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: 889 |  Reviews: 369
Photo of rye726
2.97/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A good average wheat beer from the people at New Belgium. A clear orange color with a tan head. The nose is of wheat malt sand soem swet fruits. The flavor structure consists of mostly wheat as well. A crisp refreshing body add to the drinkability. Goes well with an orange.

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Photo of MOShepp
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear straw yellow with small frothy off-white head.

Aromas of citrus, bread and strawberries.

The coriander is very evident in the taste along with lemon, a little orange, clover and a spicey aftertste.

Tingles a little in the mouth which I found enjoyable, very crisp.

Very easy to drink, not the best wheat but worth having another.

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Photo of Durge
3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very pale yellow with lots of carbonation going on. A big, large bubbled white head and fair lace. The aroma is a decent, typical wheat and light citrus. The flavor is bready, light and effervescent. Not bad but nothing memorable. Easy drinking but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way for this one. Not one of my favorite styles to begin with but this doesn't seem to be a very bold attempt at it anyway.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Tayner for this one.

Looks like a pale gold with a touch of haze. The head is a flat white film that fades away after a while.

Smells of canned peaches that blended into a spot of rye.

Tastes similar, but deeper. There's the same combo of peaches and pears in heavy syrup, but they're balanced exquisitely by a smooth white flour and a hint of birch bark. This leaves my mouth a bit dry.

Feels quite light, clean and remarkably satisfying. Almost seems to have a mysterious cooling sensation to it. Someone should call Coors...

This is quite a quenching drink. A must for the summer.

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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 JDV
3.96/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very interesting American wheat I thought. Pours a very pale, light beer like yellow, in a weizen glass with a nice head however. Smell is unique, and like a lemony cereal-ish smell. Some sweetness, but not sickly sweet however, and I didn't get any notes of coriander or orange peel. Somehow this feels very viscous in the mouth. Amazingly full body and mouthfeel for an american wheat, yet is crisp and refreshing at the same time. Nice light wheaty finish. Although the taste is a bit on the light and muted side, this is still very nice refreshing bright wheat beer that I can see enjoying again for sure.

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

Poured a 12 ounce bottle with a clearly marked freshness date of March 21, 2008.

A: Pours with a nice head and a good pale golden color that hints towards a good amount of body. Good lacing on the glass as it's being consumed. The body and color kind of remind me of a good German Helles.

S: The nose of this brew is mostly wheat malt, a little honey and big hints of citrusy floral notes.

T & M: A very crisp, what malt starts off and are then accommodated by complex orange citrus floral like flavors and a good hint of honey. Nice hop bitterness hits the tongue at the end along with a litte orange and honey flavor as well along with a little bit of vanilla that lingers in the aftertaste. Very crisp, refreshing, but certainly not too light.

D & Notes: Overall, I am actually fairly impressed with this brew, as I am normally not a "pale wheat" beer lover. This isn't something I would seek out regularly, but rating it for style, I would say it is very solid. It's well balanced, nothing is overdone, plenty of flavor, and it's very refreshing for the style. A definite winner for a session wheat beer. This would be a good choice to give a BMC drinker and introduce him/her to the world of craft beer.

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Photo of mphopkins99
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first review, so I hope this turns out ok.

Serving was a 16 oz draft, poured into a growler.

Appearance was golden, a little clearer than I expected from a wheat beer.

Smell was almost non-existent, overwhelmed by the lemon slice served with the beer.

Taste was pleasant, if a little on the bland side. The citrus flavorings dominated, and in my opinion detracted from the wheat flavor I expected.

Despite my slight disappointment in the flavoring, I found this to be an extremely pleasant and drinkable (if unremarkable) beer. I could have had a second quite easily.

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Photo of katan
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated 2-8-08.

A - Pours a light golden color, a little bit hazy. Shows a bit of carbonation that sticks a few around as a light head.

S - I smell wheat out of this one - spice is probably identified as a secondary note.

T - Starts with a sweet wheat malt flavor. Finishes with an interesting aroma hops of some kind. I think I can detect the coriander.

M - A smooth mouthfeel. Goes down easy. Can feel a light bit of carbonation. There is at least some body to this one - it not watery.

D - Very easy drinking. Doesn't fill me up too much - would be perfect to addon to my summer witbier habit.

All and all is a good choice. Probably not one I'd go out of my way for.

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

From six pack, $7.49 at Trader Joe's in Tucson, AZ.

Appearance: deep hazy yellow, almost orange. Moderate white head and lacing.

Aroma: spice and fruit, and a tiny hint of sulphur. Kind of sweet and tangy.

Mouth: thick and full and sweet.

Overall: drinkable, and okay as a gateway beer, but underwhelming.

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Photo of johnyeast
4.4/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Refreshing is the name of the game for one of the standards of excellence from New Belgium. Golden in color with a bright white head. Smells of citrus and spice evoke an image of taste. A great beer for a hot sunny day or picnic out on the Poudre River. One of the most drinkable beers I know. I goes down so easy. Almost too easy. If that's really possible.

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

Im new at reviewing beer, but not new at drinking them. I typically enjoy darker, maltier beers but thought for the summer i would give this one a try. im glad i did.

As for appearance it poured very light golden with a decent head that stayed around for awhile, sorta laced the glass the whole time i was drinking it... my first thought before i tasted is that it was looking and smelling like a bud or coors, a very light beer.. i was wrong though.

when i cracked the bottle i got an initial whiff of orange and then a bready smell from the yeast... i was surprised on first taste on how flavorful it really was.. it starts out with a wheat taste, then moves very quickly to a light, not too bitter hop flavor with a touch of citrus (orange) and coriander. it finishes dry and clean... so dry for me in fact that it wasnt "thirst quenching" so to speak, but made me want to drink it even faster!

as for drinkability, i will definitely keep a few of these on hand for those times when dark beer will seem too heavy, when the weather is hot... definitely worth a try on this one!

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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 GbVDave
3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to Guy for the hook-up.

A: Pale golden and crystal clear with very active carbonation. Small cap of foam recedes, very quickly, to a thin film.

S: Wheat and tart citrus (lemon, orange, green apple?)

T: See above with a tiny pinch of spice.

M: Tingly and prickly, but not too thin.

D: Refreshing if a little boring.

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Photo of inbeertruth
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this from a bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: Pale gold. Head disappears rather quickly. Heavy carbonation.

Smell: Wheaty, lemony.

Taste: Refreshing and light, with some lemon.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and tingly. This is where I think it stands out as just another average wheat ale.

Drinkability: Nice on a hot summer’s day after mowing, though nothing too sensational Seems to be New Belgium’s attempt at Kristall Weizen. A good beer for a good price.

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Photo of rugbyfan13
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my Aventinus glass.

Appearance: Very pale straw golden color. Quarter of an inch white head that disappears with the first sip to a thin cover. Very obvious carbonation.

Smell: Light wheat, unimpressive, slight amounts of citrus, apple, and pear.

Taste: Light, watery, some wheat and citrus.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was palpable yet still kind of smooth.

Drinkability: I could have a few of these, definitely thirst quenching.

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

The color of this beer definitely follows the name as it is a bright, clear golden color. The head was short and white. The smell was faint wheat and not much else. The taste was also very subdued wheat and the drinkability was pretty high. I could probably substitute this for water on a hot day. I'm not implying that the taste is watery just that it is very easy to drink. Good session beer for a picnic, not so great if you are a fan of wheat beers.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium Sunshine wheat beer pours two fingers of dense foam over a disturbingly
clear yellow brew. Carbonation is extremely active, and the nose is wheat and citrus, with
barely a hint of that typical Belgian mustyness, and no clove at all. There's a bit of wheat
and barley malt up front, with a nice citrusy finish and aftertaste. Not up there with their
Mothership Wit, this is still a pretty good wheat beer. New Belgium seems, with this brew,
to be looking for a happy medium with the traditional style and American expectations
about clarity and "normality", and I think they pretty much aced it. It's clear, crisp, yet still
has a distinct flavor. This is really a hard style to do well, and in fact a lot of domestic
producers pretty much blow it, but New Belgium seems to have found a way to brew two
distinct quality wits- good for them!

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Photo of Boneheadmx
4.44/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out to a nice straw yellow with a decent head. The smell is great, as hints of chocolate waft through the air. Other raters apparently smell citrus and rate the smell moderately so maybe I happened to get a special batch or something. Either way, this bottle of Sunshine smells very good.

The taste is decent, with hints of malts and citrus. It's not very hoppy. The mouthfeel is also pretty good, being medium bodied and smooth. All in all, a very drinkable beer. I will definitely get this beer again.

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Photo of WaveRebel51
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was the first time I had this in a few years and used to be a favorite when I was relatively new to the craft/micro scene.

Appears light yellow-gold with very little foam. Aroma was difficult to pick up and very faint, probably because of the smoky bar surroundings, but I did get a nice whiff of coriander and wheat.

The taste was much thinner then I remembered, but I'd attribute this to the maturity of my palate. Still, this was very representative of the style -- light, crisp, lots of wheat and the touch of coriander. Definitely a nice summer refresher.

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Photo of kenito799
2.92/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

After enjoying this on tap after a hot hike we bought a six to continue the refreshment.

Golden color with minimal head as before, vague coriander and maybe a hint of orange peel on the nose. On the palate, lacking a bit of the freshness (and lacking an orange slice), this tasted more like there was a macrolager hiding beneath the coriander-wheat flavors...a bit tired. Take home message: when you want a refreshing beer on tap and you don't mind a beer that sort of needs a garnish, this isn't a bad choice. For taking home, the bottle can pretty much be skipped.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.25/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased at Liquor Shed in Casper.

This pours from 12oz bottle(best by 10 Aug 07) a clear light gold with a good head of foam that shrinks quickly to some islands in the middle of my glass. Good lacing though..

The smell is fruity first, of wheat second. I get a lot of orange in the nose.

The taste has orange and other citrus flavour up front followed by some wheat and coriander. Put them all together and doesn't seem to work for me at all. I can't say much more than that other than I won't be buying this again and the other 5 bottles of it that I have will be tough to finish.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass, good 2 finger foamy head that left some nice lace. Golden yellow, almost straw-like in color, unique color in my opinion. Citrus like smell with a touch of hops. Citrus is present in the taste as well with lemon dominating the flavor, well balanced, not too bitter, not too sweet. Very light and crisp, very refreshing, good amount of carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer perfect for summer, my gal had a slice of orange in hers and I have to admit that really spiced it up a bit. Worth a try.

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Photo of ccrida
1.87/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Crystal clear pale yellow with a thick white head, rocky and lots of bubbly lace. Looks like a coors light, maybe a creamier head.

Right off the bat, the smell is really foul. Literally, it smells like puke. Terrible. I will say that as I worked my way through, it was less of an issue. Not sure if it lessened as it warmed got a chance to breath, or I just got used to it.

Taste is typical, bland american wheat beer - like a coors light, with extra grain husks. The puke doesn't make an appearance, other then it's tough not to smell it as you drink.

The mouthfeel is thin, but creamy.

This was one and done for me. I love real hefe's, and hate american wheat's. Bland taste is one thing, but the nasty smell was just too much. Once I stopped breathing through my nose, I was able to suck it down in a hurry, but that was to get it over with.

I don't understand why New Belgium releases any of their non-belgian styles - I haven't liked one yet, including the famous fat tire. I guess you've got to pay the bills? I call BS.

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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
3.47 out of 5 based on 889 ratings.
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