Delaware- American Wild Ale- 4.9% ABV. We begin by brewing a Kolsch with wheat & Munich Malt, then a salty Gose with black limes, coriander & sea salt, followed up with a citrusy-tart Berlinerweiss made with lime juice & lime peel. All three beers are then blended together = SeaQuench!
Because wheat has more protein than barley, it helps create a bigger, longer-lasting head on the beer—a distinguishing feature of most wheat beer styles, such as Hefeweizen. Wheat also contributes to a smooth, silky mouth-feel.
Wheat’s neutral qualities make it a terrific base grain that lets brewers use additional ingredients to influence aromas and flavors in their wheat beers, and produce their own wheat beer style.
Of wheat beer’s notable ingredients, yeast is the defining one in many of the best wheat beers. Most are brewed with a specific ale yeast strain, such as Hefeweizen ale yeast. Left unfiltered with the yeast in suspension, the fruity esters, aroma and flavor compounds (phenols) produced during fermentation are signal characteristics of wheat beers.
The Reinheitsgebot, in addition to being a long and funny word, is the name of the Bavarian Beer Purity Act of 1516. It made it illegal to brew with anything other than barley, water and hops. (Yeast had yet to be identified by Louis Pasteur.) Flash forward to today and the vast majority of commercially available beer is brewed in accordance with, or with deference to, this arcane law. And yet, long before the law existed – thousands of years earlier – every culture brewed beer with whatever was flavorful, bountiful and delicious and grew beneath their land. American craft brewers are bringing this adventurous spirit back to the brewing landscape.
My brewery, Dogfish Head, has built its reputation for brewing extreme, exotic, extraordinary beers with “nontraditional” ingredients like chicory, licorice root, maple syrup, honey, pumpkins, raisins and brown sugar. This may sound freaky – or perhaps rebellious to “traditional” brewing practices – but it turns out that history has proved these are indeed traditional beers. You may say this refers to ancient history, and you’d be right!