4 December, 2022, 13:07

Beyond Blue Moon: A Tucson Wheat Beer Primer

Blue Moon is one of the best selling macrobrews in the US that isn’t a light lager. Most folks might not know the term ‘witbier‘, but chances are they could identify Blue Moon if asked which wheat beer they know.

If you like Blue Moon or Hoegaarden, you like wheat beers. And, if you like wheat beers (aka witbiers), you’ll probably enjoy Hefeweizen. The next logical step in your beerducation might include a Berliner Weisse or two. If you like the tartness of the Berliner Weisse, next try a lambic or saison. If the tartness of the Berliner Weisse is too much for you, try an abbey style tripel or quad for their sweetness. Like the Berliner Weisse and the lambic? Try a gose for a twist, with a hint of coriander and salt. Craft beer exploration shouldn’t be intimidating. Think of it as a Choose Your Own Adventure with beer.

Hefeweizens, lambics, goses, witbiers, weissbiers, and Berliner Weisses, are all in the family of wheat beers. Berliner Weisses stand out with lower ABV (alcohol by volume) and a tartness that varies with fruit additions. A gose is similar to a Berliner Weisse but commonly has a higher ABV and includes the additions of coriander and salt. Lambics are a Belgian style made with wheat and barley but the yeast separates it from the witbiers as its tartness results from spontaneous fermentation.

Saison Blue from Dragoon Brewing (Credit: Dragoon)

Saison Blue from Dragoon Brewing (Credit: Dragoon)

Here are some local favorites to try in these categories when you’re ready to move beyond the Blue Moon:

Upcoming Local Beer Events

Saturday, March 21

3pm: Beerlympics at Borderlands. Teams of 4 will compete in a single elimination tourney competing in three grueling sports: Bocce ball, Bags (aka Corn Hole), and Dodge Ball in the PLAYFORMANCE arena. $5/person – Teams will compete for a $50 bar tab at Borderlands. Proceeds will benefit the Living Streets Alliance. More info

Craft Beer Betty, aka Sarah Ritchie, is a craft beer evangelist as co-founder of Tucson Girls Pint Out and board member of Craft Tucson. Find her on Twitter and Instagram as @craftbeerbetty.