Kiuchi: Hitachino Nest: Weizen (Japan: Hefeweizen: 5.5% ABV)

Visual: Slightly hazy. The colour is halfway between orange and mature banana skin. Surprisingly small bubbly white head. Looks somewhat fruit juice like in main body.

Nose: Wheat. Tangerine. Overripe banana. Ice cream syrup toppings. Cinnamon. Quite fresh and slightly acidic.

Body: Cloves. Fresh tangerine. Sherbet lemon. Banana. Moderate bitterness at the back. Tart apple juice.

Finish: Grapefruit juice. What and bitterness.

Conclusion: I didn’t realise it was possible to pour a weizen and not get a massive head.  Erm, maybe I should rephrase that, but I think you get the point. Most weisse beer end up being poured as if they were nitro glycerine just to make sure they don’t froth up.

This thing splashed into the glass from a great height , happily spilling around the glass with but a small set of bubbles forming over a fruit juice looking beer. Huh. Time to recheck the expectations I feel.

The aroma and body play in the right field. Wheat, fresh banana, but is tart and more acidic than I would usually expect. It is recognisably a weizen in ways,  such at the wheat in front and back, but has an unusual fresh tangerine acidity that is new.  The beer comes in a bit too fizzy which hides some of the flavour, but that is a common weizen flaw, and it taste well enough nonetheless.

Not to make too much of the beer, because it does have flaws, but I do find it immensely cheerful and a fun twist on the style. While still seeming familiar enough to make a relaxing summer days weizen, it does have good quirks.  It is much more fruit juice influenced, a tart grapefruit like finish and apple juice like element to main body are the most noticeable and they really help keep it fresh. In some ways it seems to pick up a few cues from the American Pale Ale style as well.

Now I wouldn’t recommend making a big deal out of hunting this down, it isn’t that amazing, but I would be lying if I said Id pass up the chance to try it again. It’s fun, fresh and has just enough weisse style. It’s not up there with the German takes on the style, but frankly, what is?

Background: Picked up from Brewdogs Guest Beer section (yes I have been saying that lot, don’t worry I just got my batch of beers from beers of Europe, so that’s the next phrase you will get sick of hearing). I really enjoy picking up beers from the growing Japanese craft beer scene, in part because of how few people seem to appreciate the quality beers being made there- and that includes the locals. I went for a hefeweizen as it was the beer style that first caught my attention for something different and wondered what spin the brewery would put on it. Incidentally I love the dinky little bottles, and just wish I had one of those small half pint versions of the Erdinger glass to use for the beer as they always look fun.