If I had to nominate a favourite style of beer, it’d be the hefeweizen. It’s a beer of German origin – as is probably obvious by its name, which translates into “yeast wheat”. That name is in part derived from the fact that the beers use a heap of wheat (German law says hefeweizens need to have at least 50 per cent wheat.)
The hefe is a wonderfully tasty and refreshing beer that often throws delicious lolly banana flavours. But isn’t sweet like those lolly bananas. It’s also a style I shied away from for a while. I remember my brother drinking this beer with the odd-looking German label. I was scared off them because, in my head, I’d somehow figured that a German beer would be dark and heavy.
That beer he was drinking is this one – the Schofferhofer hefeweizen, brewed in Germany and available at your local Uncle Dan’s. And I’m glad I got past that stupid stereotype because this is one of my favourite beers. Like most hefes, it has a thick creamy head (they make tall thin glasses especially for drinking a hefe, to accommodate that head) and throws those lovely banana aromas and flavours in abundance. But lurking underneath that banana is the other defining hefe characteristic – the flavour of cloves.
As a bonus, this beer comes in a 500ml bottle so, unless you drink out of pint glasses, you can fill your glass up, drain it and still have a bit more left in the bottle.