Beer and fruit may seem like a unique combination for a beer style, but if you haven't tried wheat beers (or Weis Bier) mixed with fruit, you are about to lose you mind. Schofferhofer is the place to begin this tasty journey, but first, prepare for your trip with a little background information.
Wheat beer began like a medieval fairy tale in the Bavarian state of Germany. Usually light in color and low on bitterness, wheat beer is a popular category in the craft beer department. The most popular imported style is called a German Hefeweizen.
They are easy drinking with a sweet bready flavor. The bright citrusy orange flavors have won many non-beer drinkers over to the the delicious world of wheat ale and other wheat beer styles.
A German wheat beer must contain at least 50% wheat to be called a wheat beer. In the US, the range of wheat in a typical American style is approximately 30-50%. Wheat beer is similar to lager in lightness and drinkability but it's also very different.
"Hefe" translates to yeast in German. Hefeweizen has a cloudy look and a slight carbonation to it. As weird as it sounds, it's filled with a delicious banana-like fruitiness.
Wheat beer is usually a top-fermented ale, which means that the yeast strains used in fermentation gather at the top of the tank while brewing and prefer a warmer temperature.
Lager uses yeast that gathers and ferments at the bottom in a cooler temperature. The different fermentation process along with the different grain gives wheat beer fruity flavors and a creamier mouthfeel. So when you add fruit juice to an already fruity beer, brace yourself for the flavor surprise.
Some other terms you should know are Radler and Shandy. Radler translates to "cyclist" in German. Shandy is the just the English name for a Radler. The back story of this 50/50 mix of beer and lemonade is pretty cool.
A German tavern and innkeeper named Franz Kugler created a drink called the Radlermass which translates to "the cyclist's liter." It was 1922, and bicycling was all the rage. Franz Kugler had a genius idea to create a bike trail from bustling Munich through the woods that led right to his tavern. Suddenly 13,000 cyclists arrived at his door. To refresh them quickly, and stretch his beer stock, he started mixing his beer with lemon soda, and a star was born.
Pour Me a Drink Already!
Okay, okay, calm down. Let me introduce you to Schofferhofer Passionfruit Hefeweizen. You may already know about Schofferhofer Hefeweizen Grapefruit which was the first love of American Radler drinkers. This fruit beer is an incredibly refreshing 50/50 mix of a sweet grapefruit flavor and soft wheat beer will only set you back at 2.5% ABV. So, you can still go about your day whether that involves cycling through the German woods or simply unloading the dishwasher and folding laundry.
Schofferhofer was the first brewery to blend 50% Hefeweizen beer with 50% zesty grapefruit juice. Schofferhofer Grapefruit was fizzy perfection, but they didn't stop at perfection. Next came Schofferhofer Pomegranate in another 50/50 blend of deliciousness.
Schöfferhofer is no stranger to innovation. Schöfferhofer was the world's first Hefeweizen brewed outside of the Bavarian state in Germany. It was also the world's first Hefeweizen grapefruit beer. Now they've given us the exotic Schofferhofer Passionfruit.
I had my bottle in the refrigerator for a few days but put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before I cracked it opened for ultimate frost. It says right on the label to drink right from the bottle. I noticed some cloudiness at the bottom of the bottle from the real passionfruit juice, so I gave it a shake and let it settle for about a minute before I drank straight from the bottle, as directed of course.
It was the perfect balance of beer and exotic passionfruit juice. The carbonation is just the right amount to keep you from guzzling it down. It's not too sweet and there's no noticeable artificial taste.
I had another bottle stashed and I was excited to try it again about a week later. This time I poured it into a classy solo cup, and I'm glad I did! Not only did I not have to explain why I was drinking a beer to my judgmental daughter, but I got a nose full of that passionfruit aroma in the wider cup. It reminded me of white grape juice and pineapple juice with a very fresh beer balance.
For me, the low ABV of 2.5% makes it a great treat for an afternoon drink when I still have a long day and night ahead. Passionfruit isn't a flavor you run across every day, so while I still adore my Schofferhofer Grapefruit, Schofferhofer Passionfruit was a very welcome variation and totally worth seeking out.