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Haywire Hefeweizen

Judges Rating: 
17 / 24
5 / 6
35 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

Arguably one of the progenitors of the American wheat beer genre, Haywire’s antecedent, Pyramid Wheaten Ale, helped define a uniquely American style. Staying true to its origins, Pyramid’s Haywire is a clean, refreshing beer that doesn’t color outside the stylistic lines. A small yet dense and creamy, pure-white head sits atop a cloudy, deep-golden beer that shows occasional flashes of white. Though displaying sweet malt and some fruitiness, the absence of any wheat-derived aromas is somewhat surprising given the high wheat content in this beer. Rick and Nick both commented on a noticeable sulfur tinge to the aroma, but Rick found the sweetish vanilla and barely discernible coriander aromas tended to balance the sulfur. All judges commented on a vaguely cracker-like, though somewhat “neutral,” malt character in the aroma. A pleasingly yeasty character permeates the flavor, yielding to spicy hints of clove and nutmeg as the beer crosses the palate. Tom praised the bready malt and light wheat tartness in the flavor, finding the background note of banana a pleasant counterpoint. For such a lightly bittered beer, Haywire evinces a distinct hop character, most notably in the dry, rather crisp finish. After more than 20 years in the market in its various iterations, Haywire continues as a benchmark.