Drake's Hefe-weizen | Drake's Brewing Co.

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Drake's Hefe-weizenDrake's Hefe-weizen

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Boilermaker88 on 12-13-2003

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 88
Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very tasty by the book hefeweizen. Has all the characteristics present that you would expect. The unfortunate part is that with hefeweizens like Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier and Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen so readily available, I would probably go for those. This one is not easily attainable for my area. The one strong point of this one is that it seems a bit lighter in body than the above mentioned varieties.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of RyanK252
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at BC's Pizza and Beer

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with a frothy white head that fades and laces nicely.

S: Lots of banana, some Belgian yeast funk, a little clove, and a little wheat malt sweetness.

T: A little light citrus followed by the traditional banana and yeast funk combo with a little clove spice in there as well.

M: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Just what you'd expect from the style. Pretty solid example.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a finger of head on a hazy yellow colored body.
The aroma is light and airy; mostly dry grain.
The taste has lemon bitterness throughout and some grain without going sweet.
The texture is nice and fizzy without high carbonation.
Drinkable but not memorable.

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Photo of rand
2.73/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

From tap to pint glass

A: The brew appears a hazy yellow-orange in color, with a small wispy head that leaves almost no lacing.

S: The nose is bananas and cloves, typical phenolic aromas from the Bavarian yeast. Subtle, a little thin with a crackery backdrop.

T: Typical banana-clove flavors, but the profile is thin, watery. Grainy, dry, bread notes usher in an earthy hop balance, but the overall palate remains wanting. Finishes short with few lingering flavors.

M: Light-bodied, watery. Dry, doesn't have the oily slickness you'd expect from a good Bavarian hef.

A big dissapoinment. Has the basic flavor profile of a German hefeweisen, but there's it lack tone and pronouncement.

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Photo of magictacosinus
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Finally found a single bottle of this to try. Poured into a weizen glass from a 12oz bottle.

My God, is this thing is thickened in the most ridiculous way I've seen a wheat beer to be yet. With all of the wheat syrupy maltiness and yeast, no light actually manages to shine through this thing - although if I observe close enough I see tons of bubbles that rise up and keep the head going strong. Not too thick in body, nevertheless - only super cloudy and hazy. There's sediment hanging around the edges. Lots of lacing, but really grimy - after each sip it sort of sticks to the glass in a snot-like, sludgy texture that isn't very pleasing to look at. Granted, I poured all of the yeasty residue in here, but it shouldn't look this bottle conditioned. Looks like a hefeweizen homebrew, but knowing Drake's standards, they can do better than this!

The aroma is good, and isn't too muddled with all of the wheat or yeasty phenols. Instead, there's a crisp, sharp toasted banana aroma combined with lemon, coriander, earthiness, apricots, and a bit of subdued graininess. Not as crisp as I like 'em, but not too much to complain about here. No soapiness or off green apple aromas. Slightly spicy at the finish. Very refreshing, a polar opposite of my expectations based on the appearance.

The flavor starts as a classic wheat beer flavor, but some slightly strange things happen at the finish. At first, there's the crisp, banana aroma, coated with juicy malts, hearty yeasty characteristics, and a slight fruitiness consisting of apples, apricots, lemons, and a bit of grassiness. Then, there's a sudden off hoppy flavor that, when combined with these fruits, becomes very sourish. This couldn't possibly be a bad batch, as nothing tastes "wrong," but this final flavor is the equivalent of someone squeezing a lemon right on your tongue, and then having you down it with something containing a boozy stinging sensation. Absolutely lacks any subtlety I love in this style. Sludgy, gooey, and filled with a foamy characteristic that coats the back of my throat in a mucus-like sensation. The aftertaste lingers in an acidic manner. Bizarre - this may be a bad bottle, but I have a feeling it's not. In fact, I think that pouring in the extra yeast did nothing to improve the beer.

I have no idea what happened here - I love Drake's, and I'd always swear by them as probably my favorite brewery on the East Bay. But this is a weak excuse for a hefeweizen, let alone an American wheat beer. Way too yeasty, gooey and sludgy, and far too acidic in the finish that mutes all of the fruit-filled aromas. I'll see how much further I can get drinking this, but I'm afraid it might make me sick or something. A complete disappointment.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky light yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, wheat, yeast, spice, and a mild banana aroma. Taste is much the same with a grainy flavor on the finish. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing all that exciting for the style.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a hazy, straw yellow color with a white, foamy 2 finger head. Fair retention. Spotty lacing.

Smell - The aroma is bright. More citrus forward than anything, though it doesn't overwhelm the banana and clove spice character, which hit decently enough.

Taste - Follows the nose. Strong citrus character to start, then over-ripened banana and a touch of clove spice come thorough mid-taste, finishing with a hair more banana than citrus.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with strong, biting carbonation. Finishes crisp, with fair dryness.

Overall - Good, but slightly too aggressive for the style. A bit too much citrus hop and carbonation, leading to a hefe that isn't quite right, though it isn't quite bad, either. Plenty of other American breweries have tried their hand at a "Hefe" and have failed. This one's like a B-, and for that I commend them.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Drake's Hefe". 4.5%. No best before date. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an Erdinger weizen glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm in the mood for a hefeweizen.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of some cream, decent thickness, and average retention. Colour is a dull hazy gold. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Old orange peel and stale wheat. Background floral hopping. An unappealing aroma. Moderate in strength.

T: I get orange peel, wheat, some cream, background floral hopping, and even some unexpected yeast. A pretty standard hefeweizen. There's no real fresh or crisp quality to it at all. Simple, boring, and bland. Some banana and clove from the yeast, but little of interest besides. Not particularly subtle. Meh.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some needed coarseness on the climax. Slightly overcarbonated, but nothing too problematic. Good thickness.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. I'd get it cheap at a bar on-draught, but elsewise it's just not up to par to warrant buying again. This is a hefeweizen you can safely skip.


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Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would call this a Wit. It's very light, pale in color, and distinctly lemony rather than the usual big sweet wheat esters and spices. Very lovely in the tulip glass with swirling lacing all around. Rather tart with a distinct hoppy touch, even a hint of Berliner Weisse acidity. Once you get over the expectations of the style, it's quite tasty. Crisp, nicely spritzy in the mouth.

Full of flavor and pleasure for a lower-alcohol beer. I just wouldn't compare this with typical German-style hefes. Even with what is supposed to be 60% wheat malt and a Bavarian yeast.

Since no one has mentioned this updated version, this is the new bold yellow label with DRAKE'S in giant letters. ABV is listed at at 4.5% and it's "Hefeweizen," one word.

03/11/2013 update: Had this on tap at Pizza Port. Quite watery and acidic. The single note of cloves, minus any malty mellowing gets rather tiresome. I'd rate it lower than my bottle review.

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Photo of drpimento
3.31/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Let this warm a bit out of the fridge. Poured with an absolutely beautiful, huge, foamy, fluffy, frothy, billowy, off white head that soon settled down and some lace. Color is cloudy amber with a few tiny bubble trails. Aroma is heavy yeast bitter and a little banana, spice, malt. Flavor is quite dry and some citrus, and yeast bitter, carbonic tang. Ok body and carbonation. Finish is like flavor and average length. Missing a key Bavarian sweetness to be bettter.

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Photo of veinless
3.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a light yellow, lighter and a bit clearer than expected for a hefeweizen. Does have a murkiness to it, but really thin and sickly looking. Head dissipates quickly and leaves no lace. Looks like lemon juice.

Healthy wheat and banana clove on the nose is a good move away from the appearance. Some sour bready character and spice round it out.

Healthy punch of citrus at the start is refreshing, and that then leads to a mellow blend of wheat and clove. Very easy to drink and balanced. A soft touch of banana ends the beer and leaves a pleasant bit of breadiness behind to linger between sips. Really enjoyed the balance and controlled flavors in this beer; the citrus at the start was excellent as well.

Mouthfeel is crisp, never too full, and nicely breezy the whole way through. Gets a bit heavier and creamy as it goes along, but never moves away from being light. Drinkability is phenomenal - low abv, great citrus, refreshing wheat character and just enough banana/clove to stay to style.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky yellow-golden straw color with a small white head that diminishes faster than expected. Scent is rather yeasty with notes of spice, banana, grass, orange, and clove. Taste is rather wheaty, with tasty hints of banana, yeast, earthy spices, and lots of clove. Flavors are similar to their Blonde, except this has a wheat-like profile and a different mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is not as watery as the Blonde, and a bit more full-bodied. Drinkability is high, especially if it were a hot summer day. Pretty tasty Hefe if u ask me.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a medium pancake head. Smells of lemon, banana, and spice, particularly clove. Pretty well balanced between those various aromas. The taste is heavy on the lemon with some clove following and maybe even some coriander in the background. Very late there is some sweet banana. This is definitely lighter in style than many hefeweizens, and quite soft- I'd even say a tad watery. Refreshing enough, but not a very serious beer- there are many better examples of the style.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.89/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my homies Erin and Reggie who live down the road from Drakes.
Poured a nice, cloudy deep yellow with a small white head. Nose is nice w/ cloves, banana and a touch of citrus. Taste is clove, wheat and banana, much like the nose. I actually thought the ABV would have been a tad buit higher. Mouthfeel is good and the clove really comes out. Good hef!

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Photo of magictrokini
2.67/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Sadly disappointing beer. Cloudy yellow pour with a surprisingly small head. Fruity, spicy, yeasty aroma with a flavor that does not deliver. Watery wheatiness destroys any bananas, clove or anything remotely resembling a Bavarian hefe. Sorry, Drake's, they can't all be winners.

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Photo of hopdog
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a medium and cloudy golden color with a larger sized white head. Aromas of cloves, lemons and bananas. Tastes of lemons with lighter bananas and cloves. Light wheat in the tastes as well. Refreshing.

Notes from 5/20/05

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color when poured, was of a thick hazy wheat yellow. Not much foam and no lace on the side of the glass. The smell of cloves was very evident, but lack the aroma of wheat. This wheat beer had an overpowering bitter/sour clove flavor, that lacked to taste of yeast or wheat. The bottle said cloves and banana. Where was the banana flavor? Not to my liking in the fact it was to bitter and had a very sour finish. And, to much clove flavor.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a 1 finger head with nice retention and a cloudy yellow color.

Smell is of banana phenol. I smell a light citrusy twang all the way, but this smells like a real hefeweizen loaded with banana phenol.

Banana nut bread in liquid form with some citrus undertones. Not enough bitterness to balance. My tongue yearns for more on the back. Still it's decently ok. I am not a huge fan of banana nut bread, so It's hard for me to say. If you like that flavor profile. you may rate this beer higher than me. As the beer warms slightly, the beer has some noticeble tannins and grassiness.

The beer clings to the palate decently. Somewhat crisp and very refreshing.

The banana flavoring is over the top on this one. For me it would get old fairly quickly, but for others it might make for a decent session.

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Photo of Floydster
3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle taken out of my friend Drake's refrigerator tonight, he got the six pack from Beverages and More a few days ago, poured it into one of his crazy weizen glasses he bought in Europe

A-Pale golden straw yellow color with some orange tint, one inch foamy white head that stuck around a few seconds only, not much retention or lacing

S-Wheat, bananas, cloves, ginger, orange peel, lemon juice, brown sugar, variety of spices, vanilla, and yeast

T-Lemon right from the beginning with some slightly chewy wheat and barley in the middle, finish is a little sweet with some citrus and banana, could taste some vanilla later on and also became more spicy as it warmed, some funky bitter accents as well, orange peel started to take over and made this beer very hard to drink towards the end, drink it cold for sure

M-Dry and sweet mouthfeel, a little spicy at times too, thin to medium body, a little watered down, lots of carbonation, taste did not last long

D-Could drink a few bottles of this easy, pretty smooth, lower ABV than some macros, light and refreshing, smooth when chilled but when warm it is a different story

Did not measure up to the Live Oak I just drank but not bad, a little above average, not of one of Drake's best though, good deal for one dollar a bottle, will have again soon, as it continues to get hotter out here in the Inland Empire, recommended if you come across it but do not seek out

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a smaller hefe glass, The liquid is a cloudy dark orange with good carbonation. The head is nice, a big 2 fingers, white and it leaves some nice lace.

The smell is good, this is a very interesting west coast hefe, hops are a bit piney and there is not much in the way of banana and cloves.

The taste is nice, a very slight banana taste and a bit more spice but the hops are very interesting. A bit piney in the finish. Certainly not a traditional hefe but quite worthy in it's own right. I am glad I was able to try this.

The mouthfeel is good, nice body and a good carbonated hopy bite in the finish.

The drinkability is good a very good choice to finish lunch with.

Prosit, MK

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Photo of Zorro
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

VERY dark for the style this is an Ultra cloudy dark tan colored ale bordering on being outright brown colored.

The smell is sweet and malty with a spice cake aroma. Lots of vanilla, banana and brown sugar aromas this definitely is like smelling cookies or cake.

The taste begins a little sweet and strongly malty with a mild spice flavor. Very mild taste this tastes like mild spice cake but not really like Hefe Weizen.

The mouthfeel is OK.

Sort of mediocre and not really Hefeweizen tasting. I probably will never try this again.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The label is built around a pirate theme with the slogan "a pint a day keeps the scurvy away". That would make a catchy marketing line if the brewery ever exploded in popularity. But here we have a bona-fide hefeweizen and not some imitation hefeweizen. On to the beer:

Poured into a weizen glass, it has a thin head while the body seems to be not as cloudy as others. Wonderful smell of phenols, banana, and wheat malt. The taste isn't quite like the smell, and seems to cross-over to some witbier characteristics. A little metallic in the end with "bad" bitterness. Nothing to go nuts about, just a simple microbrewed hefeweizen.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle sealed with a very colorful and nicely decorated crown cap. Simple brown glass bottle is covered in one of those plastic shields where the see through parts lend the impression that the bottle has separate front, back and neck labels, when in fact it does not. My bottle looks just like the one pictured here on BA. Standard “Drake’s” 12oz design is differentiated only with the words “Hefe-Weizen” against a black background. Described as “…spicy fruity beer has hints of clove and banana and is crafted for easy drinking” and listed at 4.9% Alc/Vol.

Appearance: Faded cloudy orange with a turbid marmalade body. Off-white head clings throughout, it remains at 1/8” thick and often looks like it may break, but it never does. A feisty milky haze is induced with the gentlest of swirls.

Nose: Yeast, lemon, wheat, sweet fruit and some banana, but the overall aromas are of “Hefe” with a rounded edge.

Taste: Sharp tangy yeasts with some feint banana and a reasonable backdrop of cloves. Finishes with a little metallic edge and a yeasty tangent, yet the definition is blurred and the texture in the swallow is somehow softer than it projects in the entrance.

Mouthfeel: Decent feel and a confident package overall given the carbonation and taste profile.

Drinkability: The well polished edges take some shine of the taste profile but inadvertently add an easy going aspect to this Hefe.

Overall: Tends to pick up on the Bavarian Hefe tradition. The soft edges add Drinkability but I think that this detracts from the overall feel. This did not take too much concentration. So-so, but not one of Drake’s better beers, an average effort.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pounder glass it formed a nice sized loose head that falls to a solid covering, leaving behind marginal lace. Kind of an odd color on this one. Similar to Wittekerke in that its kind of a light straw bordering on white. The usual unfiltered haze.

This comes across like a very subtle German style hefe. It has the yeast strain that makes these beers what they are. Bananna of course comes to mind along with a sugared pear mixer. Nice crispy carbonation comes through in the middle lending way to some lemon and again back to the fruits in the finish. Slightly peppered.

Notes: A very easy drinking beer. It was one of those brews where I sit back and enjoy and not alot to think about but enough to keep my interest and not overboard in the sweetness department. Straight forward goodness.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange amber with a very light head that disappears quickly.
Aroma is faintly banana and faintly lemon with a wheat-yeast sweetness.
Mouthfeel is good due to the amount of carbonation that stays in the glass....drying wheat is pleasant.
Taste is light lemon and banana with a very, very slight bitterness coming either from hops or the wheat.
Aftertaste is merely wheat dryness.
An above average American wheat...I really enjoy the refreshing dryness and light banana compaired to more traditional German wheats where the esters are (in my mind) overpowering.

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Drake's Hefe-weizen from Drake's Brewing Co.
3.52 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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