G. Schneider & Sohn is a Bavarian brewery specialising in wheat beer and is a comparative youngster compared to other German brewers whose wares we’ve featured on this site. Founded in 1872 by father and son Georg I and Georg II, that means they only have a paltry 150 years of expertise and brewing knowledge – a mere blink of the eye compared to some of Deutschland’s finest! Still, the brewer is a well respected name in the country when it comes to weissbier. And speaking about names, we really need to have a word with the Schneider family. Including the founders of the brewery, there have been six Georgs in charge of the brewery over the years. The current owner, Georg Schneider VI, has been at the helm since the year 2000, and it is under his watch that the company brought their first alkoholfrei to market in 2002. Very progressive and forward thinking and all, but maybe start exploring the vast range of German forenames too?
Schneider Weisse Alkoholfrei is also known as ‘Tap 03’ by the brewer, which is their way of differentiating their products. This can be thought of as different taps along the length of a bar, with ‘alkoholfrei’ being the third tap along. However, we’re unfortunately not yet at the stage where alcohol-free wheat beer is regularly served on tap in bars, at least here in the UK, so we’ll have to settle for the bottled version instead. The bottle comes in at 500ml though, so that sort of makes up for it. I couldn’t find any information about how the beer is brewed, but going by the methods used in making similar German alkoholfrei wheat beers, I reckon they’ve gone with the cold vacuum distillation process for removing alcohol from a full strength beer. The inclusion of CO2 in the ingredients list supports this – de-alcoholised beers need to be re-carbonated after they’ve been through the distillation process. Several people have talked-up this beer to me, so I’m eager to give it a try.
Pouring from the bottle we get a cloudy dark golden coloured liquid, which produces a huge dense off-white head. Retention is great, and it leaves some lacing down the side of the glass as we drink, but you need good pouring skills here. On the nose the aromas of bready wheat malt are abundant, with a buttery character to it, and a slight whiff of spicy clove to back it up.
On tasting we get an initial bready sweetness, with little to no barley malt. One thing I found missing from the aroma was banana, but this makes an appearance in the taste, although in an under-ripe fruit form, instead of the familiar sweet bubblegum-esque aromas of many wheat beers. There’s a bitterness that creeps up as we drink which stops the beer being too sweet and helps to balance it out. The mouthfeel is good and creamy, with the carbonation level being initially high, but mellowing out as we drink. The finish is dry.
Schneider Weisse Alkoholfrei joins the ranks of many other high-quality non-alcoholic wheat beers we’ve reviewed here. Something about the style really makes it shine even when the alcohol has been removed, so it’s usually a case of examining the fine details when reviewing them. Great flavour and mouthfeel are the main selling points here, lovely stuff.
Buy Schneider Weisse Alkoholfrei
Schneider’s beers may not be readily available in supermarkets and such, but a specialist bottleshop may have some Weisse Alkoholfrei available. And there’s always the internet shopping route:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Water, Wheat Malt, Barley Malt, CO2, Hops, Yeast
|Country of Production
|Schneider Weisse – https://schneider-weisse.de/en
Schneider Weisse Alkoholfrei Review
Lovely balanced wheat beer flavours with a touch of bitterness, and great creamy mouthfeel. You won’t miss the alcohol!