Halifax’s Propeller Brewing Does Weissbier Right #BrewedAwakening

By / Wine + Drinks / September 8th, 2017 / 2

I was debating with another beer lover recently about how difficult it is for North American microbreweries to make a hefeweizen that is true to the German style. It is hard to get that nice balance of banana and spicy clove from the proper yeast, but to also have a super clean beer (as every German brewery does), with a refreshing quality from the wheat. Many fail, but I have to give props to Propeller in Halifax for making an excellent version.

Propeller celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, along with their fellow Haligonians Garrison, and it is worth noting that Propeller has come a long way. They started as a straightforward British style ale brewery, and, while they’ve maintained that core ethic with their solid ESB, London Porter, and Pale Ale, they have expanded their horizons intelligently, with an IPA, an organic blonde, a hoppy pilsener, DIPA, honey wheat, rye IPA, and various other seasonal brews and “one-hit wonders” .

I revisited their hefeweizen this week as I was in the mood for a weissebier, and it was on the shelf at my local ANBL. I poured it into the huge traditional glass that I reserve for good weissebier, and enjoyed it while working.

Here’s my review:

Propeller Hefeweizen

This summer seasonal is sold in a solid 500 ml bottle, and is intended to be in the classic German style. They list it as 4.5% ABV, and don’t bother telling us the IBUs, which is great. Good weizen is not about bitterness – in fact I can’t stand the North American hopped versions I have tried. It doesn’t work, because it distracts the drinker from the yeast derived character. This appropriately hazy brew has high carbonation, as it should, and an attractive banana/spice nose. It pours with a big head, and drinks really smoothly, with a refreshing finish that evoked memories of my first weizen in Bavaria, served on tap in a tavern where they warned me it would take longer to pour, due to the high carbonation.

Congratulations, John Allen, and the rest of the Propeller crew, and thanks for this great beer. May there be many more!


Craig Pinhey discovered good drink circa 1985 at Ginger’s Tavern/Granite Brewery in Halifax and has been writing about beer, wine and spirits for 25 years. A Certified Sommelier and BJCP judge, Craig lives in New Brunswick where he runs his own writing and consulting business and is the beverage columnist for Brunswick News. He is the only person to have judged all of the national wine, spirits and beer awards of Canada.

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