Sunshine Wheat Beer | New Belgium Brewing

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Sunshine Wheat BeerSunshine Wheat Beer
890 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 890 |  Reviews: 369
Photo of RJLarse
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a couple of bottles of New Belgium Sunshine Wheat Beer at a specialty shop to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a weizen glass.

Pours a pale gold color and is crystal clear. A three-finger bubbly white head forms, and is moderately resilient. The head produces modest lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is sweet, spicy and fruity in the Belgian style. There is a sweet citrus (orange) and coriander aroma.

The taste is also sweet, with a malt presence, the citrus and spice flavors, and a mild hop finish.

The mouth feel is crisp, clean and effervescent. The beer is well carbonated.

This is a drinkable beer. It could be a bit more full flavored in terms of taste, but a very drinkable, light and refreshing brew just the same.

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Photo of dfried
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Straw colored, a little haze, but definitely see through. Average white head, lasted throughout (as usual for New Belgium). Aroma is very wheaty and bready, of lemon grass and orange peel, and a fair amount of coriander. Pretty complex aroma for a simple pale wheat beer. The taste was alright, at first I thought I was a bit strong in coriander for my liking, but that kind of mellowed as the beer went on. As in the aroma it tasted very wheaty with lemon grass and orange peel. Sparkling, tangy mouthfeel, aftertaste doesn't last long. Kind of a plain beer all in all, but great for drinking on hot days.

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Photo of thaichile
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yellow with a nice puffy white head. Coriander and orange on the nose. Flavors are citrus, sour but pleasent. Haven't been overly thrilled with NBB. However, this one was very nice, light, albeit somewhat watery, refreshing summer time brew. Thanks to jhammerly for the bottle.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a five finger pillowy white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Chrystal clear pale yellow/amber color. Light carbonation and light bodied. Citrusy/yeasty nose. Starts balanced, coriander really stands out, clean finish. Excellent summer beer. Previous reviewer ended up with a bad bottle. Best before Aug 2006. $1.30 for a 12oz bottle from Liquid Solutions Tigard, Or.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not so much as disappointed with New Belgium as I am with the wine shop where I picked this up last week in St. Louis. I just noticed that the bottle says best before: February 10, 2006. Are you kidding me? At least I bought only a single. As my wife even said, it's sour. The time may have just killed this one. No head rentention or barely a drop of carbonation.

I'll review this again next time I find it but for now, that's all I have.

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Photo of deadsquirt
3.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a clear yellow with a very light, thin head. The smell contains notes of citrus and malt. Mouthfeel and taste was very light, with hints of orange. There is a very light hint hops in the aftertaste. This would be a great beer to quench your thirst on a hot summer day, but is otherwise relatively unremarkable. I'd drink it again, if I didn't have to pay for it.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear yellow color, nice carbonation, small head, some lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of hops, malts, and spices.

T - The taste is slightly hoppy/malty, and a bit watery.

M - Light body.

D - Drinkable. Not a bad brew, but not something I would buy again.

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Photo of Mdog
4.01/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Crystal clear yellow with a fair amount of bubbles.

Smell: Slight spices, some wheat.

Taste: Some breadiness at first, then spices and a little citrus.

Mouthfeel: Very clean finish.

Drinkability: Definitely sessionable.

I wasn't expecting much from this beer but was pleasantly surprised. It's very light and refreshing, too bad it's not available in Minnesota. A good beer for a hot summer day.

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Photo of beertastegood
2.96/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear yellow with a fluffly small head. Aromas of citrus, slight coriander and sweet/grainy wheat malt. Taste: hint of orange, with a coriander punch and very slight hop flavor, which is earthy and musty. Aftertaste is nonexistent.

Mouthfeel: Thin, medium carbonation, off-putting.

Drinkability: That is one of the few things this beer has going for it.

Overall, a shadow of a witbier. The orange and coriander do stand out, but only for a moment, and the rest of the beer fails to back it up with characteristic witbier complexity. The finish is just....bland. I like NB's lineup for the most part, but this is definitely the least of their beers I have tried.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Denver airport. Pale gold and clear with lots of carbonation. Aromas of grainy wheat, lemon, along with some mild floral and spice notes. The flavors are tart lemon, and perhaps some light Centennial hops? Light bodied and refreshing without feeling overly watery. Simple and refreshing, and still full of flavor. A good warm weather session beer.

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Photo of DuqTroops
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - clear pale yellow in complexion. not much head.

Smell - little hops are smelt through the aroma. more wheat and carbonation bubbles!

Taste - great tasting. smooth and easy to drink (mouthfeel).

Drinkability - easy to have a lot of these in a day and not worry about being too intoxicated!

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light yellow, lots of fizzing action and a good whitish permi-head. Aroma is subdued, but a nice amount of coriander and orange peel. Taste is likewise, with a nice orange peel front with a leveling malt/wheat base that evens out and finishes with a nice coriander. Body is light and springy and very refreshing, particularly after this hot day. Whenever I see New Belgium, I don't see this, which is kind of sad, because I'd most likely pick it up again.

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Photo of JayQue
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had one with dinner at the Bellagio in Vegas. Not impressed. Pours a slightly hazy dull gold with a minimum head. Small white head. Some citrusy smell but not pronounced. Taste did not stand up. Some wheat smoothness,but the overall taste had too much lemon and was pretty bland. Mouthfeel was a bit weak and watery. I had no problem finishing one, but would not have ordered another.

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Photo of rowew
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz longneck - typical new belgium bottle, with all the relevant information as usual.

Appearance: Pours clear and bright yellow with a thin head, leaves a bit of lace on top of the beer as it fades. Small constant bubbles.

Smell: Floral hops, a bit of citrus, and just the faintest whiff of wheat.

Taste: The aromas carry over to the taste - starts off with some floral notes and a bit of coriander, finish has a bit of lemon flavor to it. The wheat is very subdued.

Overall impression: Not bad - but not very interesting either. Definitely pass this one over for New Belgium's more interesting offerings .. maybe they will replace this with their new Wit.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours leaving only a faint wisp of foam that dissolves into a clear, pale yellow/straw colored body. The smell does not present strongly, with only hints of coriander and orange spice. The taste is mild and bready, carrying a light sweetness with notes of orange and other citrus. Finish is not particularly remarkable. Overall flavor is quite mild and simple. The body is light with a decent burst of carbonation. Drinkablilty fares well as you can finish it easily, although the lack of complexity makes it hard to come back to for another.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
3.81/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six-pack to bring with me fishing yesterday. Had one of them from the bottle and thought it was ass-awful, just terrible. It tasted like an American lager of the worst sort. But then I gave it a second shot at home. Poured one into a glass. It's got a very light look to it, almost like diet lemonade or something. And what a bright white head! Very uniform tiny bubbles, like champagne. The taste improved tenfold! Cool, crisp, wheaty. Beautiful light flavor and super freshing. I poured myself another right after the first.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice head, firm and a finger thick...smaller than what I expected, however.
Bright yellow, hazy body. Looks like...the sun. Go figure.
Big citrus aroma, hops, floral and biscuit tones.
Taste was thicker than it looked, but still a bit thin. Floral and hops overrun by citrus. Of course the bartender put a lemon in it before I could smack him.
Crisp/clean feeling. Leaves me thirsty.

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Photo of bort11
2.96/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with a best by 9 Jun 06 date. I only looked at the date after finishing the beer.

A- Poured into an Imperial Pint glass. White foamy head that quickly receeds, weak lace. Color is a very pale straw color.

S- A little sour, not skunk, but sour. There's some yeastiness to it and some light malt.

T- Still a little sour, with some additional oragne and coriander barely hinted at.

M- Light bodied, quite carbonated. Sour aftertaste.

D- The sourness isn't bad, but I'm wondering if this one's past it's prime. I may try and find a fresher batch next time, if there is a next time

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3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 1" white head fell quick to a cap. Clear, clean, pale gold beer. Nice unexpected lace.

S - Spicy. Coriander. Citrus (lemon, orange). Clean aroma.

T - Slight sourness. Tangy lemon. Orange peel. Coriander is faint, not as pronounced as it is in the nose. Light, bready malt backbone.

M - Thin to just under medium bodied. Medium carbonation.

D - Super easy drinking. Refreshing and thirst-quenching.

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Photo of shererjt
3.34/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pale-ish yellow clear. Decent head with lots of fine white bubbles; not the huge wheat head you often see, but more than the typical beer. Nice, crisp citrusy nose. The hops and malt were a bit in the background, but a truly pleasant aroma. Light-to-medium body and tasted about like it smelled. Flowery, perfumy. Not much traditional wheat character and the body was a bit on the thin side, but not inappropriate for the style. Does have a tiny bit of creaminess. Drinkability was above average.

Pretty good beer. Nicely flavored. The underlying brew could be a little better, but worth a try.

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Photo of musingmonkey
3.87/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Inspite of the mediocre reviews, I decided to give this one a go since New Belgium has never failed to impress me thus far. So, on a hot 97 degree spring day (?!?!?!) here in the armpit of Texas, I picked myself up a six pack, and I'm glad I did.

I would have scored the appearance higher, if not for such a short lasting head. The colour was a radiant, pale gold, perhaps a little haze to suggest it was a wheat beer, but still quite clear.

The orange peel they add is noticeable on the nose, and while some light spice notes a present I would never have picked coriander. Taste was a crisp orange/citrus blend, with more malt than I anticipated, which provided a nice balance.

Mouthfeel was quite thin, but the gentle yet persistent carbonation joining with the fresh, crisp taste, makes this a very drinkable beer on a hot day. Cliche perhaps, but incredibly welcome in a hot apartment!

I'll not hesitate to buy some more of these during the summer.

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Photo of Mitchel
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sunshine Wheat pours a pale golden-yellow color with a slight haze. The head is moderate and white. It is very light in the nose. Dreadfully little smell other than citrus and….hay?

Sunshine is very light in the mouth with a fruity body. There are incredibly little hops and also very modest malts that stand out to me. This is a very light beer. It finishes with a little bit of acidity and stays in the mouth for a long while.

I was expecting a maltier and breadier beer. It is not a bad beer, perhaps just the name is misleading.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Single brought back from Lake Havasu City, AZ over spring break.

Pours an almost neon straw yellow with a cm of snow white head that fades instantly. Nose is a weak mix of cracker, lemon juice, ground pepper and a hint of coriander. Taste is slightly acidic, a bit spicy, a little citrus sweet, yet overall uninspiring, even for an APWA. Mouthfeel is very thin and watery, very little body to speak of. A rather uninspiring stab at a lawnmower beer. Not bad, but not impressive in any way either. Yawn.

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a light hay color with little to almost zero head. Just a thin white ring around the brim of my pint glass. Lots of beading on the inside. No laceing at all to be found.

Smell: The aromas are very pleaseing but nothing over the edge. Wheat fields and a slight orange peel. Almost floral but just vague hints.Even a rye note can be detected.

Taste: The flavors are wheats galore with the same orange peel hints,like the nose. A rye bread and a subtle hop bitterness makes this beer very sessionable. Has lots of earthy features to this beer,I guees thats why it reminds me of home,here in Texas.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation. Wet and crisp on my palate and leaves with a drying wheaty aftertaste. Not bad at all. Would be a good daytime in the middle of summer kind of drink.

Drinkability: Of all the wheat beers I have tried so far,this one seems to really stick out there for me. Nothing big just a simple earthy drink. I would definitley recommend this brew and I am very curious to try this again as a pairing to some food of some sort. Perhaps a good ol' smoked brisket.MMmmmm!!


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Photo of Crosling
1.86/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a clear golden yellow with an ivory colored head.
Smell is faint and hardly there. Some citrus flavors in the aroma. Tastes of coriander and ground orange peel, but there needs to be much more flavor from the spices for this to even be considered adequate and the yeast and malt character are far from ample. Light in body and character. Dull, disappointig yeast character. Terrible, especially considering the style.

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Sunshine Wheat Beer from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 890 ratings