A lot of American brewpubs make a wheat beers for the non-craft beer
drinkers who want something "light," and if that’s the intent behind
Brown’s Hefe-Weizen then mission accomplished. It has all the
familiarities of the style and on that notion alone it succeeds.
Appearance: Bright yellow hue, only slightly hazy with plenty of
hyperactive carbonation visible. Forms a small, white, soapy head which
fizzles away rather quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass. It’s
possible this beer might actually be brewed in the kristallweizen style
as it’s quite transparent for the style, and I saw no yeast sediment at
the bottom of the bottle.
Smell: Strong clove scent with pink bubblegum undertones and banana peel. A slight tart scent as well.
Taste: If you’re familiar with the classic Bavarian-style hefeweizen
then Brown’s Hefe-Weizen should not surprise you in the least. It’s
pretty much by-the-book for the style, but just a little restrained in
the palate likely due to its target audience. It begins with a strong
clove spiciness at the front of the tongue. It’s almost candy-like with a
hint of lemon peel as well. There’s a quick bitterness through the
middle, but it ends with a lightly sweet taste of banana and apple
juice. This might actually be acetaldehyde: a green apple-like taste and
tartness which can be caused by a variety of factors and is something
brewers try to avoid. In the case of this beer, though, only keen
palates might detect this and it’s not completely off-putting anyway. In
fact, the subtle tartness works with the lighter, crisp body and
imparts a hint of cider flavor. Personally, I’d prefer more spice and
robustness, but for it is it’s not bad at all.
Drinkability: I noticed Brown’s Hefe-Weizen seemed a little thinner and
fizzier than most hefes, but considering what the beer is meant to do I
wouldn’t consider it a tragic flaw or anything. There’s a crispness for
sure but it’s closer to that of a cider’s body than a lager. It goes
down very smooth with almost no aftertaste. The bottle label indicates a
potency of 5.8% ABV, which seems a little high for such a lighter body
brew. Still, no one would have any trouble drinking an entire bottle of
this on their own.