One of my other hobbies is history. So let’s combine some beer knowledge with history today.
A quick history of Witbier. When I first started this blog I really thought that I would be posting more about beer history. Earlier today, I was reading something about prohibition and realized I hadn’t made a beer history post in awhile. Also, it’s my sister’s 28th birthday today, and one of her favorite beers is Allagash White. So in honor of her birthday, I’m going to give a quick history of Witbier. Allagash is a brewery located Portland, Maine and was founded in 1995. At the time Belgia-style beers were much harder to find in the U.S. than they are today. The Allagash’s White is their interpretation on a Belgian Witbier.
Witbier or “White Beer” originated in and around the area of Belgium. It is generally very pale and cloudy in appearance due to it being unfiltered and the majority of the malt bill consisting of wheat or oats. The beer is almost always spiced with coriander, orange peel, and whatever else the brewer might get their hands on. The first time we see the Witbier style make an appearance in history is during the 14th century. As with most beers of the time, they were brewed by monks. The ingredients used by the monks depended upon the local region and what was being grown there. Simply put, when wheat was around… they used wheat.
Today, especially in America you see many types of Wheat or Witbiers being produced by hundreds of breweries. Each brewery has its own unique interpretation of the Belgian original. Some are more traditional, and others can really push the envelope on the style. However, they generally use around 50% wheat in the grain bill, and a sparse amount of oats. The hops are earthy and herbal, and various spices are added to the boil to give it that unique aroma and taste. It’s a beer style that has been around for a while and will probably be around much longer.
– Drink Up, SlyePup
P.S. Happy Birthday Jinc