Pale wheat doppelbock dry-hopped with German Hallertauer Saphir hops. 8.2% ABV

Schneider Hopfenweisse

Weisses Bräuhaus G. Schnieder & Sohn, Kelheim, Germany

By Bill Lau

Posted 6/7/2014

This is an expanded version of a review featured in Issue #13 of The Brew News.

I love Bavarian-style wheat beers. I know they can be a bit of an acquired taste for some, while others (like homebrew guru Charlie Papazian) never do include them among their personal list of favorite styles. Well, I certainly acquired the taste, back in the 1990′s. Typically cloudy from the wheat proteins and redolent of yeast-induced fruity and phenolic notes, they’re one of my favorite summertime go-to beers, and have found their way into my homebrewing rotation on a fairly regular basis. Normally they eschew any notable hop character in favor of the aforementioned flavors. Not so in this unique product of a collaboration between Germany’s G. Schneider & Sohn and America’s own Brooklyn Brewery. Old World tradition and New World moxie collide in this wheat doppelbock ale; an 8.2% ABV wheat beer dry-hopped with Hallertauer Saphir hops.

The 2008 collaboration initially involved the brewmasters from both breweries making a batch on the other’s equipment, with hops unique to that country. Garret Oliver chose Saphir hops for his Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse, while Hans-Peter Drexler brewed Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse using Amarillo and Palisade hops. Both versions were originally available; Brooklyn is no longer brewing the beer, but Schneider still produces the version using Saphir hops. Their website lists it now as “Meine Hopfenweisse”, but my bottle was labeled “Schneider & Brooklyner Hopfenweisse”. Just so you know they’re the same thing – both include the “TAP5″ moniker.

Poured into the proper Schneider glassware (and honestly, is there a style of beer glass that looks more attractive than a weissbier glass? I think not!), the beer presented a cloudy, honey-gold appearance capped with a voluminous, thick and rocky head of pale beige foam. The beer exuded tangy aromas of tropical fruit with some cloves and a top note of floral hops; very appetizing! Carbonation was very finely beaded and abundant, lifting the body on the palate, but you could discern the substance to this beer. Liquid velvet texture on the swallow. There were loads of flavor; sweetish up front with banana, pineapple, bubblegum, and clove notes and light biscuity malt underneath. A balancing bitterness swept through the middle, accompanied by some floral hops weaving their way in and out. The finish had a dryish, phenolic edge to it with an earthy yeast note. Left behind some nice lacy foam on the glass, and a very satisfied beer drinker admiring it and savoring the lingering aftertaste.

This served as a great foil to spicy Sichuan family-style bean curd, and I think would pair nicely with Jamaican jerk chicken. Just a wonderful, flavorful and satisfying beer.

Rating:     Appearance: 5/5     Aroma: 8.5/10     Palate: 5/5     Flavor: 9/10     Overall: 18/20

That beautiful weisse glass!

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