Beer of the Weekend #701: Weiss Grip

Despite the fact I have a fridge full of beer from Texas — plus that Chai Tea Porter from Bobblehead (I haven’t forgotten about it) — I saw Weiss Grip, brewed by the Confluence Brewing Company of Des Moines, Iowa, a the Co-op today and had to get it.

The color is cloudy, darkish gold. Perhaps the color could be called “wheat.” (Actually, no. The color is darker than Wheat.) Lots of fluffy, buttery head develops and leaves trails of lacing, spots of foam, and a ring around the edge. The aroma is an inviting blend of everything a hefeweizen should be — wheat, yeast, banana, apple, a little strawberry, clove spice, and a touch of bubble gum. It smells like an authentic Bavarian hefe. The first sip is spicier than I was expecting. Flavors of banana, yeast, apple, cloves, and a little bit of bubble gum are present. The spice fades as the beer warms, but it is still prominent and leaves an aftertaste on the taste buds and tonsils. Overall, though, the flavor does not deliver like an authentic Bavarian version often does.

Fun facts about Weiss Grip:

• Style: Hefeweizen.

• Price: $9.49 per 32-ounce bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City. I can’t wait until Confluence starts canning.

• Alcohol content: 5.8 percent ABV.

• IBU: 17.

• Info from the brewery’s website (which is also printed on the label):

The German pronunciation of “weiss” sounds like English “vice.” And, like its namesake tool, the idea of producing a classic German wheat beer (weissbier) took a hold of Confluence cellarman Kent Middendorf and wouldn’t let go.

After Kent did the initial research and homebrewed trial batches, he and head brewer John Martin collaborated to select a malt bill of 50% German pils and 50% malted wheat, with a little CaraMunich for a touch of color and flavor enhancement, and German noble hops (tettnanger). Traditional German-style hefeweizen yeast added flavors of clove, banana and bubble gum. The “hefe" prefix means "with yeast,” hence Weiss Grip’s unfiltered, hazy, orange color. Try our version of this popular warm weather thirst quencher.

• I always talk about going to Colorado for the beer and bud (I would likely buy edibles instead of actual weed), but a couple days in Des Moines to enjoy our capital’s budding beer scene would be a worthwhile getaway. One thing I need in my life is more short, regional getaways, more time away from my laptop. Anyway, a stop at Confluence would definitely be on the agenda for a DSM getaway.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B-.

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