Shock Top? Tastes more like Rock Bottom
A Review of Shock Top Raspberry Wheat by Anheuser-Busch
Posted on 10/27/2011 by Chops
Time for a fruit beer lesson. Fruit beers can be really tasty concoctions when they are done right. Some fruits compliment particular styles quite well. Savory fruits go well with heavier brews like stouts and Belgians, while tropical fruits go well with lighter brews like wheats and lagers. The point of a fruit beer is to make a good base beer with a fruity compliment. The beer shouldn't taste like the fruit, only hint of its essence. But unfortunately when you leave a beer style in the hands of Anheuser-Busch, it's becomes a study of what not to do. Case in point: the Shock Top Raspberry Wheat. I had the unfortunate experience of sampling this toilet water at the 2011 World Beer Festival in Durham, NC.

A ''big beer'' guide to making fruit beers. Step 1: mass produce a cheap and flavorless beer that no self respecting consumer would ever drink. Step 2: infuse said beer with artificial fruit flavor until it is no longer recognizable as beer. Step 3: market the blasphemous beverage to your ignorant consumer base and rake in the profits.

In the glass, Shock Top Raspberry Wheat looks much like watered down orange juice. Granted, many wheat beers have an orange coloration, but there is a very big difference between the looks of fresh squeezed orange juice and watered down concentrate. Shock Top is very much the later. The soda-like fizzy head comes and goes in a matter of seconds. Then comes the awful aroma, which is basically an assault of artificial raspberry. There are no basic wheat beer notes anywhere to be found, just pungent fake fruit. It's the kind of aroma you would expect from an overdose of Kool Aid.

The flavor isn't very hard to imagine. I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with ''assberry''. To be honest, ''assberry'' would be a much more accurate description of the taste. No big surprise, the primary flavor is an over-the-top artificial raspberry sweetness. As a supposed wheat beer, I found no core characteristics whatsoever. No citrus. No hops. No body. The mouthfeel is weak, watery, and limps across the finish line like a chain smoker running a marathon.

Overall, Shock Top Raspberry Wheat is a total failure. It isn't even recognizable as a wheat beer and I've tasted better raspberry flavors from fruit roll-ups. For any beer noobs looking for a bridge out of wine coolers, this isn't it. Don't waste your time or money. Instead, find a nice hefeweizen, cream ale or witbier and make sure it comes from a reputable brewery. If you are a fan of fruit beers, I recommend exploring the various craft versions as well as lambics. Kick this vile swill to the curb, you deserve better.

And for continued reading on the ongoing embarrassment that is Anheuser-Busch, here's my previous review of Budweiser:

Budweiser Review : Click Here

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Shock Top Raspberry Wheat by Anheuser-Busch
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