Spaten Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse

Review Date 6/22/2000 Last Updated 10/10/2019   By John Staradumsky

Ahhh weissbier. I've been drinking a lot of it lately, but then it's the perfect beer for warm June weather. The first wheat beer I ever tasted was brewed by Spaten in Munich, makers of Franziskaner weiss. That was the Club-Weisse. Tonight I'm drinking the Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse, and I have a bottle of their dunkel weisse cooling it's heels in the fridge.

I love the fact that most German wheats come in half liter bottles. Fortunately, weissbier glasses are just as big, and this beer generates a huge column of foam as I pour it into my Spaten weiss glass. I swirl to get all the yeast out. The beer is a cloudy yellow-orange color, the nose spicy with clove. Darn this is good. Clove and banana in the palate, a little pear, light wheat body, smooth tart finish.

About half way down the glass I add a slice of lemon. This isn't common practice in Germany with a hefeweizen though sometimes a kristalweizen (filtered version) will be served that way. This detracts somewhat from the overall character of the beer, as it masks some of the aforementioned flavors. It is very refreshing however and I recommend you try it at some point to see if you like it.

On June 29th, 1998 I did a side by side of this beer with Brooklyner Weisse:

Dropped by the Mews tavern last night for a few draft beers, the first being Spaten Franziskaner. The keg had just been put on Friday night, nice and clovey, very refreshing, went well with spicy Cajun Scallop soup. The Brooklyner Weisse was very similar, perhaps a bit more clove and a subtle hint of banana, stood the Bavarian test quite well, especially after the delicious Franziskaner.

Update 7/2/2014:  Spaten Franziskaner Weissbier pours to a bright orange color with a thick foamy head and a massively spicy nose of clove, banana and hints of vanilla. Taking a sip, the tart crackery wheat is eminently satisfying, and the clove and banana add some spice to your summer refreshment. The finish is tart and refreshing, this is one fantastic wheat beer. All for $2.99? Brother, you just hit the jackpot.

Update 10/10/2019: Spaten Franziskaner Hefeweizen on tap at Taco Mac! This was the first Hefeweizen I ever tried some 37 years ago. It’s still one of the best. Crackery, clove and banana notes, crisp and refreshing, tart wheaty finish. Just $6.08 for a 23 ounce mug with a free can koozie.

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