Hefeweizen- style beers enjoy millions of loyal fans and I can think of many who rate this German beer style as their number one favorite. Others find hefeweizen a little too far from the ordinary beer and avoid hefeweizen whenever possible, but there is one hefeweizen that may appeal to a larger audience due to its hybrid qualities. That product is St. Arnold Weedwacker, a newer beer from the St. Arnold Brewing Company.
Calories: 147 per 12 oz. serving
Alcohol Content: 4.9 percent by volume.
Poured from a bottle, St. Arnold Weedwacker is yellowish in color with a somewhat cloudy, unfiltered body. A head of frothy white foam adorns the top of the beer and remains in place for a good amount of time, leaving some lacing as the beer is consumed. The nose on this beer is interesting, combining scents of citrus, yeast, wheat, and pilsner essence.
St. Arnold Weedwacker offers an unusual taste for a hefeweizen style of beer or any other style, for that matter. The flavor is like a combination of a pilsner and hefeweizen and it combines wheat, yeast, and earthy grain with a touch of lemon and banana. Some toasted notes and crispness are present in the body of the beer and the overall flavour is sweet overall, with only 15 IBU of hop bitterness.
St. Arnold Weedwacker is an unusual beer and it ranks as one of the newer products in the St. Arnold lineup. It was originally conceived as part of St. Arnold’s so-called “Movable Yeast” series, which was an educational effort to let people see and taste how different a beer could be when nothing was changed except the yeast strain. Weedwacker uses the same base recipe as St. Arnold’s Fancy Lawnmower, but replaces the Kolsch yeast of Fancy Lawnmower with Bavarian hefeweizen yeast. Everything else is the same, yet the tastes are quite different, proving the educational point of the Movable Yeast series: That yeast is an important contributor to the taste of beer and its influence is more pronounced than the average person realizes. Weedwacker made its point on an educational level, but also proved so popular with the public that it was added to St. Arnold’s regular rotation.
St. Arnold Weedwacker is an eminently quaffable beer and its flavor profile is actually a little smoother than Fancy Lawnmower. The yeasty qualities, wheat, low bitterness level, and other qualities make this beer a refreshing brew for a warm day and also a very good brew to consume with certain foods- especially breakfast foods such as eggs, sausage, and biscuits. I like this product, but at the same time, I can see how some consumers may have reservations about the taste. The chief complaint I anticipate from first- time samplers is the somewhat sour taste, followed by the unusual scent. Sourness, as most beer drinks will agree, is usually associated with an inferior product, but if you can get past the sour sensation and the odd nose, I think most will find this product to their liking.
St. Arnold Weedwacker is, overall, an interesting beer from St. Arnold and one I am certain to purchase countless times over the years to come. Its refreshing nature and hybrid style make it a unique entry from St. Arnold and one that most people- including both rookies and seasoned beer connoisseurs- will find to their liking.
Rating: 7 cheers out of 10