Home / German Beer Styles / Kristallweizen
Refreshing beers, great for a sunny day. Pale straw coloured, clear, fruity and spicy, these beers are the filtered alternative to unfiltered hefeweizen and tend to be made by the same brewers and served in the same tall, elegant glasses.
Like hefeweizen, they are wheat beers and top fermented, generally around 5 percent abv. Some brewers describe their beer as Weizenbier (wheat beer), others as Weissbier (white beer). Both words mean the same.
It might seem a shame to filter some of the taste out of the beer, but they are a distinctive style of their own and make a great thirst quencher. Like hefeweizen, there should be a strong suggestion of bananas, bubble gum and cloves in the flavour, but with less of the yeasty, spicy complexity.
I thought that it wasn't common practice in Germany to add slices of lemon to beer but Phil Bentley writes: "The lemon slice is served (by default) if you order a Kristallweizen (i.e. the filtered variety) in a Biergarten, and I certainly have never seen the lemon served in unfiltered Hefeweizen. As you point out, that would be horrific!!! I've tried Kristall with and without lemon, and I prefer it without the lemon because it ruins a good beer. However, I have observed a vast number of Germans drinking it with the lemon slice (yuk)."
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Last updated: 16th May 2002
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