Sometimes wheat beers get relegated to the hot, sticky summer months—but that’s a disservice. Sure, a hazy, unfiltered wheat beer can quench your thirst during the dog days, but it also shines in winter’s worst (just like these double IPAs).
For those unaware, this top-fermented beer style gets its name because its mash bill consists of a larger-than-average percentage of wheat as compared to malted barley and other ingredients. While it’s easy to simply say you enjoy a good “wheat beer,” there are actually myriad varieties including hefeweizen, witbier, gose, Berliner Weisse, lambic, and American wheat beer.
The latter is probably what you think of as quintessential wheat beer. This Americanized version of Belgium and Germany’s popular beers is an amalgamation made with American yeasts. Some are light, crisp, and refreshing—usually a bit hoppier than their European counterparts.
The classic witbier has Belgium roots. Cloudy, hazy, and unfiltered, the flavor profile is usually wheat and banana forward, though sometimes flavored with European ingredients like coriander, cloves, and orange peels. The German-born hefeweizen is, like the other versions, big in wheat and carries flavors like banana bread, various wintry spices, and even bubblegum.
While we won’t get into the other varieties today, you get the idea. Wheat beers are loaded with flavors that are well-suited to winter sipping. To help you find the best options, we’ve listed 10 of our favorites below.
1. Ommegang Witte
This award-winning, Belgian-style white ale was brewed with a combination of malted and unmalted wheat, as well as orange peels and coriander. The result is an unfiltered, hazy, beer with notes of tangerine, citrus peel, clove, coriander, and various other spices that pair well with cold weather.
[$12, 6-pack; ommegang.com]Get it
2. Live Oak Hefeweizen
One of the best-rated wheat beers in America, this Austin, Texas-made 5.3 percent ABV hefeweizen is brewed to taste like the classic wheat beers of Germany. It’s made with a traditional yeast strain, wheat malt, and only a handful of hops. It has classic wheat beer flavor: banana, cloves, and slight wintry spices.
[$9, 6-pack; liveoakbrewing.com]Get it
3. St. Bernardus Wit
No wheat beer list is complete without a few Belgian beers. St. Bernardus Wit is a top-fermented, unfiltered traditional witbier (5.5 percent ABV). It has a cloudy, hazy appearance and notes of sweet wheat, caramel malts, fruit esters, orange zest, and a touch of spice.
[$17.99, 4-pack; sintbernardus.be]Get it
4. Avery White Rascal
This 5.6 percent ABV Belgian-style white ale is unfiltered, hazy, and brewed with tart Curaçao, orange peel, and coriander. This results in a beer that’s malty, sweet, and herbal with a nice balance of cooking spices and tangerine.
[$12.99, 6-pack; averybrewing.com]Get it
5. Dogfish Head Namaste
This Belgian-style witbier has been a Dogfish Head favorite for years. Brewed with peppercorns, orange, lemongrass, and coriander, it’s a zesty, refreshing, flavorful take on the classic style. This year-round offering has notes of cloves, coriander, caramel malts, and tart orange peel; it pairs just as well with summer’s heat as winter’s frigid temperatures.
[$10.99, 6-pack; dogfish.com]Get it
6. Unibroue Blanche de Chambly
There are few breweries that craft authentic, traditional European wheat beers better than Quebec’s Unibroue. Blanche de Chambly, its take on the Belgian-style wheat beer just might be its best. This award-winning, 5 percent ABV beer is filled with memorable flavors like candied orange peels, sweet wheat, fruit esters, banana, and wintry spices.
[$10.99; 6-pack; unibroue.com]Get it
7. Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
Sierra Nevada might be most known for its iconic Pale Ale (and rightly so), but the California-based brewery also makes plenty of other great beers including Sierra Nevada Kellerweis. This 4.8 percent ABV brew has notable flavors like banana, clove, sweet malts, and just a hint of seasonal spices.
[$9.99; 6-pack; sierranevada.com]Get it
8. Allagash White
One of the most popular and highly awarded American-made wheat beers of all time, Allagash White is the Maine brewery’s take on the traditional Belgian-style wheat beer. Made with oats, red and white wheat, orange peel, and coriander, it has flavors of sweet oranges, citrus zest, coriander, and sweet wheat.
[$12.50, 6-pack; allagash.com]Get it
9. Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier
Brauerei Weihenstephan is the oldest brewery in the world (brewing since 1040), and it should come as no surprise the Bavarian brewery makes one of the best wheat beers on the planet. This 5.4% ABV hefeweizen is known for its slightly fruity flavor profile of bananas, cloves, bubblegum, and sweet caramel malts.
[$9.99; 6-pack; weihenstephaner.de]Get it
10. Hoegaarden Witte
One of the most popular wheat beers in the world, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include Hoegaarden. This legendary Belgian witbier is hazy, cloudy, refreshing, and loaded with flavors like orange zest, coriander, wheat, and wintry spices. It’s a great accompaniment to a heavy winter meal.
[$9; 6-pack; hoegaarden.com]Get it
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!