STYLE: American Wheat or Rye Beer
Aroma: Low to moderate grainy wheat or rye character. Some malty sweetness is acceptable. Esters can be moderate to none, although should reflect American yeast strains. The clovey and banana aromas common to German hefeweizens are inappropriate. Hop aroma may be low to moderate, and can have either a citrusy American or a spicy or floral noble hop character. Slight sourness is optional. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Usually pale yellow to gold. Clarity may range from brilliant to hazy with yeast approximating the German hefeweizen style of beer. Big, long-lasting white head.
Flavor: Light to moderately strong grainy wheat or rye flavor, which can linger into the finish. May have a moderate malty sweetness or finish quite dry. Low to moderate hop bitterness, which sometimes lasts into the finish. Low to moderate hop flavor (citrusy American or spicy/floral noble). Esters can be moderate to none, but should not take on a German Hefeweizen character (banana). No clove phenols, although a light spiciness from wheat or rye is acceptable. May have a slight tartness in the finish. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Medium-high to high carbonation. May have a light alcohol warmth in stronger examples. Overall Impression: Refreshing wheat or rye beers that can display more hop character and less yeast character than their German cousins.
Comments: Different variations exist, from an easy-drinking fairly sweet beer to a dry, aggressively hopped beer with a strong wheat or rye flavor. Dark versions approximating dunkelweizens are acceptable (and can have some darker, richer malt flavors in addition to the color). ASSUMED.
Ingredients: Clean American ale yeast, but also can be made as a lager. Large proportion of wheat malt (often 50% or more, but this isn't a legal requirement as in Germany). American or noble hops. American Rye Beers can follow the same general guidelines, substituting rye for some or all of the wheat. Other base styles (e.g., IPA, stout) with a noticeable rye character should be entered in the specialty character. THE BREWER SHOULD SPECIFY IF RYE IS USED; IF NO DOMINANT GRAIN IS SPECIFIED, WHEAT WILL BE
OG: 1.040 - 1.055
FG: 1.008 - 1.013
IBUs: 15 - 30
SRM: 3 - 6
ABV: 4 - 5.5%
Commercial Examples: Bell's Oberon, Anchor Summer Beer, Pyramid Hefe-Weizen, Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen, Widmer Hefeweizen, Sierra Nevada Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Anderson Valley High Rollers Wheat Beer, Redhook Sunrye, O'Hanlon's Original Rye Beer