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Why should I not drop the waiter-provided orange slice into my wheat beer?

The Question

Why should I not drop the waiter-provided orange slice into my wheat beer?

The Answer

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Because you're not a cheesy North American beer newbie, you're a sophisticated Belgian!

I don't know how the orange slice became the de rigueur garnish in North America. It's seen as déclassé by many wheat-beer aficionados in Belgium and Germany, where wit and weizen (or weissbier), the brew's respective names in those countries, is a cherished summer quaff. Good wheat beer, which is often flavoured during brewing with orange peel and spices, particularly in the Belgian style, needs no support from extraneous ingredients. Adding a slice of orange will upset the balance and prematurely disperse the brew's foamy head. If you really love the taste of citrus and don't take beer too seriously, order a Corona and enjoy the refreshing zest of the mandatory lime wedge.

E-mail your wine and spirits questions to Beppi Crosariol. Look for answers to select questions to appear in the Wine & Spirits newsletter and on The Globe and Mail website.

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About the Author
Life columnist

Beppi Crosariol writes about wine and spirits in the Globe Life and Style sections.He has been The Globe's wine and spirits columnist for more than 10 years. In the late 1990s, he also wrote a food trends column called The Biting Edge.Beppi used to cover business law for ROB and previously edited the paper's weekly technology section. More

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