Kristallweizen beer is a member of the German wheat beer (weissbier) family. It is sometimes known as kristal weissbier or more simply, just as kristallweizen. Unlike most weissbiers, the kristallweizen is filtered; big clue to be found in the name! Filtering a hefeweizen to remove the yeast and wheat proteins results in an ale that is crystal clear. Sample this specialist German beer for yourself at Beers of Europe.
A kristallweizen has an ABV between 5-5.5% and ranges in colour from very pale to a deep golden hue. It is, obviously, clear and has a refreshing crisp taste. The aroma and flavours are very similar to the hefeweizen; plenty of grass, wheat, cloves, citrus and banana. As with other German wheat beers, it has a low hop profile.
The kristallweizen has a tendency to lose its head fairly quickly as it cannot be bottle conditioned due to the suspended yeast being removed. Some kristallweizen drinkers add a slice of lemon, believing it will enhance the flavours – whilst it might, it does also reduce the head, such as it is! A weizen glass is considered to be the best glass for serving a kristallweizen beer. The narrow base and wider top is perfect for a medium body beer.
German kristallweizen is considered to be the gold standard kristallweizen, but this style is being picked up by other breweries around the world. The hefeweizen has a huge following and many of its fans take issue with messing around with a classic; why tinker with perfection? The kristallweizen, should not be dismissed out of hand and is deserving of a fair taste test. Beers of Europe have some excellent kristallweizen available – try it and make up your own mind.