Regardless of how you might feel about Anheuser-Busch and their Shock Top division (one of their smaller “craft” arms that brews Belgian-style wheat beers that compete directly with Coors’ Blue Moon), I have to say I really enjoy the gusto and irreverence they’re bringing to their apocalyptic Mayan-end-of-the-world ad campaign: the countdown timer to December 21st in particular is what gets me.
The beers aren’t bad either.
Their latest offering that will be hitting the shelves on October 15th is the one they sent me last week: End of the World Midnight Wheat. (The tale of the “survival kit” it came in is worth a look too.) This is the full-on apocalypse-themed seasonal, with the landscape in flames and meteors raining down on the label and everything.
The beer itself is a 6% wheat ale brewed with midnight wheat malt, chocolate malt, “chili and other spices”: the end goal obviously playing with the concept of an Aztec or Mayan spiced chocolate. Midnight wheat malt was developed specifically for brewing darker beers without adding bitter or harsh flavors (think CDAs for instance). As such this is definitely an interesting application of it.
Appearance: Hazy brown with light tan head that has a creamy look to it.
Smell: Nutty and lightly roasty without any char or astringency, like a dark bread crust. Wheaty/bready note, reminds me of a Dunkelweizen without the banana.
Taste: Bit of a light chocolate note up front with light wash of spices at the back and sides of the tongue. No spicy heat to speak of (from chili) but I can see how they’re aiming for an Aztec/Mayan spiced chocolate profile. Bready with “wet wheat” notes with nutty overtones.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a nicely chewy presence and hint of a spicy finish.
Overall: Definitely an interesting nutty/chocolatey beer from A-B, I would have liked more spice but it’s a nice drinker.
End of the World Midnight Wheat on Untappd. Interestingly it hasn’t appeared on BeerAdvocate or RateBeer yet.