Wheat Beer Week: Shock Top Belgian White

Wheat Beer WeekYes—gasp!—it’s a beer from Anheuser-Busch. I drink those from time to time, and when I saw this in the store, my curiosity finally got the better of me. While the name and packaging seem to come straight from a marketing department (hat tip to Stan for that), the beer comprising Shock Top Belgian White itself is much more solid.

Brewed in the style of a Belgian Witbier, which is a wheat-based ale always spiced and (ideally) served cloudy with yeast, Shock Top is 5.2% alcohol by volume and (according to the label) brewed with lemon, lime, and orange peels, and coriander.

Shock Top Belgian WhiteBy any other name: when it was introduced in February 2006 as a specialty seasonal, it was under the name Spring Heat Spiced Wheat. To be honest, I don’t know which name is better, since both just aren’t great.

Appearance: Cloudy pale yellow with a gold-orange tint; very white head with a short life. Sediment in the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Bright, fresh nose of coriander that’s very fragrant and there’s a bare hint of citrus peel below that.

Taste: Light and wheaty—not strong, but like a light bread—with a hint of white pepper, some bitterness from the fruit peel, and the coriander. It’s the coriander that’s most prominent, combined with a touch of citrus; it brightens up the flavor and—to me—conjures up images of hot, sunny days.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light-bodied with a bit of an edge to it, and a slightly off-bitter finish (though very clean). A bit lighter in the mouth than I would like/expect.

Overall: Better than I anticipated. I enjoy this type of "Belgian White" style, even though (I suspect) it’s fairly Americanized. Drinkable, I might buy it again.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores a surprisingly high (for an A-B beer) grade of B-. On RateBeer, it scores 2.68 out of 5 and is in their 23rd percentile.

4 Responses to Wheat Beer Week: Shock Top Belgian White

  1. Bill S says:

    Nice write up. I agree – this beer is drinkable. I really enjoy it…but i disagree with you on the name! that’s half the reason i gave it a try when it came out after that seasonal gig. Shock Top! Fun to say, etc.

  2. Jay W says:

    Local tap house has this product on tap. Served in an ice cold glass with a slice of orange floating in it. Found it to be a good drink, especially on our hot AZ days.

  3. Bruce Jones says:

    I had this beer yesterday for the first time, really enjoyed it with a grouper reuben. I will get a 6 pack today!

  4. Carmen says:

    This is a good wheat beer and in my opinion better than Blue Moon as far as what’s popular in S. Fla. It compares to even more popular american wheats like New Belgium’s Sunshine Wheat and O’dels Easystreet wheat out of Fort Collins, CO which I prefer over any wheat beer and certailnly over any "regular" beer.