Thursday, May 9, 2024

Beer Review: Schöfferhofer Prickly Pear Hefeweizen


A Schöfferhofer Prickly Pear Hefeweizen held up with Spaceship Earth in the background
Schöfferhofer Prickly Pear Hefeweizen

Prickly pears are not pears! But they do come from a prickly plant! And they are SWEET!

One of the big wins for the 2023 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival was a beer offering in Germany. The “Schöfferhofer Prickly Pear Hefeweizen” was a family favorite. At the time we had them last year, I honestly thought that it was a one-and-done brew that would quickly be forgotten, except by us. The best part of this beer was the non-beer fans of the family enjoyed it. Which is great for when one is drinking around the world with a non-beer fan who wants to still enjoy the drinking and people-watching experience. Then…Spring 2024 it made a return to Germany.

“Schöfferhofer Prickly Pear Hefeweizen” is a no IBU 2.5% ABV Hefeweizen. The color and sediment let you know it’s a traditional Hefe. The mouthfeel is thicker than a Pils or Lager and lets you know you are drinking something substantial. The flavor profile also has some of the spiciness expected from a Hefeweizen. But, it is so so so sweet from the infusion of the prickly pear flavor. I laugh as sweet as my flavor note, and it reminds me of other prickly pear items I have enjoyed. But the sweetness and low ABV is a super easy and refreshing drinker that does let you know it’s a beer but it still has a lower ABV than your nationally distributed big brand pils, like Bud Light.

It can be hard to find in the Germany Pavillion. I had to ask when seeking out the Frozen Coke and Jager. This draft is found, at the time of this writing, at the beer cart next to the lagoon on the main walkway. There was quite a bit of traffic at this one stand, with a lot of folks grabbing a beer…but not a Prickly Pear. Of the ten people I saw in front of me, no one else grabbed this tasty brew. There was also no signage to indicate it was there, my one clue was there was a tap head handle.

I hope we will see more and more of this beer. When I did my last look on Untappd, there were rankings outside of Epcot. There were multiple ratings from different pubs in the United Kingdom. So maybe this will become a Schöfferhofer seasonal or occasional offering.

Prickly Pear, did I mention is not a pear? It is a fruit of a cactus, or the caucuts plant itself. But it's the sweet fruit that flavors the beer, it is needle free. Most palettes compare the taste to melons, or bubblegum. Basically, if you don’t enjoy sweet things, you may wish to polish one of these down.

Who Drinks This?: You’re at Epcot walking the world. You want something that is not overly boozy and is refreshing while still giving you beer feels. Sure there may be options that are more bitter, but this is the sweet low alcohol beer for you. And even non-beer drinkers are likely to enjoy this, like a cocktail while getting in their steps.

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