimal flavour. Tastes like it smells... weak but nicely spiced. The flavour is nice and strong at first but it disappears way too fast.

M- Overcarbonated and a bit sweeter than I wanted.

D- Very drinkable.. Smooth with a bit sharpness but definitely light enough to drink down quick. Pretty lacking overall

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Photo of climax
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sunshine wheat was a very pale gold/yellow with perfect filtered clarity. The good sized almost white head faded to some clumps with minimal lacing.

The nose was pretty clean and had decent pungency. White bread was the dominating flavor, with additional notes of coriander and orange peel.

The flavor was very wheaty, once again sticky white bread. Crisp coriander, orange peel, and honey all did a nice job of refreshing the warmer wheat tones.

The body was not watery as I expected after looking at it, in fact, it had quite a nice coating feel. Carbonation was maybe a little stiffer than I would have liked, but all in all it was very well done. This is no heavyweight, but it'd be incredibly easy to pound several of them on a sunny day outside.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pale golden with very little head retention. generally unimpressive.
S- The smell is nice, a bit spicy, with a bit of wheat and yeast.
T- The taste is... lacking. Starts wheaty and yeasty. Light and refreshing, to be sure, but just didn't have the substance or the spicyness to it that I was hoping for. The flavor may be there but it lacked any real punch for me.
M- Light and perhaps a bit over carbonated. I suppose it fits the style, but an improved mouthfeel could help the lack of flavor with this one.
D- Very drinkable. Smooth, light, and not actively bad by any means. I don't dislike this beer, so much as I am just disappointed. It lacks the punch that I expected from a NB beer. Good enough, but just doesn't have anything exciting about it.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with a thick white head that dissipates quickly.

The smell is zesty. Lemon, coriander, citrus and malts.

Lots of spices come through right away, lemon and citrus too. Also some pear and banana notes in there as well. Light malt backbone and light hop flavors as well.

Light crisp mouthfeel, would be nice on a warm summer's eve.

Good drinkability, a fine offering from New Belgium.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Local store is having a fire sale on this product, 3.99 a sixer..thought it was worth a shot- I am drinking it on the day of it's expiration date.

A: pours a very pale yellow, crystal clear, lots of bubbles, bone white foamy head, good lacing and retention

S: lemon on the front which sits on top of toasty wheat, some coriander, lots of fruit character

T: the front of the palate is bland which turns into the wheaty/bready flavors. The citrus character comes out on the end. Pretty nice balance, quite palatable, not a lot of character though.

MF: thin, crisp, light body

D: this beer is palatable and tastes decent, but lacks character

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Photo of Groenebeor
4.14/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

Poured a very clear straw-colored cloud with a small white head.

The sweet wheat malt was very fruity in smell, with no hops present to the nose.

The taste was quite a surprise! What seemed to be a neglected beer from NB, and looked quite average at first really shocked my tastebuds. By far the fruitiest wheat beer I've had to date. Strong blueberry notes hit the tastebuds immediately, with banana and orange notes trailing. Hardly any bitterness, with a real creamy smooth texture. One of the more sessionalable wheat beers out there.

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Photo of kjyost
3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a beer mug, clear straw yellow with a fizzy unimpressive head that left minimal lacing and dissipated rather quickly. Utterly unimpressive. The nose of the beer held a slight bit of sweetness (almost like honey) underneath the prevailing light hop and clove aromas.

The beer was exceedingly crisp and smooth on the palate with a good balance of flavours. The spice was light on the tongue, and there was a touch of bitterness, but it finished cleanly. A rather nice wheat ale, that is entirely sessionable.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, best by March 26, 2010. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a clear light gold color with about a half inch white head. Head retention is average, lacing is good. Aroma is bready malt, wheat, coriander and orange peel. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes mostly like wheat with a bit of coriander and orange peel, but there's also a little bit of tartness in there, too. Mouthfeel/body is light, thin but not watery. It's refreshing and has good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's easy and enjoyable to drink. Overall I think this is a good brew. I'd buy it again, and it would be a pretty good summer beer.

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Photo of diamondc
4.13/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six pack of this beer on sale, expired Nov 09. Only $4, so why not??

A: This beer looks awesome in a pilsener glass. Golden clear blonde, excellent head retention, with some nice lacing.

S: Very witbier'ish, coriander & orange peel as advertised on the bottle. A bit of a musty grass smell lingers (possibly due to being expired).

T: Sweet, zesty & a bit tart. Orange sherbet flavor dominates. Herbal & a bit spicy in the middle. Mild earthy hops at the end.

M/D: Creamy, quaffable, thirst quencing. This beer didn't fall apart as I feared due to age. The best American Pale Wheat Ale I've tasted so far.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz can obtained via SS09 from vasdef42. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" bright white head above the clear light golden brew. Pillowy head falls bubble burst by bubble burst, with ample slow-falling lace. Aroma is sweet pale malts. Taste is also pale sweetness, with a peek of tart in the middle, and a balancing crisp hops close. Mouthfeel is way smooth, and drinkability is superb. Great beer for summer, or whenever.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - clear straw color, decent head that settles into a thin lacing

S - coriander and orange spiciness

T - wheaty malt with some hops on the finish

M - medium body, moderate carbonation

D - I usually prefer a lighter bodied wheat beer. The aroma is nice enough, but the flavor doesn't really deliver all that it promises. However, still decent enough.

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Photo of Ricelikesbeer
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the first craft brews I liked in college, takes me back a bit.

A: looks like miller high life or something, a pale golden color with a thin head and not much lacing.

S: Smells like citrus and straw, and has a sugary sweetness to the smell.

T: Doesn't blast you with flavor, but what is there is smooth and pretty good. I can taste some orange, some sweet grain, and a little phenolic spice.

M: very light and drinkable on the palate, crisp and refreshing. Would be nice on a hot day. very thin beer, and doesn't overwhelm your mouth.

D: very drinkable, could easily drink a sixer with no problem. Digests easily and is easy to guzzle. A good option for a summer day.


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Photo of TexIndy
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by date of 10/30/09 on front label. Was a clear, pale yellow color with some lazy carb streams. Mix of sliding and sticky white lace. It had a good sized white head that settled into a collar and thin film.

The aroma was bready malt with good dose of orange and coriander. Somewhat reminiscent of a wit. The aroma won't knock you off your feet but for the style it's very good. The flavor falls just short of the promise in the aroma. Still good but the orange and coriander don't come thru as strong. Mouthfeel is nice and crisp with good carbonation.

Overall, a solid session beer that goes down easy while delivering some good flavors. This one will always had a special place for me since it was one of the gateway beers that really turned me onto craft beers. At the time, it blew away the BMC's that I was drinking and became my regular sixer in my fridge. After I discovered BA, I moved on to other beers and flavors. I've moved past this one but still get the occasional sixer and enjoy the old days. Rotation: avail here. Occasional memory lane sixer plus on-tap when in Colorado for trips.

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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 Fnord
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Transparent yellow with a bare wisp of foam.

Smell - Caramel, banana, orange, wheat, coriander.

Taste - Pretty much the same as the smell, plus a touch of bubble gum.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability - I could drink these all night.

Notes - A better than average American Pale Wheat. If they bumped up the wheat/barley ratio it might qualify as a Kristalweizen. Even as it stands, though, it fulfills its function admirably.

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Photo of jera1350
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A little better than your run of the mill wheat beer. Has a nice subtle citrus scent and taste to accent the wheat. Also some spice to add character. The bottle says corriander and I'll take their word for it. Pretty thin feeling. This would make a nice session beer for warmer temperatures.

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Photo of langcpa
2.76/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a filmy weak head that disapates quickly, a clear pale gold color, with a medium level of carbonation,treminds me of a budweiser in color, the aroma is a grassy, citrus smell,that is very mild.Mouthfeel is light with a carbonated feel.Taste is citrusy, with a citrus aftertaste
this is an averaga wheat beer with low flavor, would be good on a hot day after mowing the lawn Drinkability is such I would not try again, glad I tired it but but their are more falvorful wheat beers

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale gold color with one finger of fizzy white head.

Scent of grass, light spice, and a hint of fruit. A very light scent, but refreshing.

Taste of wheat, earth, and light spice. As with the scent, it is light on flavor too, but it is still refreshing and would be very enjoyable on a hot summer day.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with a good bite of carbonation.

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