Beer Review: St. Bernardus Witbier
Style: Belgian Witbier
Alcohol by Volume: 5.5%
Characteristics: A classic Belgian Witbier with zingy citrus, wheat, and spice characteristics alongside a highly quaffable light body.
Witbier or simply, Wit, is the Dutch-language name for the Belgian style of wheat ale. Consisting of pale malts, unmalted wheat, and lack of filtration, Wit strongly resembles its German cousin, Hefeweizen. The addition of spices in Witbiers is what sets the two apart.
We can thank Pierre Celis at Hoegaarden for reviving this 400-year-old beer style after it died out in the 1950’s. Celis, creator of Hoegaarden and Celis White, is considered the “Godfather of Witbier”. He worked in cooperation with St. Bernardus brewery to bring us this amazing creation, St. Bernardus Witbier.
At the onset, St. Bernardus Witbier pours a milky yellow straw/pale orange color. A dense white cap dissipates rather slowly leaving dots of lacing. The aroma is definitely that of a Belgian with the yeast overly present. Ripened bananas, coriander, and citrus accompany the biscuity yeast. The taste begins with an unexpected tartness. Green apples and pears jump out first followed by flavors that lend true to the aroma. Belgian yeast, bananas, a hint of orange peel provides bitterness, and a faint Coriander spice adds a delightful mix of clean flavors. The light-medium, crisp mouthfeel is very palatable and provides a smooth finish. This beer is highly drinkable. Dare we label this a session beer?
The St. Bernardus Witbier offering definitely holds true to the quality that St. Bernardus Brewery exudes. This excellent Wit solidly represents the style with complex yeast flavors that supplement the spice and citrus bitterness. Thanks again to Pierre Celis and the many brewmonks out there for producing such a fine beer. Thanks to Glidewell Distributing for bringing this beer to the living rooms and back porches of Arkansas.
You can find this amazing example of a Witbier at the following locations:
Colonial Wines & Spirits – Little Rock
Macadoodles – Springdale
O’Looney’s Wine & Liquor – Little Rock
The Wine Rack & Spirits Shoppe – Hot Springs
The Bottle – Fayetteville (mix pack)
Springhill Wine & Spirits – North Little Rock (mix pack)
Liquor Mart – Fort Smith (mix pack)
Shamrock Liquor Warehouse – Fort Smith (mix pack)
In Good Spirits – Fort Smith (mix pack)
County Line Liquor – Springdale (mix pack)
We gave this beer 4.5 Diamonds