Folks, I have great news! The world didn’t end in 2012. Some of us were afraid those crazy Mayans might be right, and the world would end, but it didn’t. Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Shock Top beers, even came up with a special beer, you know, just in case: Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat. It was actually quite good, too.
End of the World Midnight Wheat was made with, well here’s a blurb by me to tell you more:
How about the Midnight Wheat? Midnight Wheat is a new offering from Briess Malt & Ingredients Company. They claim it adds a dark color to the brew of which it is a component without adding bitterness many dark roasted malts impart.
Just for fun, this beer also includes chocolate malt, spices and chilies as ingredients. Alcohol is fairly moderate at 6% by volume.
So, the combination of chocolate and chilies was an attempt at giving the beer a Mayan theme. And again, the beer was good, but it left Anheuser-Busch with one big problem: how do they bring back the beer if it’s a hit? If the world ends, problem solved, of course, but it didn’t, and you can’t very well call a beer “End of the World” year after year.
And so we got Shock Top Chocolate Wheat as a winter seasonal in 2013, sort of the Son of End of the World Midnight Wheat. Shock Top Chocolate Wheat retains the chocolate and wheat of the old beer, dispenses with the chilies, also uses spices (perhaps the same ones), and adds vanilla beans. The beer is much lower in gravity and alcohol, though, at 4.3% opposed to 6% for End of the World. And how does that all work out?
Shock Top Chocolate Wheat pours to a dark brown to blackish color with a very short lived spritzy head formation and a subtle chocolate nose laced with hints of vanilla. Taking a sip, the first thing that I notice about this beer is that the body is way too thin for my taste, and can’t support the flavors to come. For sure, I get some chocolate from the cocoa nobs and a nice vanilla theme through and through. But the thin body just detracts from all that, and the beer finishes watery.
Overall, this beer was a letdown for me as much as I enjoyed End of the World. It’s not a beer I’d recommend as a try, and definitely not a rebuy should it return in winter 2014, despite the rather reasonable price tag of $7.49 a six-pack.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.