American Wheat or Rye

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American Wheat or Rye Beer is a light, drinkable wheat beer made with standard American ale yeasts. It lacks the distinctive yeast flavor of Bavarian wheat beers and would perhaps better be called a wheat ale.


American Wheat Beer (and Ryes) have their origin in the Craft Beer revolution of the early 1980's. Many craft and homebrewers started experimenting with beers with a high percentage of wheat malt that used traditional ale yeasts and American hops. The result was a very drinkable but light beer that has more in common with light ales than traditional Weiss or Weizen beers.


Light to medium, crisp flavor and body. Low to medium bitterness and hop aroma. Pale yellor to gold color. No clove or banana flavor. Long lasting white head. May be clear to cloudy (hefe). Wheat beer brewed with standard ale yeast. Low to moderate grainy wheat or rye character. Refreshing beer.


  • Color Range: 3.0-6.0 SRM
  • Original Gravity Range: 1.040-1.055 SG
  • Final Gravity Range: 1.008-1.013 SG
  • Bitterness Range: 15.0-30.0 IBU
  • Alcohol by Volume Range: 4.0-5.5 %
  • Carbonation Range: 2.3-2.6 vols
  • BJCP Style Number: 6 D


  • Pale malt
  • American or noble hops
  • Up to 60% wheat malt (or a smaller amount of rye)
  • American ale or occasionally lager yeast
  • Darker versions acceptable


  • Bell's Oberon, Anchor Summer Beer, Pyramid Hefe-weizen, Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen, Sierra Nevada Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Redhook Sunrye

See Also