Beer Bites

Beer Bites: Shock Top Chocolate Wheat

It’s not unusual for me to replace meals with dessert. In my diet, vegetables as a whole are substituted with chocolate, and cookies are their own separate food group.

So when I went to the grocery store in search of chocolate cake and found Shock Top Chocolate Wheat to accompany it, I was delighted — and a little wary.

For starters, I’ve been skeptical of Shock Top ever since I found out it’s brewed by Anheuser-Busch. But they try to play it very cool, and you’ll never find anything on the label that indicates that a giant beer conglomerate had anything to do with brewing it.

Shock Top is not craft beer, however, and it doesn’t make you cool and unique when you drink it. You’re not a beer aficionado because you had a Raspberry Wheat once — aka an alcoholic juice box — and you liked it.

And on top of all that, we’re talking about chocolate wheat here. I didn’t even know such a beer chimera existed in the first place, better yet that it could be generally palatable and mainstream enough to be brewed by Shock Top.

Basically, there were all these odds stacked against it, so I just had to try it.

And then it turned out to be really weird.

At first, it tasted like a poor man’s chocolate stout, as if Shock Top just didn’t have the capabilities to brew a stout, so they said, “Screw it, let’s just dump a bunch of cocoa beans into our vats of Belgian White and call it a day.” It tasted very much like wheat and very much like chocolate at the same time, but also very artificial and over processed, like a Hostess cupcake.

Quite honestly, it instantly gave me a stomachache, but that may also have been a result of the chocolate cake I was concurrently taking to the face, or because I’m starting to suspect I have minor wheat intolerance.

Another thing I found odd about the Chocolate Wheat is that it’s sold in a half-and-half six-pack along with three Belgian Whites. The pack encourages you to mix the two beers for some kind of magically delicious outcome. But to me, that just seemed like a wannabe Black and Tan. The Chocolate Wheat seems to be having some identity issues, so someone really needs to break the news that it is simply not a stout.

So what to do with the rest of these beers? I guess I’ll drink them, although they’re definitely not delicious, and that’s coming from someone who’s willing to consume anything chocolaty. I’m probably not going to mix the Wheat and the White because why do I need to overdose on gluten for the sake of these subpar brews?

In the end, I’ll probably just decide Thanksgiving Break is an excuse to empty my fridge of all leftover alcohol and spend the night before I leave drinking the Chocolate Wheats and all of the other reject beers.

But please, don’t make me do it alone.

  • Wipedry

    Are you my doppelganger? Long lost dad? Great article…I agree with everything you said.

  • JonnyBeer

    Seems a little bitter…and I ain’t talking the beer. Could we just keep the discussion about how GOOD the beer is, rather than your opinions of who brewed it, how you perceive you’ll be viewed if you drink it, etc. I like Shock Top (less the fruit flavors…) I liked the chocolate. And, having lived in England, I KNOW black and tans, the REAL ones. This was a suitable substitute and had very tasty chocolate notes. I do have to agree…it is NOT a stout. But then, I don’t remember them saying it was……..

  • asciifiti

    We got stuck serving Shock Top Chocolate Wheat at this years
    Super Bowl in NJ. I’m not saying I tried it. We sold over 650 cups of $16.00 draught
    beer – fortunately we also had Stella Artois
    or we would barely have sold 50 cups.

    Of the 20 or 40 cups we sold more I would estimate
    70%of those who tried it didn’t like it.
    We even tried selling it mixed with the Stella. Most folks would try it and
    make a face and not come back mixed or straight chocolate. Several asked us to pour it out and fill with Stella. We
    would have sold more beer – but we ran out of Stella. To be fair we did get 2
    or 3 customers coming back for seconds

Top Stories