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Great Beer: Weihenstephan Vitus


Oktoberfest might be over in Germany, but it’s still going strong in the U.S., and I’m still celebrating. While WEIHENSTEPHAN’s Vitus may not be traditional Oktoberfest fare, it’s still a German beer. Better yet, it’s a Bavarian beer, and better better yet, it’s a really tasty, delicious Bavarian beer! I’m sure there are a brave few who would quaff this one as part of an Oktoberfest celebration, but you wouldn’t get past the second liter, I dare say. Vitus is a sweet, hearty, fruity beer recalling more a Belgian ale but still possessing a distinctly German character.  

Vitus is a Weizenbock brewed by the world’s oldest brewery*. What’s a Weizenbock, you ask? It’s basically an amped up hefeweizen (wheat beer), hence the bock** in the name. Weizenbocks, like hefeweizens are beers made with malted wheat as the predominant ingredient, but a special yeast is used—giving the beer a crisper, fruity zing, but with a more alcoholic punch. 

The color is a hazy yellow, reminiscent of summer straw, and it sports a thick, foamy head. The fruity aromas emanating from that foam are a perfect precursor to the good things ahead. You’ll catch whiffs of the bready malt, sweet fruits, banana and hints of spice. With a full-bodied mouthfeel, the taste is a delicious combination of sweet fruity esters and a yeasty heft. The finish is crisp and dry with lingering malts and fruits that just coat your palate. Vitus, like a good white wine, is complex enough to pair with a fine cheese or German sausage. 

While not immediately apparent due to the sparkling crispness, the 7.7% ABV will definitely start to warm your insides. Vitus tastes like it should be enjoyed during the ever cooler days of late-Autumn. When you’ve had your fill of the early-Autumn Oktoberfest lagers, put down that Maß and treat yourself to a smaller glass of Vitus.  —J.A.


According to historical accounts, the brewery was started by Benedictine monks in the year 1040 and has existed in one form or another since then.

** Bock means goat in Bavarian German, but generally refers to the strong, dark lagers brewed for the Spring.


Find this beer at a store near you, or purchase on the internet:

October 30, 2017


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