Shock Top Wheat IPA

Shock Top Wheat IPALast week I received a six-pack of the latest offering in the Shock Top lineup: Shock Top Wheat IPA. The Shock Top line is one of the Anheuser-Busch “craft” beer arms, and the brand revolves around a Belgian Wit (or “White”) style of beer (in the same vein as Coors and their Blue Moon series); in addition to the main Shock Top Belgian White, they also produce a Raspberry Wheat and a Pumpkin Wheat—and now, a Wheat IPA.

What “Wheat IPA” actually means in this case is “Belgian IPA” as it marries a Belgian Wit style of beer with (usually) an American-style IPA hop and (usually) strength profile; it’s a style that’s not only been coming out of Belgium but is also being popularized here in the States by the likes of Stone Brewing’s Cali-Belgique, Deschutes Brewery’s Chainbreaker White IPA, Great Divide‘s Belgica, and others.

And it’s such an unlikely style for an A-B craft arm to brew that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it.

Shock Top Wheat IPA is 5.8% abv, and no idea what the IBUs are.

Appearance: Orange color, honey-like, hazy from the (recommended) swirled pour. Fluffy, substantial head.

Smell: Has that nice summery Wit aroma of coriander and sweet orange peel, with a touch of estery fruitiness. Mellow.

Taste: Interesting blend of Wit and earthy English-style IPA; neither really dominates. The “Wit” aspect is dampened and tempered by a gentle earthy bitterness—not terribly hoppy but quite a bit moreso than most A-Bs. Finishes clean and a bit muted.

Mouthfeel: Between light and medium-bodied, with a bit of a sharp edge to it.

Overall: Decent, a bit different, I’ll give A-B props for doing one like this. I don’t know if it quite hits the mark but it’s drinkable and not harsh (which I think could happen to any example of this style).

Shock Top Wheat IPA on Untappd. BeerAdvocate: 2.88/5 (4 reviews). RateBeer: 2.48/5, 16th percentile.

One comment

  1. I tried their wheat when I toured their Jacksonville brewery. The best way I can describe it is that it was a wheat beer with all of the corners removed. It was as if someone took a craft wheat beer, then a committee removed all of the uniqueness from it. I chatted with someone in the hops refrigerator who hinted that they were working on this new flavor, but I am surprised they released it this quick.

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