Paulaner Hefe-Weizen


Review Date 3/27/2003 Last Updated 5/25/2020  By John Staradumsky

Thereís something about beer as a communal drink. It's a social phenomenon without equivalent, in my estimation, and one that brings peopletogether across cultural, economic, and even gender lines. Okay, especially across gender lines. But really, I canít tell you how many times Iíve been in a pub, not knowing a soul, and ended up chatting away about beer, life, politics, the fair sex, just about any topic under the sun. Iím sure other beverages can promote this effect as well, but I have never observed it as much as I have when beer, the drink of moderation, is flowing.

The first time I observed this was about five years ago in Worcester, Massachusetts when I enjoyed the conversation of a gentleman I had never met before. He had pulled up a stool next to me at the somewhat crowded bar, ordered a pint of Guinness and we soon struck up a conversation on beer that lasted a good two hours, focusing on craft beer in general, the state of the industry, and more importantly the thirty taps before us.

Not too long ago it happened again, this time at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia. I happened to be sitting next to a friendly looking fellow and as soon as he spoke I realized he wasnít from around the area (but then in Metro Atlanta, few people seem to be from Georgia). Turns out he is originally from Manchester, England, and we passed a pleasant evening chatting about brew. Leave it to beer to make friends of a guy from Rhode Island and a guy from England in a pub in Georgia.

One of the beers I enjoyed during our conversation was Paulaner Hefe-Weizen. This has always been a favorite of mine, a delicious and refreshing wheat ale that I greatly enjoy. I was drinking it on tap, generally the best way to drink beer. Hefe-Weizens are an exception, however. The yeast in the bottle conditions and preserves the beer, so my observations will be similar to what you will experience with bottled Paulaner Hefe-Weizen.

My first glass was served with a slice of lemon wedged upon it. This seems to be common practice today when you order wheat beers at a restaurant or bar. It can make a Hefe-Weizen more refreshing, and indeed I enjoy mine that way from time to time, but for the most part I prefer my Hefe-Weizen unadulterated so that I might enjoy its unique flavors.

Paulaner is the leading brewer in Bavaria, Germany, the birthplace of Hefe-Weizen. Established in 1634, it is a Munich landmark and is famous among beer enthusiasts worldwide for its delicious pale lagers, Salvator Doppelbock, and of course its Hefe-Weizen.

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen pours to a cloudy yellow orange color with a thick head formation and a spicy clove nose. The palate is crisp and tart, extremely refreshing with light notes of fruit and stronger ones of clove and banana. Alcohol is slightly higher than average at 5.6% by volume. Last night I popped open a bottle of Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, and in that form it seems to have a more noticeable vanilla character. Either way, this is a very tart and very refreshing brew.

A wonderful beer for summer weather, though I enjoy it throughout the year. Recommended with succulent Weisswurst sausage or a pork knuckle and served in a tall weissbier glass. Itís also great with friendly conversation.

Update 5/25/2020: I bought some beer from Total Wine today. I made my purchase online, and opted for contact-less curbside pickup. One of my selections was Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, and a wise choice that was. I got 4 half liter cans for a mere $6.99, a true bargain in today's world of high and at times outrageous beer prices. They are stamped canned on 7.24.2019, best by 07.24.2020. The beer is as refreshing as ever with tart crackery wheat and notes of banana and clove.

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