Saranac Hefeweizen | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

295 Ratings
Saranac HefeweizenSaranac Hefeweizen

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 10-22-2002

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 295 |  Reviews: 197
Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a an opaque tea with lemon color crowned by a 2 finger frothy head. The smell was of banana, banana peel and light spice. The taste was slightly sour and with wheat, banana bread and a hint of lemon making appearances as well. Malty, then dry at the end. Light and refreshing. This style has always been a mystery to me, but a good beer to drink on a warm afternoon.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am drinking this chilled bottle in a weiss glass.
The beer pours a clear bright gold color with several streams of bubbles rising to the surface.
A fluffy, bleached white head of 4 cm foams up easily in the glass.

Aroma is dominanted by spicy cloves with a hint of lemon and some grassy and spicy hops as well.
The first sip reveals a lite body with significant, yet gentle carbonation.

Flavor is similar to the nose with spicy cloves and some sweet wheat malt coming through, also a bit of citrusy lemon. The flavor rolls to a short sweet finish and then the flavor is completely gone.
Did I just take a sip of beer or not??

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Photo of Zraly
3.89/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent hazy-straw colored pour, nothing too exciting, but meets a standard "cloudy" hefe weizen appearance. Nice smells of banana and cotton candy, which I consider impressive for an American wheat.

Overall, this is a decent American wheat for the price. ($5.99 a sixer) It's good on the wheat flavor, with strong flavors of lemon/citrus in the finish. It's overall body is a bit thin in comparison to its European counterpart. I found it interesting that Matt Brewing attempted more of a European styled wheat as opposed to the American style found on the West Coast (a la Widmer, Pyramid, etc.) via a more authentic tasting yeast strain. There is a notable clove spice as well, something that I enjoy in a hefe weizen that many American-made "weiss" brews lack. So, it wins a "thumbs up" for that one. Tangy, sour, and refreshing. I'm pleasantly surprised.

Some New York style pepperoni pizza is gonna fit the bill tonight.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.76/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've never been much of a hefe drinker, but Saranac has given me faith in this style. Pours a hazy golden orange with a thick white head. The aroma is of wheat and citric fruit. The taste has an orangy feel with a nice wheat palate. Grainy. I like it. The perfect summer session.

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Photo of cretemixer
3.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours gold in color with a lot less cloudiness than I was expecting. Pure white, somewhat rocky head that settles to a solid layer.
Very authentic aroma. Lots of banana & clove here. Yeasty & spicy.
The flavors are muted compared to the nose. All the players are there, but it's like they're sitting on the bench. Very faint hop notes.
Light body with soft, but vibrant carbonation. Overall, pretty average.

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Photo of WesWes
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a slightly cloudy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head. The aroma is average. It has a weak and watery wheat scent that contributes a mild banana and clove aroma. This is typical of macro hefes. They have a filtered feel to them. The taste is decent. It has a mild wheat flavor that finishes dry and fruity. It tastes better than the aroma indicates. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer is a good drinker even though it is a weak example of the style. This would be a good choice on those hot summer days.

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Photo of drugsbunny
3.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Could be mistaken for a lager, not as cloudy as it could be, but I didn't care once I tasted it. A very nice interpretation of the German style. Taste is classic hefeweisen, with a bit more emphasis on the sweetness. Good choice while it is available.

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Photo of mschofield
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, well carbonated orange-gold, four finger creamy rocky white head. Well befits the style, sticky bits on lacing are left behind.
Strong banana aroma, some light clove, and a sweet wheat tone.
Similar in the taste, sweet malt, wheat, some citrus and banana.
Light feel, honeyish aftertaste, good drinkability

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.47/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark straw color, or light amber. Has little to no head, and about an equal amount of lace.

The predominate flavor of this hefe is banana. It has a nice hint of cloves, but at best, it is ony a hint.Bananna is def the predominate hweat flavor that they got going on here.

Honestly, this is a verynice, light beer. Not light in the sense of bud or coors, but light in the sense of wow I could have 6 of these and I have room for more. It finishes off crisp and smooth, and makes a nice intro beer to the un-educated. Well played, both lighjt and some what fufilling in he same fell swoop.

While it is not the most complex of beers, it is still very much drinkable/ enjoyable, and, should be more avalaible

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.01/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright gold, like a lager, with a touch of haze and a creamy head. Smells like corn, more than most malt liquor I drink, what is going on here? Light bubbly flavor that is once again dominated by a corn-grain flavor. Another Saranac brew from the 12 pack sampler, another vast dissapointment. I knew it was too good to be true when I saw 12 different styles in one box.

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Photo of packetknife
3.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy light yellow, heavily carbonated with a broken white head that faded quickly. Smelled of dry hay, reminds me of my old bosses feed shack. The taste runs the gamut, long grass, hay, some spice on the finish, a lingering wheat bread taste that lingers on the nose too (after drinking). Felt thin for its appearance, regulary drinkability.

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Photo of Billolick
3.07/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

puffy head, develops to a tiny bubble film, leaves nice lace. Yeast in nose. Has some decent hefe flavors,banana mostly, but a bit thin and watery. not much follow thru in mid or finish. A hint of cabbage in thin finish. A so so starter wheat. Drinkable cuz, its light and light bodied....would do OK in a pinch or on a hot summer day with a salad.

 348 characters

Photo of francisweizen
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a nice light amber colour with a fluffy white head of foam. The aromas are heavy on the banana, light fruits, yeast, sugar, and malts. The taste is fruity, yeasty, and full of flavor. The mouthfeel is creamy and quite smooth and the drinkability is good!


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Photo of Beastdog75
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Saranac "12 Beers" sampler, 2002 edition).

This is an American attempt at the German style that for the most part remains true to the style, but it does seemed a little "dumbed" down, probably for American tastes. This bottle had "limited release" printed on the label, and I don't know if this one is still in production, but if it is it would be a good introduction to the style.

Saranac Hefeweizen pours a light golden color that is almost crystal clear until the sediment is added, and only then is there a desirable amount of cloudiness. A thin foam head lasts for about 30 seconds and then dissipates, but leaves some decent lacing. The smell is strong on those typical hefe scents: cloves, spices, and yeastiness, with only a hint of banana. The mouthfeel is kind of thin and somewhat watery, and it is very lightly carbonated. The spicy/clovey/yeasty flavors are dominant throughout this brew, and it is one of the sweeter hefes that I've tried. For me, I didn't detect that much banana. There is a slight wheat presence, and perhaps even a hint of butteriness in there. The hop bitterness was on the light side. Going into the aftertaste was some moderate dryness, and it finishes out with no alcoholic warmth.

This was a pretty valiant attempt at an American hefe, but it seemed a little one-dimensional to me, as it was a bit sweeter than I would have liked, and a little watery in other facets. That doesn't stop it from being quite a quaffable beverage, however.

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Photo of Shaw
3.97/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Hefeweizen pours a little cloudy, even after swirling the bottle. It has a beautiful stark white head, though, and a great aroma of bananna, cloves and other things my nose can't identify.

At first I thought the taste wasn't that special. But after drinking more, I realize that this is a good beer. The bananna and clove character of the smell carries over to the taste quite well.

This is one of the better American hefeweizens I've had.

 453 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yellow gold color, hazy. Large white foamy head. Aroma is grassy, grainy and sweet. A medium bodied Hefeweizen. Malts are fruity and sweet. Nice banana and clove flavor as well. Hops are slightly spicy. Well balanced. Nice flavored hefe. Light and refreshing. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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Photo of ithacabaron
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A decent attempt at a hefe. Not as cloudy as I'd like, but the esters of banana (especially) and clove are quite present.

Additionally, this beer does a poor job of retaining it's head after it is poured -- very odd for a wheat.

Not the first thing I'd grab if I'm looking for a hefe, but definately a decent shot at the style. Nice price too.

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Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a winsome “Chill Hazed” golden orange color, the head prodigious in size, spumous in texture, brilliant white in color and as it desiccates the remaining lace a sealing sheet upon the glass. Nice hints of wheat in the mostly sweet malt nose, citrus crisp, clean and fresh, start is sweetly malt, the top slender in its feel to the palate. Finish is mildly acidic, the hops present and pleasant, with the aftertaste quite dry and lingering.

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Photo of BierManVA
2.89/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This bier claims to be an authentic German Hefe and goes into great detail on the label as to the different hops used, etc.

It falls a bit short in my book.

The initial appearance and head are good. A nice orangish and cloudy hefe. But the smell of banana and clove are just not present as should be in this style.

The taste is also a let down. I taste mostly hops here and little wheat. Mouthfeel is bitter and not as refreshing as I would expect. This ends up being more like a cloudy lager than a yeasty citrusy hefe.

Pass on this one if at the store.


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Photo of Greenlabel
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In summary, a very good thirst quencher of a wheat beer. Saranac usually produces a very respectable product and this is one more in their stable. I find some wheat beers to have a very cloying sweet taste but not this one. Can't think of any particular negatives about it even though I'm not a big wheat beer fan. Looks like a good move for Saranac to move this beer from its 12 Beers of Christmas to its own 6-pack. I'll definitely purchase it again.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saranac comes through again. I love the hefes so when I can get a sixer for 5.99 I am all for it. Saranac does not brew the most complex beers, but it brews good, cheap, tasty ones none the less. Poured a foggy golden yellow with a huge whipped cream like head. Some decent lace retention even. The smell was a little lacking and just had some indistinct smells hovering about. Taste was very light and refreshing, with sweet nectar like flavors a fair bit of honey and bannana malts and a nice lemon zest. If you are strapped for cash and need something that is good, but working on the complexity here it is. Great summer thirst quencher.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.37/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite a nice and pleasant aroma with qualities of banana, slight clove, a little phenol and a general light (and sweet) fruitiness with a backing of wheat. Big full steady head that's white and fluffly. Dark gold, but only slightly cloudy. Surprisingly light in overall flavor, that is such a contrast to the complexity of the aroma. Kind of duller and flatter version of the aroma, with some wheat and phenol, very low fruitiness or clove. A little dry. Does have a thirst quenching quality. Light (not necessarily thin) to medium feel and low sense of richness. Overall, a great aroma and appearance otherwise average, at best. Decent thirst quenching qualities. Doesn't warm up particularily well.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.85/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

appearance: clear, straw yellow color, lacking the sort of haze associated with hefe weizens, and possessing a good, thick, pure white head.
Aroma: soft, citrusy, sly notes of banana & clove at first sniff, but becoming stronger with each passing moment, until it's quite thick, where it's nearly a blended banana cream pie!
Some and creamy mouthfeel, but lacking the grit and tackle in the texture that good hefe weizens should have.
Label speaks of cloudy appearance and noticable sediment, but both were MIA. Mmmmm, no, wait, they're there, just hiding, and insubstantial. Light body, middling malt, tiny hops.
Banana cream flavor utterly dominates, but without the yeastiness, it's not a very appealing weizen in the least. Not enough citrus or wheat, or a hell of a lot of things. Good thing I've got some Weihenstephaner in the fridge, to remind what a hefe weizen's supposed to taste like!
Too sweet, too watery, not a beer I'll turn to again.

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Photo of nomad
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a soft orange gold, with enormous amounts of carbonation that stayed fairly constant. Had a good sized soft head, little stain, and mediocre lace. Un-filtered? They say so, but I don’t believe it.

Smelled of serious banana, some bubblegum, little clove, and a nice wheat tart to it all, but had a slight chalky edge, too. Yet, like all Saranac beers, the nose is in general thin and sweet, smelling way too light and tending to fade a lot as the beer opens up to the elements.

Tasted of melon, mostly. The wheat was a very light version, so no hearty wheat body (what I love) and no sour edge to make things refreshing. The lemony flavor and bad hops create a pasty and unappealing finish. There were also, seriously, some soap flavors.

In all five major rating aspects, too watered down. Dirty cheap, though, which is great for a hefe lover – wish that could raise the score but can’t.

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Photo of beernbbq
3.77/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was impressed with the taste of this beer more than anything. It really came close to fitting the profile of the style. As with all Saranac beers, the body is a little on the light side, but the flavor was very good. It exhibited all the different aromas and tastes that you get from the better versions of this style, which, in my opinion, are the Germans. Good Show, Saranac!

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Saranac Hefeweizen from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.48 out of 5 based on 295 ratings.
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