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 Bammo22
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Imperial Pint Glass.

This beer is very clear, you can see right through its golden color. Had about a two finger white head, but not as thick & dense as I was expecting. The head faded away quickly, but left a nice film throughout. No lacing for me.

A nice spicy & citrusy aroma, but my nose had to do a little digging.

The taste confirmed everything the smell was telling me, however the flavor was lacking even less. Most of the taste was right up front, but fell flat afterwards.

Not the best beer in the world, but nice, crisp & refreshing.
Considering it's lower ABV, it something you can knock back all day. It also won't do a number on your taste buds, if you feel like going on to something bigger & bolder. (For me) the best thing about this beer is, I was born & raised in The Fort, so it reminds me home.

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Photo of meatmallet
2.76/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a light golden color with a thick foamy white head. The head left lots of lacing as it settled to a foamy ring. Very small carbonation bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom.

Smell: Smell is very weak. Hints of oranges and wheat but not a lot else.

Taste: Wheat and a bit of orange dominate the taste. I also get some malt but not a lot else. Again I think it is a bit weak here also.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Light bodied and kind of thin. Would be a good beer on a hot summer day but thats about it. I wont be looking for this one again.

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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 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 DoubleJ
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this earlier this afternoon when it was hot. On to the beer:

Washed out yellow pee color, almost clear, with a big white head resting on top and displaying good retention. Very spiced aroma, mostly coriandor dominates with some orange peel. In the taste, there are some bits of orange, but it is spice oriented. Very little maltiness in the body. Light bodied. It's an okay wheat beer, but a little more maltiness would add another layer of goodness to this beer. Still, it's solid drinking on a warm day.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I noticed that the two lowest ranked regularly available NB beers (this and Skinny Dip) both had identical scores and only 25 reviews difference between them. After just trying the skinny dip, lets see how Sunshine compares.

Best before 9/9/09

This one served from a can into a pint glass. Pours a pale straw yellow with good clarity and thin head. No retention or lacing on this one.

Aroma is mild and lacks any outstanding characteristics. There might be a little sweet citrus in there, maybe some lemon.

Flavor is pretty good. It has more of that sweet lemon, corriander, and wit beer spice.

Mouthfeel is clean, well balanced, nicely carbonated, lacking in body.

Overall a very drinkable summer beer but not something I would go to regularly. I think this one would just get the nod over SD.

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Photo of DownDaHatch
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First I should comment that summertime wheats aren't my personal favorites but the weather called for something in this style that I had never tried. It did not specifically dissappoint and it ment the general need of the drinkability expectation of this beer. It did however possess a bit more body than I had expected. The typical wit beer spices were present but not overpowering. Poured into the glass with a good amount of head nice lacing as it was drank.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear yellow with a soapy white head, not cloudy like I expected with the proclamation of wit-type spices on the label.

S: Nice nose, major orang and citrus, some wheat.

T: Light malt, with some orange and herbal hop components which come out in the finish. Hint of lemon zest as well, low intensity of flavours.

M: Solid body for its style, not thin, smooth and crisp as a wheat ale should be.

D: I had no problems drinking this on a hot summer day, but I would want a beer with more flavour in the future. Pretty much middle of the road for its style.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this sunshine in one of their mixed 12pack samplers. Though different styles, I enjoyed their Mothership Wit immensely more than this.

Pee yellow with a quickling dissolving head.
Wheat, fresh cut grass, and their propietary powdery buscuit yeast. Very slight spice.

It's a bit thin and watery. It's a decent lawnmower beer, or a hot day by the lake beer, but has a wierd metallic aftertaste. It makes me want to drink from the bottle too, i feel undewhelmed drinking it from a pint glass.

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

Glad to see this is in cans now, great beer for camping. Left over from a few weekends ago. This is another one of my gateway beers.

A: Pale yellow, aptly named of course, stark white head about half an inch or so into nothing. Very clear, not a lot of lacing to speak off, not really a lot of carbonation floating around in there either.

S: Tangy wheat malts, citrus, and slightly spicy, not really a whole lot else going on here in the nose, which is a bit disappointing.

T: Musky wheat malts, slight citrus sour tone, slight spiciness as well. Pretty grainy, but still definitely a wheat beer. Orange peel and coriander are definitely present as labeled, the orange peel stands out a bit more in the canned version than i remember the bottles.

M: Thin, light, and dry, this is exactly how I want my wheat beers to feel. This is probably because this is the first wheat beer I really got into.

D: Easy drinker, one of the easiest from New Belgium. This beer was somewhat of an obsession of mine when I first got into craft beer, and revisiting it has made me realize its not as good as I used to think it was, but it still is a tasty beer. Excellent gateway/transition beer. Glad to have revisited an old friend.

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

A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, Sunshine Wheat pours a totally clear pale yellow color. An aggressive pour yields two fingers of fluffy white foam that slowly settle to a patchy layer over the beer. Initially, each sip leaves behind some nice looking rings of lacing, but they eventually disappear.

S- Wheat malt and lots of spice from the coriander. Lemony and grassy notes too and maybe some honey sweetness. Kinda thin.

T- The flavor is watery and bland. Some wheaty malt and faint notes of spice on the finish.

M- A light feel with moderate carbonation that's appropriate for the style. Maybe just a tad watery.

D- This is an exceptional lawnmower beer. There's not much going on here, but it would really hit the spot on a hot summer's day. This would be a good one to drink straight out of the bottle at a BBQ since it lacks flavor and aroma.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is one of the first beers that sort of opened my eyes to the world of craft beers.I've had this beer on many many occasions in the past, but haven't reviewed it yet, so here is goes.

A - very light transparent yellow, with a tiny head.

S/T - lots of lemon/orange peel, with some spiceyness(corriander and black pepper?) also the wheat malt makes itself known! very zesty and "shinny happy" beer. the hops are there just enough to make things interesting.

MF - very light bodied, decent carbonation(could benifit from more)

D - Excellent beer if your out to hav no more than 2-3, after this the perfumy/spiciness can get old. Lots of flavor here, not bad, just a lot to stomach after awhile.

*my overall score may not reflect this, but Sunshine is my favorite American filtered wheat beer. I can't quite pinpoint what exactly it is that makes this beer stand out, it definately has a very distinct flavor. I beleive it is spiced similarly to other wheats so perhaps it is the particular strand of wheat malts or hops they use. Give it a try, it's definately a slightly different take on the filtered wheat.

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Photo of Psilo707
4.13/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this has to be the most golden yellow beer I've ever seen. The name is fitting right off the bat.

Minimal head and lacing but the hue is beautiful. Smell shows a bit of lemon and citrus and the aroma is pretty nice.

Tastes very happy. Has an aftertaste that lingers with you and is extremely pleasant. Citrus/Lemon/Lime/maybe a bit of Pear. This beer reminisces of fruity, but is NOT fruity. Hard to understand on paper, easy to follow when experimented.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side; Drinkability is very, very high.

Overall, great stuff. Drink this one on a hot summer day. Perfect for a Barbecue.

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

Picked up a single in early April at Total Wine and More for $1.49.

Beer poured straw yellow with a pretty good white head. Nose is wheat malt all the way. Taste is wheat malt, lemongrass, and a hint of coriander. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and lively on the palate. Drinkability is pretty good. This is an easy drinking beer that is perfect for a nice 100 degree day here is Phoenix!

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a very clear pale yellow with thin white head. Very average.
S: Primary here is coriander. Then a bit of orange and lastly some honey notes. Decent.
T: Orange peel, coriander, and honey with a hint of pear and apple.
M: Smooth and light with a bit of effervescence...just as a wheat beer should be.
D: Definite sessionability. A nice summer beer...good when grilling or enjoying the outdoors.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a pale, golden yellow with a fluffy, bone white head that lasted a while and receded slowly. Thin streaks of lacing.

Aroma is of slightly musty wheat, honey and floral hops. A very pleasing aroma but not quite as clean as it could be. Very balanced flavors.

Wheat malt up front with a light lemony citrus and a sweet, touch of honey finish.

Light to medium bodied with a crisp, dry finish. A thirst quencher.

This guy is very refreshing and a great choice for a summertime session.

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Photo of aschwab
2.81/5  rDev -19%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I was not impressed whatsoever with this beer. Did not pour like a wheat beer should have, too filtered as well. Not really any cloudiness to the beer. Tastes weak compared to other wheat beers. Smell resembles a wheat beer, but nothing too special.

I am more of a fan of cloudier beers, ones with more flavor than this. Overall, I was disappointed by New Belgiums showing on this beer.

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Photo of Beejay
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very pale amber.. Nice carbonation, and thin white head.

S: Big orange peel and coriander coming through..

T: Very light, sweet with citrus, and a slight biscuit light flavor.. Very nice..

M: Clean, but perhaps a bit too much carbonation.

D: Oh yes.. nothing like putting back a bunch of these on a summer day by a pool. Crisp, refreshing and easily approachable by novice and expert alike.

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Photo of MikeInIowa
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you are new to the idea of wheat style of ales and beers, an excellent starting point would have to be Sunshine Wheat Beer.

Simply stated, I find it to be superior in all five categories, and it is my favorite wheat that I have sampled so far.

It is made by New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, CO, which is the same company that produces another little amber ale called Fat Tire (it's not so little, and I am a huge fan).

With the successes and, accordingly, the wider distribution of Sunshine Wheat, Fat Tire and other labels like Mothership Wit, 1554, Abbey and Blue Paddle, New Belgium Brewing is on their way to become, I predict, a major American brewer that will be competitive with the Big 3 companies of A-B, Coors and Miller in just 5 short years hence.

They are doing it right in Fort Collins. Bravo, friends!

With Respect for Beer,

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Photo of disastermouse
4.36/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- Very light golden. Head disappears almost before it forms.

S- Very light. 'Doughy' smell.

T- Clean, very subdued malts - some clinging yeast at the back of the throat. A little bit of fruit/veggie taste. Not unpleasant.

MF- Very light, not over-carbonated.

D- Easy session beer. This would make a pretty great camping beer, IMHO. You could drink this all day fishing in a rowboat.

I'm not a big fan of NB. I hate Fat Tire, for instance. This beer is much better, but I suspect I just like their take on this style better than the amber ale.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 8/2/2008 (bottle):

Didn't get to see the beer too well as I drank it from the bottle. Spicy, fresh aroma. Enticing. Very fresh, same spicy flowery taste, coriander Some malts. Fizzy mouthfeel. Very tasty. Very similar taste to a belgian ale, good job New Belgium!

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Photo of webbcreative
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a pale golden color, with minimal head.
smells faintly of wheat, and spices.
Taste is the same, wheat, and coriander, the website says it settles into notes of apples and honey, I didnt pick up any of that going on, I did get the orange flavor though, that was pretty distinctive.

Overall this was just an okay brew for me, I guess after trying several Im just not real fond of the American Wheat Beer.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
4.21/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Straw yellow in color and very light in appearance which tricks you in thinking that it is unflavorful. There was a light head with thin but sticky lacing.

S: The aromas were light but you can definitely pickup the coriander and wheat smells. Also some lemon zest adds some summer time feelings.

T: The brew has a strong wheat characteristic in the back of the mouth and coriander in the front mixing in with lemon in the aftertaste. Very tasty.

M/D: The feel is light and airy which makes it very drinkable on hot summer afternoons. I am excited for the summertime to enjoy this brew more.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.02/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear pale straw color. The head is a half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of coriander, tangy wheat, and oranges, but it is all very faint. The taste is like the aroma, but stronger, and with the addition of the same generic caramel maltiness that can be found in most New Belgium beers. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer at best. I could drink it again, if someone else bought it for me.

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