Witbiers should pour a pale straw color and depending on how long it has been in the bottle or how it is poured it may be quite cloudy. A common misconception is that the yeast causes this cloudiness and while there is some yeast in suspension the majority of the cloudiness is caused by wheat starch. These will also pour with a thick, frothy head.
Witbiers are a medium-light bodied beer with light sweetness – reminds me of a delicate honey. The beer’s sweetness is usually balanced by spices (generally coriander but others may be used), dried bitter orange peal as well as earthy spicy flavors produced by the yeast and hops. Did you notice the bitter orange peal? Orange-citrus flavoring has already been added to the beer, with careful consideration to the beer’s balance I might add, so there is no reason for that orange or lemon wedge on the rim of your glass. Unfortunately these wedges have become standard accompaniments for witbiers thanks to advertising campaigns by Shocktop and Blue Moon. In fact, if you squeeze that citrus wedge into your beer it not only knocks the beer out of balance but it also kills that beautiful head. So be sure to order your next witbier, “NFO” or “NFL” (No “effing” Orange or Lemon)!