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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 890 |  Reviews: 369
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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Photo of SickBrew
2.95/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well I just had a Sun Set wheat beer, hopefully this Sunshine wheat is better.

This "Wheat Beer" is decidedly clear as is pours a strong shade of yellow with very little head. Nose is quite fair and only some faint malt and wheat notes make through. Taste is a bit earth and almost grassy with some faint sweet citrus tones. It's somewhat better than the Sun Set beer I just had. Body is light and the carb level is as well. Overall impression is so so and the drinkability is ok. I won't be going back for another but I'm not a wheat beer fan.


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Photo of birchstick
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - clear yellow with a minimal head
S - hits of wheat, some coriander, and biscuity malt
T - surprisingly fruity. The coriander really comes through in this. Spicy wheat malt with a bit of grassy malt
M - full and smooth
D - this was a pretty good beer. I was pleasantly surprised by it.

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Photo of John_M
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Denver airport annex today

The beer pours a pale gold color, but with surprisingly good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose I get some nice spice (coriander and clove mostly), along with the expected light "wheatyness." The flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose, though frankly, it had more flavor then I was expecting. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied, exactly what I was expecting out of a wheat beer. Drinkability was terrific. The low alcohol is part of the reason of course, but this beer was refreshing and yet still had plenty of flavor. Frankly, it was a joy to drink.

Have not had this beer in some years, but it's still as good I remembered. For what it is and tries to be, this beer is impressive.

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Photo of Bagman007
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Clear, yellow coloring without a whole lot of head.

S- Has a very pleasant citrus/orange smell with a hint of malts. Very sweet scent.

T- The citrus flavor is not overpowering at all and it is also not as sweet as you would think that it would be.

M- Smooth beer, not bitter at all. Not overpowering also.

D- Extremely drinkable for a wheat beer. You can definitely have several of these in one sitting without a problem.

Overall this is definitely one of the better wheat beer's I have ever had. I highly recommend it to anyone who like wheat beers.

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Photo of patobandito
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden yellow. I was really expecting more haze, it being a weat beer and all. Smells Not hoppy, not malty. Just beer. Not a pleasing smell to me, but I get used to it. Tastes much much better. Initially a nice smooth citrus flavor, then finished off with a wonderful nutty wheat flavor in the back. Very smooth. Highly drinkable.

Overall, its a solid wheat beer, although I have had better. Easily sessionable.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.13/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite hefes.

I love the haziness the aroma and how smooth it is on my palate.

The favor is light but not too light. It's a little sweet but a little spicy at the same time.

Had this at the "Classic Brew" in C.C. Tx. I really like it. If I wasn't such a hop lover, I'de go and get me a sixer.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, bright yellow pour with a light white head. Wheaty, grassy aroma with crystal malt and some metal. The taste is very light, lemony with the slight flavor of grass and wheat. Light mouthfeel compliments the taste very well. Good beer for a hot day.

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

A long-time favorite of many Colorado folks, I tried this one on-tap in Durango. My glass was delivered to me a bright yellow color with almost no head (perhaps the pour?) and very little lacing consequently. The aroma was crisp, lemony hops and dry grains with lots of wheat presence. The flavors were at first lemony and wheat-like but it quickly paled. I just never got much more. The body was watery, medium/light and the carbonation average. Not unpleasant, just forgettable. As with many popular beers, I think people like it because it's easy to drink, thus easy to get F-ed up on. But really, I consider it one of the weakest beers this brewery produces.

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Photo of humanawho
3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - light yellow color and a white head with fair retention and good lacing

S - very strong of citrus and sweetness

T - nice lemon citrus and a strong sweet component; as well there is a great grainy backbone with a small earthyness

M - strong carbonation and nice fresh light body

D - light and sweet but not too sweet; very drinkable

nothing crazy but very drinkable

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

A: Pale golden color. Pours two finger pale white head that was frothy; dissipated slowly. Ample thin lacing.

S: Mostly wheat malt. some honey sweetness and citrusy floral aromas.

T: Medium body. Malt up front, then citrus followed by a slightly sweet coating. Finishes crips and clean with a pleasant hop bitternessin the aftertaste.

D: Very refreshing, not filling at all. Flavors are fairly balanced. Plenty of carbonation.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.76/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle , weak 1/4 inch head which quickly dissipated and left very little lacing. Color was pale yellow.

Smelled of citrus, light grassy malts and slight lemon. Taste was very light with some coriander , citrus and lemon peel

Mouth feel was somewhat over carbonated. This beer has an overall great drink ability , nice sweet, light flavors. This beer is one of my personal favorites.

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Photo of cracgor
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a pale yellow brown beer with a fizzy white head. Has a very bland smell to it, that is nothing like it tastes. A very fruity, high in esters that remind me of a breakfast fruit bar with no real bitterness to speak of. It is crisp, clean, and something you could drink for it's refreshing character.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.04/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A very "spicy" tea-like beer with alot of coriander and orange peel soaked into it

A- Just about void of any color and almost transparent (like water). The color that did show was that of straw (yellow). Boring head but high carbonation.

S- Smells great with the fragrant hops and spices balanced by wheat in the background

T- Taste is good, but when I had my 1st I felt the spices were too strong. After drinking a few more, I aquired a taste for this beer and enjoyed it thoroughly. Wheat taste is pleasant with the yeast filtered out.

M- Feels clean and bubbly with alot of carbonation dancing on your tongue. Moderate body

D- Spices are too overpowering for me to drink more than one of these in a night

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz from the Coop a couple days ago for about $1.50.. poured into my trusty shaped Sam Adams glass.

nice looking 2 finger head dies back fairly quick... brew is polished straw.. pale gold.. very clear.. does not look like a traditional wheat beer unless it is very very filtered... nice collar and lasting lacing.

Aroma is bready pale malts with definite wheat thrown in for good measure... not getting any real citrus.

Flavor is cereal without the sweetness.. fairly dry finish.. no real hops to speak of.. a little bit of very background citrus makes this slightly more appealing...

body is light and the carbonation is smooth but everpresent... I am not sure if New Belgium is looking for the witbier comparisons, but I am thinking the Sunshine is more of a hybrid that would cater well to the Blue Moon crowd.. nothing wrong with it.. just an ok/pretty good brew.


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Photo of diabecktic
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unlike most wheat beers that I've tasted, this one doesn't seem to be as dark or cloudy as others. It's color is a vibrant yellow that's a bit murky. Moderate head formation with decent retention and minimal visible carbonation.

The defining aromas seem to be wheat and citrus (specifically orange). There also appears to be a touch of honey. Not as strongly scented as some other wheat beers I've had, but still pleasant.

The orange and wheat aromas mentioned earlier are the dominant flavors that are present on the palate. Again, not quite as strong as others I've had, but still not bad. No real aftertaste, and only slightly bitter.

Seems a bit watery relative to other wheat beers that I've tasted. There is not too much in the way of carbonation, so there really isn't too much of a sensation on the tongue.

It goes down smooth because it's a bit watery. Unfortunately, I like my wheat beers to be a bit heavier/thicker. It's not to hard to throw down a few, but I don't know if I would want to do so.

This one was a little disappointing as far as New Belgium brews go. While it's not bad, there are at least a handful of other wheat beers that I'd rather have than this one - there's nothing about this beer that really sets it apart from others in the same family. Perhaps it's better on tap, but I'll stick to some of the other New Belgium brews in the future.

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

nice wheat flavor, this one was real clear, i wish that this one was unfiltered and a tuch sweeter. this is refreshing. it has a bit of a citrus twist, a beer purfict for summer. this one is avrage for a wheat, but i could drink it agan if it ever crossed my path.

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Photo of daledeee
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is part of a now mass marketed New Belgium beer family.

This one pours a nice white frothy head that looked like meringue
and has been filtered which is disappointing.

The nose is spicy with oranges.

Taste is the weak point. Watery and too strong on orange oil.

Mouthfeel is OK with some bite.

Drinkable but not a favorite

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

Pours a hazy, golden hue with an average, puffy white head that falls to a simple disk of foam floating atop the beer. Smell is very nice, lemon zest, apricot, orange juice, grass, green apple, some white grape and some tropical hints of pineapple. Taste begins nice and smooth, sweet oranges and a touch of sour apple then a transition into whole wheaty goodness. Finishes like you just ate whole wheat. Exhale and you taste what it tastes like to chew on a straw of wheat. The mouthfeel is vibrant and carbonated. This isn't a complex beer. There is not much thinking. With that said, its a solid beer more than worthy of a summer afternoon on the back porch.

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

Appearance is great with a lot of head and lacing. A nice yellow color.
Smell is average, not a lot comes through other than coriander and other spices.
Taste is a bit stronger. The coriander and spice really comes through. The malt is sweet and light.
Mouthfeel is a bit light but on par for the style.
Drinkability was very good.

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Photo of gfreed
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Dundee Dell in Omaha, NE. Has a nice straw appearance, hazy and dense. The aroma is full of fruit, especially orange and lemon, with little of the expected banana-- this was a nice surprise-- and it tasted quite citrusy but not as overpoweringly so as other wheat beers I tried during the same session. Had a decent hoppy bitterness and fizz that added a nice touch at the end, with a rather thick texture that made the beer last a while. Definitely worth a try.

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

Had on-tap at Watercourse in Denver.

A: Brilliant straw color has great clarity. Small white head has OK retention and leaves a little lace. Small bubbles from carbonation.

S: A little citrus and a biscuit essence. Not much else going on.

T: Very clean and dry. Well balanced combination of grains and hops. Malt and wheat has a husky biscuit quality. Hops are mild, with a spicy coriander bitterness. Finishes dry.

M: Light body with the right amount of fizz.

D: Good session beer. Not particularly exciting, but a good summer quencher.

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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
3.47 out of 5 based on 890 ratings.
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