Let’s swing in with a summary of some beers that have been sent to me for my comment. And that may be wholly appropriate for the hot days going on.
I was dropped a shipment of Radler-style fruited hefeweizens by Schöfferhofer, part of Germany’s Radeberger Gruppe of breweries. These are lower-alcohol wheat beers with fruit juices or flavors added, bringing the alcohol down to 2.5% abv. They’re also called “bicycle beers,” as served at pubs along bicycle trails for a quick refresher.
This year, Schöfferhofer has packed four of it fruit hefeweizens in a variety pack. A fifth flavor, “Juicy Pineapple,” is available separately in bottles. Let’s track through these.
Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen
Picked to be the subject of a new video review.
Ruby grapefruit juice color. pretty hazy, which adds to the grapefruit juice appearance. It worked better as a grapefruit soda than a beer, but that’s because the light hefe works well here. Malt smell with grapefruit around the edge. Light taste, nicely fizzy. No overdone or fake fruit flavor. No idea why I kept referring to the flavor as “pineapple” and then “grapefruit.”
Schöfferhofer Wild Cherry Hefeweizen
Pinkish color under a big foamy head. Looks much like a rosé wine. A tart cherry nose from the can and in the glass. On the palate, though, the cherry juice is not tart at all. Rather, it’s kind of thin, even watery. I note that the American can says it has “Natural Cherry Flavored Drink,” suggesting it’s either from concentrate or had neutral white grape juice added. Still, not very sweet, so that’s in its favor. I just recall the other Radlers from this brewer having a bit more fruit taste.
Schöfferhofer Passion Fruit Hefeweizen
A nice, fruity nose. Cloudy yellow color, with a middlin’ head. Frankly, a nice taste of passionfruit, with no off or artificial-type flavors. Exactly what it claims to be, a light fruity radler.
Schöfferhofer Pomegranate Hefeweizen
Pink pour with a lot of foam. As the haze settles, it picks up some brown beer color. Smell is mainly pomegranate as expected. I can catch a little hefe spice underneath that. Taste is a pretty simple but nice fruit flavor. Again the Hefeweizen flavor peeks through once I’ve let the fruit flavor settle a bit. Light mouthfeel overall. A nice step up from what seemed to me the less interesting wild cherry version.
Schöfferhofer Juicy Pineapple
Hazy pineapple juice appearance. Fizzy soda-pop head. The smell of pineapple is the first thing to my nose, though it stays pretty light and sweet. The taste of pineapple goes a little high on sweetness, but it seems to be from the added juice, not anything extra. Makes a nice light pineapple drink, though this may actually be a bit too heavy as lighter radlers go.
But while these still come across more as light fruit drinks than guzzle-able beers, these are in my house right at the time of our hottest weather. And that makes them more than a bit of all right.