December 21, 2012 was supposed to be the end of the world, at least according to Mayan prophecy. The prediction wasn’t the first of its kind and it certainly will not be the last, but it did present an excuse to party and thousands across the globe did exactly that. Some breweries even got in on the action and one of the products they created for the occasion is Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat.
Beer Style: Spiced Wheat
Calories: 153 per 12 oz. serving
Carbs: 11 grams per 12 oz. serving
Alcohol Content: 6 percent by volume
Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat pours to a cloudy, brown color with a nose of wheat, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and a small amount of spice. The head of foam isn’t too bad provided the pour is aggressive and the foam does manage to hold its own for some time.
Tasting this beer reveals some interesting flavor notes such as chocolate malt, bread, some citrus up front, and a small amount of spice. The body of the beer is medium and it finishes with a certain degree of spice that lingers for only a short amount of time before fading away completely. The beer is made using midnight wheat, chocolate malt, chili, and spice.
Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat is another in an expanding lineup of products from Shock Top, Anheuser- Busch InBev’s semi- craft beer lineup meant to compete in the craft beer market. Shock Top products are a nice change from the usual mass- produced American style adjunct lager that has come to define Anheuser- Busch for so many generations. It is good to see the company moving in the direction of craft beer and at least helping to assimilate more consumers over to craft beer.
However, like other Shock Top products, End of the World Midnight Wheat is only semi- craft in nature and offers only a little of the quality one expects in craft beer. The beer does have some unique flavor qualities, but it is also a tad lacking overall- almost a teaser product in many ways. This is most evident in the chili component. The ingredients list chili but I can detect only a small amount of spice in the nose and the chili taste is very weak. Not only is the chili weak, but it fades away very quickly after the final sip.
The flavors most noticeable with Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat are the chocolate malt and bread. These tastes are present from the beginning and are met with a little bit of citrus. In this regard, Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat seems slightly better than other Shock Top products. Yes, the overall flavor is still a little lacking, but the maltiness is greater than that of other Shock Top products and the body of the beer is a little fuller and richer, even if it is still missing a few things.
Anheuser- Busch has a long way to go before it produces a product that completely satisfies the craft beer crowd and Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat is further evidence of A-B’s resistance to change. Much like the inaccurate end of the world prediction for December 21, 2012, Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat leaves you feeling a little let down, but ultimately happy that you have the chance to continue on in your quest for great craft beer. Try it if you like, but don’t be surprised if you are left feeling underwhelmed.
Rating: 5 cheers out of 10