Beer Here is a new column on the Charlotte beer scene by writer Daniel Hartis. Look for it once a month in the Food section.
Spring is here, and Charlotte brewers are putting aside the dark malts used in porters and stouts in favor of wheat, which they are using to craft their own unique takes on two classic styles: German hefeweizen and Belgian witbier.
Wheat gives beers a lighter body and color, along with a slightly tart flavor that makes these styles perfect for warm-weather sipping.
Here are a few to look for at Charlotte breweries:
Even if youre not an avid beer drinker, youve likely had a Belgian witbier or at least seen a Blue Moon parade across your TV. Ditch the orange, though, as the beers yeast provides subtle citrus notes. It is also not uncommon for brewers to add orange peel or additional spices, such as coriander.
As the name implies, NoDa Brewings NoDajito is brewed with ingredients typically found in a mojito mint and lime which really stand out against the delicate witbier base.
The brewerys Ghost Hop is also brewed with wheat and fermented with the same yeast, but then hopped like an IPA to provide an interesting marriage of two very different styles.
Where the witbiers yeast imparts citrus notes, a German hefeweizen yeast calls to mind banana, clove and even bubblegum.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewerys Hornets Nest Hefeweizen returned to the brewery May 10 (hurry and you might also catch its darker cousin, the Dunkelweizen).
Triple C Brewings Hyzer Hefeweizen was named in honor of Charlottes many disc golf courses (Anhyzer is a type of throw, Hyzer is another. Is it any wonder they went with the latter?)
NoDa Brewing brewed a hefeweizen called Weizen Up in partnership with Whole Foods. Just down the road from NoDa, Heist Brewery always has at least one hefeweizen on, and you can often find fruit-infused versions or a filtered version called kristalweizen.
Daniel Hartis is the author of Charlotte Beer: A History of Brewing in the Queen City and the editor of the website www.charlottebeer.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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