Received: The End of the World from Shock Top

Okay I didn’t literally receive “the end of the world” but rather an “End of the World Survival Kit” from Shock Top (one of the craft beer divisions of Anheuser-Busch), highlighting their new “End of the World Midnight Wheat” ale. The package comes out of the blue, but the theme doesn’t: I noticed awhile back (about the time I received the Lemon Shandy from them) that the Shock Top website was heavily playing up the Mayan Apocalypse End of the World theme (on December 21) with a countdown timer, videos, and more.

Of course I love this and think it’s extremely clever and fun (but then again I have an interest in this apocalypse stuff!) so I have to say, I really enjoyed this PR package from them; probably the coolest marketing package I’ve thus far received:

Shock Top End of the World Survival Kit

It didn’t arrive entirely unscathed, unfortunately: we immediately noticed shards of brown bottle glass and indeed, even though it was packed fairly extensively inside, one of the bottles had shattered. I suppose you could say it was in the spirit of the “end of the world” kit…

Shock Top End of the World Survival Kit - opening

And weirdly, another of the bottles was intact—with the cap still on—but was completely empty of beer! I’m not entirely sure what to make of that. Mis-bottling? Not-properly sealed so it leaked? Hard to tell.

The rest of the kit was fine (though the book that came with it was beer-soaked) and I have to reiterate what a clever idea and packaging this was:

Shock Top End of the World Survival Kit

In addition to (what would have been) a full six-pack of the beer, there also a USB memory stick containing some marketing files (dressed out in “wood”), a roll of duct tape (always a useful survival item as the Mythbuster proved), a package of beef jerky, and The Official Underground 2012 ¬†Doomsday Survival Handbook, which as I said had been soaked in beer. (Which when you think about it seems kind of appropriate for a survival theme.) The box is pretty nice, too.

The beer itself? “End of the World Midnight Wheat”—a 6% abv beer brewed with midnight wheat malt, chocolate malt, “chili and other spices,” definitely not a usual offering you’d expect to see from an A-B arm. But then again Shock Top has been pushing those boundaries—for a corporate industrial brewer. I’m looking forward to trying it, and will post a review soon.


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