New Belgium Sunshine

Today I am writing about a beer that really opened my eyes to the potential of American style wheat beers. Traditionally, wheat beers from Belgium and Germany, known as witbier and hefeweizen respectively, pack bold flavors and usually have a thick cloudiness in the beer. All styles of wheat beer will have a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, and a bright bready flavor.

There are many German styles of wheat beer, which can be clear to cloudy, and light to dark on the color spectrum. In general, due to the yeasts used, this style will be described as possessing a banana or clove flavor.

Belgian styles are much more likely to spice the beers with things such as coriander seed and citrus peels, most often orange.

New Belgium Sunshine is not a normal wheat beer

At first smell, I thought Sunshine had a very hoppy aroma, citrusy like cascade hops. Taste however showed a vibrant citrus kick, with a bright floral bouquet of coriander. There was hardly any bitter taste from hops, and the beer possessed a subtle sweetness throughout. The mouthfeel was light and smooth, with a very refreshing finish.

A freshly poured New Belgium Sunshine

As far as color, this is a beautiful brew. It is a light color, with no cloudiness, likely a result of cold filtering to remove the chill haze. This is a common technique in American style brewing, and I must say that it works for this beer.

Incredibly clear for a wheat beer

Overall, Sunshine is a beer that is smooth without sacrificing flavor. The bright citrus notes are accentuated by floral aromas, giving a subtle sweetness with a light, refreshing sweetness. The citrus notes in this beer will pair quite well with citrus in foods, as well as fish. Fish tacos with a fruity salsa is an excellent match. According to New Belgium’s blog, hot dogs with mustard are a great match for this beer. I also believe that the acidity is mustard would work very well. However, I personally think this beer is too elegant for a hot dog, and would recommend fish tacos or this lemon garlic tilapia.

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