The stereotype of Germans is that they are a very strict, unfunny, quirk-free people. Even their language reflects it; whenever I hear someone speaking German it always sounds to me like the speaker is angry. Even when I look at German written down, the way the letters are combined also looks angry to me.
So they’re dull and unfun. Straighty-180 without a hint of weirdness. Which leaves me at a loss to explain the colaweizen. Especially in a country that’s home to the Rheinhetsgebot, the beer law that – like the German stereotype – forbids anything outside the norm.
But the colaweizen is a weird, weird creation. It’s a drink that blends cola and hefeweizen (according to the annals of truth that is Google, the recipe is one-third cola two-thirds hefe). And it’s a drink so odd I wouldn’t expect anyone to come up with it. Let alone the apparently not zany, wacky or madcap Germans.
And the colaweizen is apparently a thing with young Germans. Who knows, maybe it’s a desperate attempt to affect a zany posture. So I just had to try it – using Coca Cola and one of my favourite hefes, Schofferhofer.
According to Google, the cola goes in first and then the hefe is poured slowly on top. That creates both a pocket of cola at the bottom of the glass – which you can clearly see in the above picture- and also sees a profoundly reduced head (which is noticeable in a hefe, which usually has such a big head).
The Schofferhofer normally has a strong banana aroma but, when you add cola, that totally disappears. At the start of drinking this concoction, the dominant flavour is the cola; I couldn’t taste any banana characters at all. Though once the beer warmed up, or maybe it was because I’d drunk enough of the cola, the banana flavours did surface.
The initial reaction to the colaweizen was it was quite sweet, far more sweet than I want a beer to be. But the more I drank, the more I became acclimatised to it. Which isn’t to say I’ve got any great urge to drink another one. While it did seem refreshing, either the cola or the hefeweizen on their own would have been even more so. Which tends to make the colaweizen seem pretty pointless.