Craft Beer Style Focus: Belgian Wits
Belgian Style Wits
Belgian Wits are crisp and refreshing with notes of spice and citrus. They are typically highly carbonated and commonly have some tartness in the finish. Traditional Wits are hazy yellow in color, almost white looking. They are brewed with a high percentage of wheat malt, and un-malted wheat which adds to the haziness. They are almost always spiced, with the most common flavorings being coriander and bitter orange peel. Hop use is very low for flavor and bitterness.
One of the first Belgian Wits brewed in the U.S. was at the Celis Brewery in Austin. In the early 1990′s Pierre Celis, a former Hoegarden brewery opened the brewery and brewed a classic Wit, Celis White. Since then, the popularity of the style has exploded and fresh Wits can be found on tap across the country.
Craft brewers though love to tweak traditional styles and many unique and flavorful Wit styles are being produced. Some of the most interesting and flavorful craft brewed Wits are listed below.
512 Brewing Wit (5.1%)
Flavored with organic coriander and grapefruit peel. Brewed with Wheat Malt, Un-malted Wheat, and Oats.
Hardywood Virginia Blackberry (6.8%, 12 IBUs)
Belgian-Style Wit flavored with fresh Virigina blackberries. Brewed seasonally in Richmond, VA.
A strong Belgian Style Wit brewed with cinnamon and clove. Brewed in Quebec, Canada. Seasonal February release.
The Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit (4.8%)
Brewed with grapefruit zest, orange peel, and coriander. Light-bodied and refreshing.
The Commons Brewery Wit (4.8%)
Brewed in the traditional fashion with coriander and orange peel. Seasonal summer release in Portland, OR.
A Belgian Style Wit brewed with coriander and orange peel, and barrel-aged with wild yeast.
Westbrook Brewing White Thai (5.0%, 16 IBUs)
A Wit with an Asian twist. Brewed with lemongrass, ginger, and Sorachi Ace hops.
Cigar City Brewing Florida Cracker (5.0%, 18 IBUs)
Brewed in the traditional style with coriander and orange peel. Light-bodied, crisp, and refreshing.
Eagle Rock Brewery Manifesto (5.7%, 11 IBUs)
Brewed with coriander, orange peel, and rose petals. Interesting flavor notes.
Pelican Pub & Brewery Winema Wit (4.9%, 18 IBUs)
Brewed with coriander, orange peel, and cardamom. Malts include Flaked Barley and Flaked Oats.
A Wit which is 100% fermented with wild Brettanomyces yeast and brewed with Mineola tangelos.
Wicked Weed Brewing Wit Biere (4.6%, 19 IBUs)
Brewed with lemon peel and chamomile. Light-bodied and refreshing.
Sun King Brewery Malus Pi (5.2%, 15 IBUs)
A Belgian Style Wit brewed with crab apples and spiced with cinnamon. Seasonal November release.