Thunderweizen Ale

Beer Information:

First Release Date, September 2006
Availability, draft and 22 fl.oz bottles
Alcohol Content / ABV, 5.5%

Serving Suggestions:

Serve at 50◦ F in a larger flute with a bulge on the top to better capture this beer’s true hefeweizen characters. A tall glass or large red wine glass suffices as well. Savor the developing flavors as the beer warms.

We Like to Pair Lightning Thunderweizen with:

  • Lighter fare like clams and mussels
  • White fish
  • Salads


Bronze, San Diego International Beer Festival
Bronze, Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Festival
Gold, California State Fair Commercial Craft Beer Competition


What the Gifts of Decoction Mashing and Time Do for a German Hefeweizen

We were pleased this summer when our Thunderweizen landed on The New York Times’ 10 featured Hefeweizens in the United States list. Pleased . . . but not surprised. The effervescence from this traditional German wheat beer coupled with its distinctly silky mouthfeel results from a vigorous wheat fermentation process unique to Lightning Brewery (see below). Thunderweizen deftly hints at clove, citrus, and banana with no extraneous fruit additions necessary. We also leave it unfiltered to let its natural flavor take shape and then direct bottle it to capture its citrus notes. Brewed in keeping with the Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516, Thunderweizen exceeds the standards of other American wheat beers. With 60% wheat in our beer, we even exceed the 50% wheat miniumum beers must contain to consider themselves true German Hefeweizen Ales Taste the difference!


“Spicy aromas of citrus, banana and yeast with a touch of hops.”
“Forget Coffee, I’ll Have this Brew.”
The New York Times List of Top American Hefeweizens.
23 August 2012

“Take a sip and you’ll be treated to citrus — sour orange and Meyer lemon — blending harmoniously with clove and banana, leading to a tart finish. Don’t be fooled by the name. Thunderweizen is one sunny brew.”
“Pint-Sized Pour: Lightning Thunderweizen Ale.”
– San Diego Union Tribune


The Science Behind a True German Hefeweizen: Lightning Thunderweizen Ale

“Decoction” Brewing’s Role in Fine Lightning Thunderweizen Ale: We rely on German hefeweizen ale’s traditional and complex brewing technique, “decoction mashing” for robust flavor and body.
Wheat and barley is milled into warm water, which dissolves the grains’ starch and enzymes. We warm this malt up to a temperature that allows proteins to be broken down into amino acids and then remove about 1/3, leaving the other two-thirds at a steady sub-boiling point. We bring the removed 1/3 to a full boil, dissolving all of the starch. We then pump this back to the bulk of the mash, raising the temperature to a level that allow for the break-down of the dissolved starches.  We then repeat this step again to further increase the malty presence of the beer. The result is a maltier, more full-bodied, and ultimately more flavorful hefeweizen final product. When breweries rely on faster, easier brewing approaches, their hefeweizens lose out on the full range of taste enjoyment.


Lightning Thunderweizen Ale Complements Most Meals

With our exacting brewing and fermentation processes, we’ve carefully balanced the flavors so that Thunderweizen Ale’s notes are distinctive in themselves but also complement food. We’re foodies ourselves! Remember to ask for Lightning Thunderweizen Ale by name at your favorite restaurant, grocery or bottle shop! Our Lightning Beer Finder App for iPhone can help. Download it free here [Link here]. Connect with us through our Facebook page or follow Lightning founder and head brewer on Twitter. You can also get brewing and beer enjoyment tips as well as Lightning Brewery news and more at our Lightning Craft Beer Blog.


Visit Our Tasting RoomWed-Sat 12-7p | Sun 12–5p
Last call 10 minutes prior to closing
Phone: 858-513-8071
Visit Our Tasting RoomWed-Sat 12-7p
Sun 12–5p
Last call
10 minutes prior to closing
Phone: 858-513-8071
Visit Our Tasting RoomWed 12-7p | Sun 12–5p
Last call 10 minutes prior to closing
Phone: 858-513-8071
Visit Our Tasting RoomWed-Sat 12-7p | Sun 12–5p
Last call 10 minutes prior to closing
Phone: 858-513-8071