|Learning Center - Beer Education|
By Andy Guy, BeerFM.com
There is quite possibly no more refreshing a style than the classic Belgian witbier; its glowing color, bountiful aroma and crisp, complex taste evokes the joyous summer season.
Centered in Belgium and rooted in their brewers’ tradition for crafting unique beers, spices were added to this style before the hops, much like the Scottish style Gruit. Similar to the farmhouse-style Saisons of the same region, witbiers were brewed on farms utilizing the barley, wheat and oats grown there. Like many other styles of beer at the time, witbiers almost died out with the rise of the clear pale lager. But much like Fritz Maytag’s purchase and resurrection of the Anchor Brewing Co, Hoegaarden, Belgium’s own Pierre Celis revived a style all but lost. “The original Belgian white beer,” the classic import with which most people are familiar, is still brewed by his very own Brouwerij De Kluis.
Poured into your favorite tulip or hexagonal tumbler, the witbier is a cloudy, yet glowing pale yellow, hence its given name. More often than not, the brewer will advise to pour half of the beer into the glass, swirl the remaining half of the bottle to rouse the sediment on the bottom (don’t worry, it’s tasty and healthful!) and finish the pour. The dense white head captures its volatile soft wheat nose that underscores spice and citrus notes, both of which can be attributed to yeast or other additions by the brewery. Either road they travel to your senses, the bright and refreshing beer offers a creamy, smooth flavor from wheat and oats, with dancing effervescent and a faintly tart finish. This Belgian-style beer is one of the quintessential thirst quenchers of summer.
See below for links to the Witbiers we featured in the