According to the press release posted on BeerAdvocate, Pyramid has released an Imperial Hefeweizen… the first of its kind. Well, I’m assuming they mean it’s the first “official” Imp Hefe… the headline says, “a Craft Beer Category First.” What else would they mean?
Pyramid’s new Imperial Hefeweizen, like our flagship Hefe Weizen, is a smooth, unfiltered ale, but also features a pleasant hop flavor and a more full-bodied and robust taste. The limited edition ale is brewed in small batches of less than 120 barrels using the finest West Coast ingredients, combining 60% malted wheat with Nugget and Tettnang hops for a robust, yet surprisingly refreshing taste. Pyramid Imperial Hefeweizen has an alcohol by volume level of 7.5%.
“Beer aficionados are in for a one-of-a-kind taste experience with our new Brewers Reserve beers,” said George Arnold, Master Brewer for Pyramid Breweries. “Starting with our inaugural Pyramid Imperial Hefeweizen, these limited edition beers are specifically designed for those who want to take their craft beer experience to the next level.”
According to Arnold, West Coast brewers were the first to brew ‘double’ hopped versions of their original brews. Some brewers then began to bring the malt into balance with the hops, creating more complex flavors. Today, the term “Imperial” is used to suggest this added complexity. Additionally, the word “Imperial” is borrowed from the Imperial Stout style, which is also a maltier, hoppier interpretation of a familiar beer.
Available starting September, in 22-ounce bottles.
A quick scan through the current BeerAdvocate styles reveals that there is, in fact, no “official” Imperial Hefeweizen style, so I guess—technically—it’s a first. Although there certainly have been wheat beers higher in alcohol content than 7.5%, including those of the “hefe” variety.
Still, I’ll try it if I can find it locally.