The Beer Savant

November 17, 2012

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat

Filed under: American,Belgian,Pumpkin,Wheat — hikingsandiego @ 9:24 pm
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Shock Top Pumpkin WheatDate: November 17, 2011
Cost: $7.99/six-pack at Ralphs
Brewer:  Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, Missouri
Alcohol content: 5.2%
Served: Cold in chilled glasses

I was pleasantly surprised when I tried “regular” Shock Top in May 2011. I’m generally disappointed by the watery, flavorless concoctions produced by corporate brewers, but Shock Top—with a twist of orange—was a pleasant exception to the rule. So when I saw a display of Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat, I didn’t hesitate to place a six-pack in my shopping cart.

Shock Top Pumpkin pours a nice pumpkin orange with a slight cream-colored head. Take a sniff and enjoy the scent of spices, caramel, and hops. Again, I was nicely surprised by this beer. The Pumpkin Wheat delivers a full-body pumpkin/spice flavor that blends nicely with its hops and wheat base. No add-ons like a twist of orange needed…I noticed a slight pumpkin flavor that admittedly did get overpowered by the taste of orange. I detected no bitterness and no bad aftertaste from my first sip to my last. I’m picky about my pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers, so with that in mind, I’m declaring Shock Top Pumpkin a winner! I’ll definitely buy it again.

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May 15, 2011

Shock Top

Filed under: Ale,American,Wheat,Witbier — hikingsandiego @ 9:39 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Shock TopDate: May 13, 2011
Cost: NA
Brewer:  Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, Missouri
Alcohol content: 5.2%
Served: Cold in chilled glasses, side of unsalted peanuts

I’m usually cautious when presented with a “corporate” beer. Corporate beers are kind of like Chips Ahoy Cookies: technically, they’re a cookie with small lumps of chocolate, and they’ll do in a pinch when your sweet tooth demands satisfaction. But craft beers and microbeers are like a hot Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookie: a divine experience…a confectionary nirvana.

Shock Top is a product of the King of Corporate Beers, Anheuser-Busch, so  with a touch of trepidation I flipped off the bottle cap and poured my first glass. The beer pours slightly hazy with a soft lemony color. So far so good. The packaging describes it as containing coriander, orange, lemon, and lime peel with wheat. At first sip, I didn’t taste much of these and, well, it tasted pretty much like most corporate beers. Then I cut a wedge of fresh orange, squeezed it in the glass, and poof! The beer came to life! Orange juice is to Shock Top what that ol’ top hat was to Frosty the Snowman: the one element that brings it to life. But I digress.

Orange added, Shock Top has a delightful, citrus taste that is refreshing with a nice, tart aftertaste. It’s clean and not filling, making it another fine beer for a sweltering summer day. Like Corona, it’s an uneventful beer without an added squeeze of citrus. Really, you can look at that as a plus…there are far worse ways to get your vitamin C!

May 10, 2011

Mothership Wit

Filed under: Ale,American,Wheat — hikingsandiego @ 9:05 pm
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Mothership WitDate: April 30, 2011
Cost: $7.99/6-pack at Vons
Brewery: New Belgium Brewery, Fort Collins, Colorado
Alcohol content: 4.8%
Served: Cold in a chilled glass

The two macho guys in line ahead of me at Vons were quick to inform me that they didn’t like Mothership Wit. Being a fan of New Belgium’s Ranger IPA, I said I was willing to give it a chance (they agreed with me on the merits of Ranger). I’m glad I did. Mothership Wit is light in color and nicely light in taste. I found its flavor smooth and refreshing: a perfect beer for a summer picnic or hot evening sitting on the porch swing, wiping sweat off your brow. The label describes it as an “organic wheat beer brewed with spices,” but I swear I could taste a little citrus.

I’m becoming a fan of New Belgium’s; I like their environmentally conscious, employee-owned company culture, and I really enjoy their beers. I’m eager to try more of their products.

And the moral of this story is, don’t listen to guys in the checkout line. Try the beer for yourself!

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