Beer Maverick

American-Style Wheat Beer

View all styles »

Category: Hybrid
BJCP Comparable Category: 1D - American Wheat Beer

Style Description

This is the description of how the American-Style Wheat Beer style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the American-Style Wheat Beer beer style.

These beers can be fermented with either ale or lager yeast. The grist should include at least 30 percent malted wheat. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, organizers may wish to further subcategorize this category based on the presence or absence of yeast, use of darker malts, etc. Color may change with the of fruit used.

  • Color: Straw to dark brown
  • Body: Very low to medium. Versions served with yeast may exhibit a full mouthfeel.
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Low to medium-low level pale malt attributes are present in paler versions. Medium-low to medium-high malt attributes such as cocoa, chocolate, caramel, toffee or biscuit may be present in darker versions. Roast malt astringency is acceptable in darker versions when balanced with malt sweetness.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Low to medium
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Low to medium. Versions served with yeast may exhibit somewhat higher perceived bitterness.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity esters are present. Diacetyl and phenolic, clove-like attributes should not be present. Low to medium yeast character is present in versions served with yeast, in harmony with malt and hop attributes and not sharp.
  • Common Ingredients: Clean American ale or lager yeast (German weissbier yeast is inappropriate). Large proportion of wheat malt (often 30–50%, which is lower than is typical in German weissbiers). American, German, or New World hops are typical.
  • Commercial Examples: Bell’s Oberon, Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Widmer Hefeweizen

Brewing Properties of American-Style Wheat Beer

These are the functional brewing properties of American-Style Wheat Beer beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
3.5 - 5.6%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
10 - 35 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
2 - 10 SRM
(4 - 20 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.036 - 1.056
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.004 - 1.016

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.