If you're looking for a different take on the light and bubbly brews of summer, Weizen Doppelbock by Capital Brewery of Middleton.
Style: The Weizen Doppelbock ranges from copper to dark brown. It's traditionally unfiltered and pours cloudy. When served from the bottle it is often "roused" or swirled in the bottle to re-suspend the yeast, then poured slowly. The flavor offers yeasty and phenolic tones of spice and cloves; however, the beeris characterized by its distinctive sweet maltiness. The strength may range from 6.9% to 9.3% ABV.
Background: Kirby Nelson makes this beer with wheat and Munich malts. It gets its summer wheat beer character from Bavarian Hefeweizen yeast. It's a single-hop beer, made with Liberty hops. Nelson says it was inspired by the classic Weizen Doppelbock called Schneider Aventinus made by Private Weissbierbrauerei, G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH of Germany.
Capital's version takes about five weeks to make, from brew day to bottling. This beer received a gold from the Beverage Testing Institute's World Beer Championships in 2001. Capital Weizen Doppelbock sells for around $11/4-pack. It finishes at 8% ABV.
- Aroma: Light fruity sweetness with a hint of spiciness.
- Appearance: Hazy copper to light brown with a thick tan bubbly head.
- Texture: Medium- to full-bodied.
- Taste: Begins with a sweet yeasty start like a weiss beer, then a caramel maltiness comes in and blends with the yeasty qualities to create a spicy background and finish.
- Finish/Aftertaste: Malty, spicy with hints of banana and cloves. Also ends with a light dryness.
Glassware: The weizen glass is tall, designed to really show off the beer's colorful body and foamy head. The inward taper near the lip helps to concentrate and hold the head while focusing the aromas.
Pairs well with: This beer pairs well with summer grilled foods, especially pork chops, sausages and rich fish such as salmon. It also goes well with soft ripened cheeses such as brie.
Rating: Four Bottle Openers (out of four).
The Verdict: Capital's Weizen Doppelbock is a beer with a lot of flavor. You find those wonderful sweet banana, clove and nutmeg tones that you expect from a hefeweizen, while there's enough malt in this beer that it becomes smooth and malty. The sweetness from the malt is not overbearing, somewhat more spicy in overall flavor. This is a beer with the wonderful initial tones of a hefeweizen, but the alcoholic strength of a doppelbock. It's not a warm-weather session beer; rather, it's the best of two seasons -- a bright and crisp summer weizen disposition with the laid-back nature of a late winter doppelbock. It's one of the best big beers of summer.