German Weissbier

Glassware: Weizen vase
  • Germany
  • Ale
  • ABV = 4.3 – 5.6% (Normal)^
  • IBU = 8-15
  • SRM = 2-6
A gold-coloured, wheat-based German ale with a distinctive banana-and-clove yeast flavour.


  • Colour^ = Straw to gold
  • Clarity = Unfiltered; hazy

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Low to moderate; bready, doughy or grainy wheat aroma
  • Hops = None to low; floral, herbal or spicy, if present
  • Yeast = Moderate to high; banana-like esters, clove-like phenols
  • Malt = Low; bready, doughy or grainy wheat flavour, plus a low level of grainy-sweet malt character
  • Hops = None to very low; floral, herbal or spicy, if present
  • Yeast = Low to moderate; banana-like esters, clove-like phenols
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Low
  • Balance = Towards the malt; but any impression of sweetness is due more to the low bitterness than actual residual sweetness

Well-rounded, flavourful palate with a relatively dry finish


  • Body = Medium
  • Carbonation = High to very high; effervescent
  • Creaminess = The texture of wheat imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Malted wheat (at least 50%), plus Pilsner malt
  • Hops = German hop varietals, low level
  • Yeast = Weizen ale yeast
  • Process = Decoction mashing is traditional

Historical Development:

Bavaria has a wheat beer tradition dating back hundreds of years, but brewing wheat beer used to be a monopoly reserved for Bavarian royalty. Modern Weissbier dates to 1872 when the Schneider Brewery began production in Munich. However, pale weissbier only became popular since the 1960s.

Commercial Examples:

Schneider Weisse Original Weissbier (Tap 7), Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Hofbräuhaus Münchner Weisse

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus (Version 5.0)
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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