Pros: Natural flavor; Easy to find
Cons: Ugly appearance; Apple cider taste overpowers the wheat
Fruity beers are a varied lot. They can sometimes work if a brewer pays attention to detail and strikes the right balance among the ingredients. When everything is in harmony, a fruit beer can be a work of art but when the balance isn’t quite there, you end up with a product that doesn’t quite cut it and may be difficult to finish. One fruit beer that falls somewhere in the middle is Shock Top HoneyCrisp Apple Wheat. Let’s take a closer look:
Beer Facts and Figures:
Shock Top HoneyCrisp Apple Wheat ours to a cloudy, yellow/orange color with a nose that is apple all the way with some cereal notes in the background. The head of foam looks okay following a good, aggressive pour but it falls apart very fast and leaves no trace of foam behind. Sediment is present and should be poured into the beer, for best effect and best taste.
Shock Top HoneyCrisp Apple Wheat has a taste that is very much like apple cider with some cereal grains in the background. There is a sourness to the flavor that reminds me of certain fruit candies. The body of the beer is thick and it finishes with the sweet/sour taste of apples.
Shock Top brews this beer as a hybrid between a Belgian wheat beer and cider, with natural honeycrisp flavor added. The final product has 5.2 percent alcohol by volume and 167 calories per 12 oz. serving.
Shock Top HoneyCrisp Apple Wheat is another attempt by Anheuser- Busch to expand its semi- craft beer line known as Shock Top into new and exciting territories. The company that has already experimented with raspberries, pumpkins, and other ingredients has now turned its attention to apples and wheat, attempting a marriage that has been known to survive if done properly.
I have never been a huge fan of the Shock Top line and find some of the products quite lacking. This one, Shock Top HoneyCrisp Apple Wheat is a fair attempt to intermingle wheat beer with apple cider and it actually does succeed on some levels. I appreciate that the taste is at least natural, which is more than I can say for some other fruit beers that are obviously using artificial extracts to achieve their flavor. Like the label says, the brewers do use actual honeycrisp and natural apple flavor to help achieve this taste and they deserve credit for that.
As for the problems with this beer, there are a few. One is the appearance- the white foam is gone almost as soon as you finish pouring and there is no lacing at all. This makes for a somewhat ugly appearance for a beverage that claims to be beer, but I suppose I could tolerate that if the other qualities were positive. The taste is, overall, not as good and well- balanced as it could be and a little more sour than I like, but it isn’t too bad. I would like it better if it emphasized a little less apple cider and more of the wheat component, but to some, the balance might be perfectly fine.
Fruit beers are not among my favorites, but they can be delicious if the brewer finds the right balance. In the case of Shock Top HoneyCrisp Apple Wheat, the balance isn’t the best, but the product itself isn’t too bad in overall taste and quality and it does at least taste natural. I am torn between two and three stars on this beer, but since I am in a good mood, I will go ahead and round my rating up to three stars and give it a modest recommendation. There are certainly better fruit beers, but for something widely available and easy to find, this one isn’t too bad.