Joseph James Brewery - Weize Guy


When I’m thinking of a “go-to” light bodied beer, I usually think of a Hefeweizen. The yeasty, citrus tinged golden delight of a well-crafted German fefe is the perfect accompaniment to a warm day or spicy meal. These days, the proud Hefeweizens have been inching towards your regular macrobrew lagers and wheat beers in terms of taste. However, the Joseph James Brewery has been staying true to the complex, interesting makeup this variety embodies with their Weize Guy. They have an impressive list of beers, and out of their year round brews, the Hefeweizen is my favorite. Brewed with little tastes of clove and banana, it is best served cold, tall and often.

The Joseph James Brewery has recently revamped their entire line, tweaking a little “here and there” to generally improve all their selections. Joseph James originally started out brewing craft sodas while waiting for the proper licenses to brew anything alcoholic. While I am not a cola lover, their Joes Cola is an amazing mix of herbs and real sugar. In fact, they make it by the keg to be used in the Cuba Libre at Jaleo, the restaurant of the famous José Andrés, highly renowned Spanish Chef and restaurateur.

It comes in regular 12-ounce bottles, just enough for a good glass full of Hefeweizen with plenty of room for head. A common complaint of the previous iterations of this beer was that it didn’t produce enough of the foamy top, but I can assure you, that kink has been worked out. It pours a hazy golden yellow, with a nice light fluffy head that quickly subsides into a thin ring. The nose is mainly a bit of yeasty, almost baked bread freshness, with a hint of the funky fermentation character. Something about this immediately piqued my interest. It had a kind of permeating quality, without being overbearing. So, I took a taste.

The first thing I noticed was how spice forward it presented. There is a lively mix of clove and banana esters, with a nice malty background. After a sip or two, you start to get a sour lemony aftertaste with the yeast, and a bit of coriander. In fact, there is a very prominent sour taste to this, but in a very deliberate way. I would say, a Hefeweizen erring towards a sour, but never crossing over fully. In the overall view of this, there seems to be a kind of intention of breaking away from anything that could be considered bland or watery in a Hefeweizen. They took it, reduced it down, but kept its light body and refreshing taste.

Trying this was truly a pleasure, and prompted me to buy a six-pack for home consumption. It was an experience I just had to share, and I’m certain those I did share with are glad for it. Weize Guy hasn’t gotten a great “rep” in the past, but I am certain anyone who tries their new and improved version will place it on their short list of favorite Hefeweizens.


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