Authentic Bavarian-style wheat beer (in a can!) from northern Kentucky brewery.
Braxton Haven Hefeweizen
By Bill Lau | Potable Pastime
5.2% ABV, 10 IBU unfiltered Bavarian-style wheat beer
Braxton Brewing Co., Covington, KY
I first sampled this on tap back in May at Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield, Ohio. That led to a howler fill before leaving the premises. In turn, that led to my seeking out a six-pack of said beer – and in a very odd turn of events, there was exactly one sitting on the shelf, as if waiting just for me (!). And then, before I could even begin to make a dent in that sixer, I added another because I just knew I’d regret it if I didn’t. This was going to be my Summer Beer of 2017. (And again – one lone six-pack awaited me at the store. This was getting downright peculiar! Not that I’m complaining, mind you!)
One first notices the crazy can art – the name “Haven” is printed upside-down! Further investigation reveals that you’re supposed to store this beer inverted, to allow the unfiltered sediments to settle at the top of the can. Then, when ready to unleash the kraken as it were, said sediments will become mixed up and suspended in the beer, much like German hefeweizen drinkers roll their bottles of unfiltered, bottle-fermented hefeweizen so as to rouse the yeasty sediments and include them as part of the enjoyment of the beer.
Goodness knows I’ve been doing just this for years now, and truly love the cloudiness and yeasty goodness of the style. So hats off to Braxton from the get-go for being authentic and innovative in their packaging and delivery of the beer. (Not to mention for brewing German-style wheat beer to begin with – still an under-represented beer style as far as I’m concerned, and one of my very favorites.)
Pours out a hazy, deep golden/honey-amber hue, topped with a near-white head of foam composed of minute bubbles which is surprisingly short-lived. The aroma sings to me of Bavarian wheat beers – banana, cloves, and bubblegum are all present. Wondrous!
I take a sip, then another; this is everything it’s supposed to be – a fine carbonation tickles the tongue, delivering a medium-to-moderately light bodied beer that features all of the flavor notes promised by the aroma. Slightly chewy malt supports the yeast-derived goodness. Lightly sweet with notes of banana, cloves, and bubblegum and a rounded finish. Dries just enough, leaving some clovey phenols behind. I even detect a slightly lemony hit mixed in with the other flavors.
Spot-on interpretation of the style and simply a delightful beer! This one really brings a smile to my face.
The only critique I have is the lack of head retention, a bit disappointing for a wheat beer. (I did check more than one can in different glasses to be sure it wasn’t my fault – perfectly spotless barware being a possibility, if one is honest with oneself – but alas, it appears to be the beer itself.) Other than that, this is a stellar brew that elicits some naughty words from me every time I have one (in a good way!).
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.