Hefe Madness – Finals – Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse vs. Paulaner Hefe-Weizen

By on June 25, 2009 @ 6 PM (2 Comments)

Note: This is the The BeerFathers Hefe Madness Tournament, where we put eight hefeweizens head-to-head in a beer tournament to end all beer tournaments, March Madness style. See the original post here. All beers are consumed in weizen glasses with John and Beer Love neighbor Josh serving as the judges.


Hefe Madness Finals

Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse comes in as the number three seed in the hefeweizen tournament, thanks to it’s “A-” rating at BeerAdvocate.com and overall 90 rating at RateBeer.com. The 12 oz bottles cost $1.49/each.

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen comes in as the number four seed in the hefeweizen tournament, thanks to it’s “A-” rating at BeerAdvocate.com and overall 90 rating at RateBeer.com. The 12 oz bottles cost $1.99/each.

This is a very exciting finals match up. These two beers are so evenly matched up at both BeerAdvocate and RateBeer that we had to make up some way to distinguish which one should get the higher seeding in the tournament. In the end we settled on the Franziskaner due to having more reviews at BeerAdvocate and costing 50 cents less per bottle. A better bargain means a higher seed, with all things considered. Since we’ve already written up tasting notes on this and all the other beers, we’ll forgo reprinting them here and just present how the beers stack up against each other. It’s worth noting we did these beers in the finals blind and rated them as “beer left” and “beer right” as the other person served the beers and the drinker had no knowledge of which one was which until the winner was selected.

John’s Notes

The Franziskaner has a sharper smell to it with more citrus and less banana. The taste is nice and citrusy and overall it’s smoother than the Paulaner – very vibrant and refreshing. Overall the Franziskaner, as it warms, starts to get a nice banana bread character to it. The Paulaner is slightly darker and the banana and yeast jump out right away with only a slight citrus note. It’s bready with possibly more lemon in the taste and a good balance. Initially I thought it was Paulaner that was the winner but the closer to the bottom of the glasses I get the more I’m considering Franziskaner. They’re awfully close and it’s tough to call.

Josh’s Notes

The Paulaner comes in with a nice fruity, bubble gum aroma and a good peppery edge to it. The Franziskaner hedges a little more to lemon and pepper on the aroma and a good smooth banana in the taste. It’s got some banana bread tones that are nice. It was my choice after the first drink and since they’re so close it remains my choice.

Final Notes & Our Decision

We debated back and forth, with this being the closest competition we’ve had in the whole tournament and the only one where at the end of drinking the beers we didn’t have a clear winner that we both easily agreed on. Let’s face it, they’re both great beers. In the end the banana bread tones in the Franziskaner beat out the Paulaner by an ever so slim margin for us. Couple that with the lower price tag on the Franziskaner ($1.49 a bottle versus $1.99 a bottle for the Paulaner) and we have another plus in that column. The Franziskaner is slightly better overall and a better value. Ladies and gentlemen, we have our winner.

Winner: (3) Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse

Updated bracket:

Hefe Madness Bracket, Round 7

This concludes our Hefe Madness tournament. If you want to drink the hefe we thought was good enough to win a tournament of hefeweizens go pick yourself up some Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse – it remains one of our favorite hefes in the world.

2 Comments (Add Your Comments)

  1. jay says:

    drinking a franzi now. I don’t agree with the lemon notes. I don’t get much lemon from this beer. It all bananas which is why I drink it. Love banana tasting beers.

  2. Riccardo says:

    Weihenstephaner should be the easy winner. So much superior.

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