You see it on patios everywhere- orange and lemon steeping in wheat beer, but are those pretty little slices the perfect complement or distraction? The Beer Knight gives his take on this fruity custom.
The Beer Knight:
Beer is not pretentious. It doesn’t turn its nose up at an orange or lemon slice. There are no steadfast rules when it comes to beer enjoyment. Ultimately it’s what you like!
But…There is tradition. Adding citrus to wheat beer is a North American custom that is at odds with the German Weissbier brewing tradition.
Here’s why…German Weissbier is brewed in strict accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law, which means it can only contain four ingredients: water, hops, malt and yeast. The ERDINGER brewery has created perfection out of those four ingredients and the addition of fruit is not only unnecessary (traditional wheats are top fermented ales that are already quite fruity – even citrusy), it also changes the beer. That seemingly innocuous orange or lemon slice alters the aroma and collapses the signature Weissbier head, leaving you with a sudsy looking brew.
To fruit or not fruit your Erdinger Weissbier? I’d err on the side of tradition and save the citrus for a lager.