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Widmer Hefeweizen | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

792 Reviews
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Widmer HefeweizenWidmer Hefeweizen

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
availability: year-round
bitterness: 30 IBU
alcohol by volume: 4.9%
original gravity: 11.75° PLATO

Pale, Munich, Wheat, Caramel 40L

Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Willamette, Cascade

Added by Todd on 07-17-1999

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Reviews: 792 | Ratings: 2,062
Photo of Todd
2.63/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Out with Redhook's wheat and in with Widmer's Hefeweizen! Thanks to Anheuser-Busch ... and at least on the East Coast.

12oz brown bottle. Freshness embossed on the front of the label.

Extremely cloudy and straw light amber, topped with a creamy white lace; color and suspension of particles seemed contrived ... it poured cloudy, after settling in the fridge for days; odd, didn't need any rousing. Light citrus, wheat and faint clove in the aroma; weak overall. Clean, crisp carbonation and somewhat smooth with a pear-feel on the palate later. Sharp citric flavour upfront, that fades very quickly and allows a rather bland malt profile of wheat tannins and dry grain to come through and dominate. Light and short lived spice. Touch of fruitiness, but none of the expected banana or clove of a true "Hefeweizen." Okay, there's some light banana, but it's very weak, and the spice is more generic than distinct like clove. Notes of gum can also be detected as the beer warms, as well as some depth of pale malt sweetness. Finish is dry, with linger wheat and spice; not pleasant; mouthful of wheat husk; odd.

Tired of American breweries brewing a wheat beer and calling it a Hefeweizen? Then you can probably skip this beer. Otherwise, give it a try. It's average at best, with only hints of traditional style, but that's okay ... It's still enjoyable and I recommend that you let the beer warm a bit to loosen up on all of those tannins and allow some of the sweetness and other nuances to emerge.

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Photo of DESTRO
3.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

i got a 25oz mug of this because it was the only hefe they had, i didnt opt for the lemon of course, but in this case maybe i should have. it looked alright, cloudy and a nice shade of yellow. no head really, and smelled like beer and citrus, whoopee. taste wise, not to great. had kind of a funky booty taste and this weird lemon twang to it. i mean i in no way expected it to hold its own against the top notch hefes, but i was pretty let down by this. the mouthfeel was alright, nice corbonation and it was decently drinkable, i mean even a mediocre beer is drinkable. overall, eh.

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Photo of littlebibs
3.48/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like this beer, I wouldn't say its the best but its great for the hot
summer weather when you might want to drink many. Nice color
and a really cloudy, foamy white head lasted awhile and I did like the beers aroma. I look forward to seeking
out the real german hefeweizen style beer so many rave about, but until then I'll enjoy these USA brews as I find them.

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Photo of Brent
3.26/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, and a little on the "chunky" side following a vigorous "swirl and decant." Aroma is typically wheat malt. No yeast phenols. Flavor is bright and clean, with wheat malt that is not all that wheaty, and more like a kolch or altbier. A pleasant and refreshing drink, but I would like to have seen a little more depth to the flavor.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sine' Irish Pub.

Wow! Could this beer be any cloudier? Arrived in an imperial pint glass with zero head. Aromas a little different than expected: slight citrusy (not as complex as I'd hoped, what with the lack of bannana aroma) with a bready/doughy aroma as well. Flavor was very good, slightly bittering throughout. Good malt base to offset the multiple hops used in the brewing process. Very refreshing on a hot Richmond evening. Mouthfeel is smooth. Drinkability is good as well.

I'm glad I asked what the "rotating tap" selection was. Not quite as good as others in this style, but clearly much better than average.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't know that I've ever seen a cloudier beer; perhaps, but I don't recall it. This lovely beer looked like butterscoth that had had a heavy cream whipped into it. It never did clear as the brew settled down. The head was moderate, but lasting, and a buttery creamy color. Nice lacing all the way down. Great flavor that I could stick with for hours. No heavy spicing or cloving, just solid great beer taste, that balanced the yeast and malt well. The feel is very smooth and creamy. Failry light nose. Loved it on this hot, sunny day.

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Photo of GreenCard
2.79/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From memory (having tried it a few times, most recently this evening with dinner)...

Appearance: straw-colored, super-cloudy (they must put flour in the boil), thin layer of head with some lacing, probably the most enthralling aspect of this beer

Aroma: grainy, a bit wheaty, slightly fruity tartness, no clove or banana esters (but that's no surprise since they use a neutral ale yeast rather than bavarian weizen yeast)

Flavor: pretty vapid, nothing really interesting in the flavor department, always find myself adding the provided lemon to give it a little more flavor, slightly grainy, a bit tart, pretty healthy dose of bittering hops

Mouthfeel: light-body, smooth carbonation, light and airy, smooth "disposition"

Overall Impression: Ok, I have to be honest. I'm not really a big fan of American weizens. Took one of the more interesting beers from Germany and brought it closer to the inocuous and mundane. American wheat beer should be it's own category because it is vastly different than the traditional version.

 1,039 characters

Photo of nixhecks
3.74/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep yellow color, very cloudy to begin with. After I swirled the sediment off the bottom the glass was very cloudy, although not cloudy enough to hide the yeast chunks floating around - something I hate. Head was pure white and had medium retention. The nose was great, full of lemon-citrus along with sourdough and banana note. The mouthfeel was interesting, light at first but also very chewy and coating. The taste was a little yeasty, but satisfying nonetheless, and compares well with the style. The only thing that would have made me more impressed would have to be the visible sediment, or maybe even just a little less of it. As I noted the swirling seemed to be unnecessary since the first half poued rather cloudy anyhow. Either way, this doesn't effect the taste of this great brew, it just personally grosses me out a little

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.05/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky, dirty yellow in color, a thin sheet of paper for a head that dissolves quickly. Nice yeasty and malty aroma, and fresh on the nose. Thin, yet creamy up front, laid back malty and grainy body, some spices and hops noted in the background. Very refreshing, and quite drinkable on a hot day.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.71/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled 8/16/03 in Las Vegas, NV
This wheat beer poured a cloudy, golden brown with white foam that left lace on the glass. The smell was mild: wheat and light citrus. The taste was dominated by wheat and yeast and a mild fruitiness, including a hint of banana. The hop presence was low, but there was a mild floral hop flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel was dry and smooth with medium body and low carbonation feel. The finish was very dry with a nice aftertaste. This was an enjoyable wheat beer for a hot summer afternoon. Perhaps most often I get old bottles.

Sampled 7/03 in Portsmouth, NH
This hefeweizen poured a cloudy, yellow-amber color with thin, white foam that clung to the glass a little. The smell was very mild: malt, possibly some wheat. The taste was mostly malt with some bitter hops. There was a faint taste of wheat and hint of fruit in the tangy finish. The mouthfeel was smooth with a hoppy finish and aftertaste. The body and carbonation were medium. This was an OK wheat beer. 4.0/3.0/3.5/4.0/3.5

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up the Widmer Bros. Hefeweizen to see if I would like an American-style wheat beer. I hoped for something similar to my favorite German hefeweizens. I got something different.

The beer poured a modest head that disappeared and left minor lace. It was a cloudy straw-blonde color. I immediately noticed a lack of the aroma of bananas and clove but got a citrusy wheat smell.

Taste was faintly yeasty with moderate malt flavor and imparted a strong hoppiness at the end, much more than I expected. I was surprised by the bitterness. Again, no banana/clove/bread taste. The mouthfeel was crisp and rather dry.

For those who like a beer with a bitter taste, this one's for you. If you're looking for a truly good hefeweizen, don't let this one discourage you but try another one at the same time

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Photo of TheDM
2.4/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew poured a small head of fine to medium sized white bubbles that left a good lacing and a semi-cloudy light straw yellow body with a mild malt aroma. It had a smooth start wild flavors of mild banana, spices and malt.

 225 characters

Photo of hotstuff
3.18/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An American Wheat that poured a small white head with small bubbles that quickly diminished. There was fair lacing with this brew. The body was cloudy and it had a yellow hue. In my opinion it had a light malty aroma along with a citrus aroma. The taste was lightly bitter from start to finish along with a medium body. The carbonation in this brew was fizzy.

 359 characters

Photo of Stubbie1
3.36/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark gold cloudy pour with a off white head that left a pretty decent lace. The aroma was a bit mild but hints of yeast, citrus and a small hint of wheat are present. The taste is a reflection of the aroma ,a typical weissen beer with a crisp clean finish.. Overall a good brew!

 280 characters

Photo of Naerhu
3.01/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Small white head on an opaque yellow orange body micro-bubbles, with excellent lacing.

Almost no aroma but what aroma there is, is a typically fruity, wheat-y aroma.

Again light in all respects, rather bland.

Light body, tiny bubbles.

This is easy to down, yet for some reason I did not bother to drain the glass.

 325 characters

Photo of BierReise
3.26/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When it comes to wheat beers I rarely stray from the german Biermeisters who own the style. But this one was recommended to me and I gave it a try. Looks similar to it's german counterpart and even more cloudy. Dark golden with sizable head. Smell is on the citrus side and not yeasty as the german wheats. Flavor is fruity and also more so than the german wheats. Not a bad effort but I'll stick with the german wheat beers.

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Photo of pdxlover
2.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Widmer Bros. Hefeweizen is probably the most popular of its style in the country & I had it again on a recent trip to Portland. On tap the beer pours very nicely, excellent head & body. The smell of the beer is fresh and clean but noticably lacks any banana or clove note. The taste is likewise clean, but again there is no banana, clove or real spice flavors. There seems to be higher carbonation than one would normally find in a hefeweizen. Widmer's Hefe has always struck me as more of an American Wheat than an actual hefeweizen because of it's lack of banana/clove taste. (this would be true of almost all of the Northwest's "hefeweizens").

That doesn't mean it is bad, however. It does have a nice crispness and a clean finish that makes it a great beer for the summer. It seems to have found its niche as an alternative for people who otherwise would be drinking Budweiser/Miller/Coors.

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Photo of ecoboy
3.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This does not have my favorite notes in a hefe: the banana clove aromas and flavors that make one discard the lemon wedge with a swift hurling motion. That would be the biggest strike against it. Color was darker than what I have come to expect from Hacker-Pshorr and Allagash White (not technically a hefeweizen, but you get what I mean.) Perhaps I was expecting character that the Widmer Brothers did not intend to impart.

The head disappeared quickly in my glass at home, even as I have now observed a long-lasting head on tap at Cataqua in NH. The aroma was sorely lacking, with some honey and spice.

Good things: mouthfeel was bigger and brawnier than I would expect, even when served a touch on the cold side (I popped it 5 min. out of the fridge.) The lingering clean wheat flavor was cherishable, and I could see having several before complaining about "drinkability" and switching gears. I'm probably going to keep a store on hand for most of the summer, as I could see this as a "gateway" beer.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
1.9/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Karma police, arrest this beer. It doesn't look like a wheat, smells like a lawn mower beer. Doesn't taste like anything, struggle to get it down. This is what you get when you mess with mediocraty. For a minute there, I lost my taste, I lost my taste........

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Photo of elmocoso
2.71/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This came to the table a cloudy tarnished-orangish-tan with no head.

There was almost no nose to the beverage, but what was there was citrusy and a tinge of hops, maybe a little yeast.

The taste reflected the smell. There was a pleasant slight orangyness and also a yeasty taste. I found a little nuttyness present also. but it seemed to be way overcarbonated and harsh on the tongue. I would like to try this beverage again at home, from a bottle. It might just be the serving facilities at the resturant that served it.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a winsome “Chill Hazed golden-orange color, the head is masterful in size, texture is frothy and the color off white with the lace a fine coating upon the glass. Nose has a nice yeast aroma and the malt sweet and also citrus crisp and fresh, with the top middling in its feel. Finish has perky acidity and the hops spicy in their bite, aftertaste quite dry and long lasting, a decent “Hefe” and one that hits the spot on hot Arizona summer days.

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Photo of SamuraiJack
2.35/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a tough one. It's hard to know if I should review this as a Hefeweizen or as an "American Wheat Beer." If I were to review it as the former - it would be unsatisfactory. As the latter - it's perhaps the epitomy of the style. Given that I think that the emerging style of the "American Wheat Beer" is marginal at best, I guess I'll review it as a Hefeweizen and thus do double service as both a review and a comment on the style.
Initial pour shows an odd and almost bright orange colour with the only similarity to a Hefeweizen being its cloudiness. Little to no head that quickly fades to a thin but slightly clingy lace. Aromas are predominantly yeast and fruit with an undercurrent of malt and the slightest hint of wheat/grain.
First tastes are of a mild crispness and yeast, smooth and mid-bodied. This promises a flavorful beer, but this hope is dispelled by the following blast of hops, which overwhelm the fruit, wheat and malt that should define the style. The finish is dominated by the fading bitterness from the hops and an odd "off" flavour that could well be from the yeast.
Sigh... not to my taste.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this beer in a 12 oz. thin brown glassed long neck, with the Widmer crest embossed apon the glass.
Appearance : mm bright , cloudy, dark golden almost orange in colour , with a white creamy head which is small and fades to a nice lace down the glass.
This one had a slight hoppy scent for a hefeweisen. Then i smelled lemon grass..some very slight banana aromas too.
Very crisp, can tatse some hop bitterness, very creamy and not too acidic. I can also taste some banana and also apples. The bitterness returns right at the very end..nice.
Very nicelly carbonated, smooth on the tongue..I like this.
All in all an excellent American Hefe, would drink this again and soon!!

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Photo of sinistersteve
4/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, time to return to my roots. This was one of the first micros I introduced myself too to steer my evil, macro-swilling ways. This bottle seems to have very little head and seems to be a bit thin when compared to draght version. Garnished with the traditional lemon, the taste is comparable with that off of the tap. Wheaty and somewhat sweet. Mind you, my tastes of greatly matured since my first Hefeweizen, but it never hurts to go back and remember what got you to where you're at today.

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Photo of marburg
3.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I should say, if I were judging this solely on personal taste, I'd probably rank it much lower -- all 2's. Personally, I find the infusion of the northwestern hops and the citrusy wheat style to be a bit jarring. During the summer months, I do periodically enjoy Bell's Oberon which is in this style.

The beer itself, as I had it, was served in a fun bottle with Widmer's logo (?) raised in the glass of the bottle. The beer poured beautifully and had a beautiful golden color which is moderately translucent at most. Very nicely cloudy. The taste was clearly that of an Americanized wheat beer -- more or less what you'd expect: citrus, wheat, some yeast flavor at the end. Very simple but refreshing. I prefer Oberon if I'm going to drink this style, but I have a few more of these in my fridge that I'll clearly be consuming in the future.

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Widmer Hefeweizen from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 792 ratings.
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