Beer Review 0274: Shock Top End Of The World Midnight Wheat
What’s this? A beer designed solely around a marketing campaign? You wouldn’t expect any less from Anheuser-Busch InBev, would you?!
Shock Top is a Belgian-style wheat ale brewed by AB InBev, and is meant to directly compete with MillerCoors Blue Moon. The beer we’ll be looking at today is their latest release, which is a variant on the normal Shock Top beer, and it’s especially made for a marketing campaign that goes along with December 21, or the supposed Mayan calendar end of the world. Shock Top have a nifty little countdown clock on their website, counting down the days until the end of the world, and of course, some slick looking videos with a bunch of people slurping this one straight out of the bottle.
Look, I’m not trying to be negative here. I’m totally going to give this beer a chance and fair review, but it is Anheuser-Busch. And it is all about the commercials.
End Of The World Midnight Wheat comes in at 6% ABV (alcohol by volume) and is brewed with midnight wheat, chocolate malt, chili, and “spice,” whatever they might be. Your typical macro-beer-posing-as-a-micro pouring instructions are on the neck label.
The cap is a twist-off, so homebrewers, this bottle is useless. The pour gave a large, frothy head that had a lasting quality. The beer had a hazy body, and was very deep amber in color (almost brown), with lighter orange highlights when held to the light. There was a light amount of sediment present, and the lacing was sparse, only leaving a few bits. Not a bad looking beer.
On the nose, there’s some faint (read: weak) chocolate, grain, and hints of orange peel. There was also a touch of generic spice, and some musty yeast.
Taking a sip, there was some bitter grain up front, followed weirdly with sweet orange peel, a combination that wasn’t all awful, but then the finish came on. A big hit of burnt chocolate; thankfully, that disappears fast and what remains a mildly bitter orange juice flavor. It, too, disappears cleanly.
No. This is not a good beer. The 6% ABV, which isn’t high by any means, doesn’t work here, either — this beer drinks like it could be Imperial strength. Maybe that was because the flavors were pretty bad…I had a hard time finishing this one. I couldn’t imagine a six-pack, and if this was the beer I had to drink at the end of the world, I guess my world would end without beer.
Avoid. The label saying “chocolate malt” and “spices” might make you curious (I was) but sometimes curiosity is not what’s best for you.
Shock Top End Of The World Midnight Wheat, 65 points. Price: $1.49 US for one twelve ounce bottle.