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The SOB Beer Blog

Our rants about beer and beer culture.

A Shock Top Rant

02.04.2013 12:28 PM

The Super Bowl spotlight has really focused on Budweiser Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire.

Yet, there is another big brand beer that made its limelight debut to significantly less fanfare this January:

Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat

Unfortunately, many people won't give this new beer a second look.

Does Shock Top Suck Or Not?

As you well know, there are certain nuisances who genuinely enjoy talking down about whatever’s in your glass unless it has some ridiculous name like “Winston Churchill’s Wicked Aardvark Doppelbock.” These nasty naysayers give Shock Top Belgian White a paltry score of 18 over at RateBeer. They’re not much kinder to the new beer – giving it a score of 20.

What If I Don’t Like It?

You’re perfectly entitled to dislike the flavor of the beer. We know plenty of people who say, “Fruit + Beer? No friggen way.” That’s cool. Sometimes we feel like that too. Sam Adams Cherry Wheat was an interesting novelty at first, but sicked us out after a few rounds.

Blue Moon was fine on a hot summer day visiting our pals in Brooklyn. They offered it to us and we drank it heartily. It was part of the whole New York experience. Would we buy it to have with Thanksgiving dinner? Not on your life!

By now, you probably realize that’s our basic gist here at SaveOnBrew: there is a time and a place for everything.

Why You Should Give Shock Top A Chance…

We suspect that many people are poo-poo-ing it simply based on the fact that Shock Top is an Anheuser-Busch brand designed to compete with MillerCoors’ Blue Moon.

Brewed with wheat malt, two-row barley, orange/lemon/lime zest, and coriander, as well as Cascade and Willamette hops, Shock Top is not your typical water-tasting American macrobrew. It actually has flavor and a pleasing texture. Perhaps that’s why it won gold and bronze medals at the 2006 and 2007 North American Beer Awards.

Personally, we found Shock Top to be a perfectly fine beer to have at a backyard barbecue all summer long. What we liked most about Shock Top is that our local grocery stores sell 12 for $12.99 – which is a whopping $2.50 less than a twelver of Blue Moon or Sam Adams! Win! Let’s face it, people. You need that one palatable “cheap” everyday brand to keep in your fridge at all times. You need a beer to offer your girlfriend when she comes over… and no, she probably won’t want that can of Natty Ice.

What’s New

Admittedly, we have not yet tried the newest Shock Top beer. According to the brewmaster, it’s a “hybrid of Belgian wheat beer and sweet cider.” It’s unfiltered, refreshing, and ideal for spring weather, they say.

You probably shouldn’t bother with this beer if you don’t like hard ciders. Yet, you could end up really enjoying this beer if you generally like cider, but dislike the cloying artificial sweetness or exceedingly high effervescence that some ciders possess.

Reviewers also caution that it’s not quite like a Belgian White… probably more like an American Pale Ale. We wouldn’t bother comparing this to the depth of true Belgian wheat beers. That would just be silly, folks! We would be looking for balance and a pleasant, creamy texture, though.

Often times, tempering your expectations is a big part of how you’ll experience a particular beer. So, despite the fact that it’s a “macro,” give this one a chance if you don’t mind a little splash of fruit in your brew. You just might be surprised! After all, you don’t want to be one of those beer snoots…

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