Benediktiner Weissbier



Review Date 9/22/2013  By John Staradumsky

It’s not often that I come across a new German beer here in the states, but the other day I did just that when I spied a classy looking bottle of Benediktiner Weissbier. You would think with the current surge of interest in American craft beers that we’d see more German imports here in America, but at least in the Atlanta market, we don’t.

Benediktiner Weissbier is a hefeweizen brewed by Braugruppe Bitburger in Lich, Germany, at the Licher brewery they acquired there. They do, however, brew this beer according to the specifications of the klosterbraueri Ettal, a monastic brewery at least in history. As Rush Limbaugh is so fond of saying, then, this beer could be described as brewed with “talent on loan from God.”

The American importer, Belakus, describes Benediktiner Weissbier as follows:

A collaborative effort between Bitburger & the Ettal Monastery Brewery, this refreshing German wheat beer pours yellowish-golden, with a thick, long-lasting white head, active carbonation, balanced hop bitterness, clear notes of banana and balanced fruitiness, and a certain snappiness from the wheat malt and suspended yeast.

The name Benediktiner, of course, derives from Saint Benedict of Nursia, famed for his “Rule of Saint Benedict.” The Rule of Saint Benedict is more of a series of rules for monastic life, among them self-sufficiency in producing food and drink. Beer certainly fits into the drink category.

Benediktiner Weissbier pours to a bright orange amber color with a colossal head of cauliflower foam and a soft malty nose. It becomes a bit hazier in color after one rouses the yeast and decants into the glass. Taking a sip, I get a very bready beer with hints of caramel and a bit less of the tart crackery wheat I am used to in a German Weissbier. To be sure, the latter is there, it’s just not as pronounced as it should be for the style. Also lacking here are the banana and clove, though I do get plenty of vanilla. The finish is nicely balanced.

This is a very interesting wheat beer, a little different than most, about average in alcohol content at 5.4% by volume, and delightful in its own idiosyncratic way. I am really enjoying the fresh bread flavor and chewy maltiness. And the price was right, too, at $3.49 for a half-liter bottle.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, canned