Shakparo (Fire-Brewed African Style-Ale) - Sprecher Brewing Company

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Shakparo (Fire-Brewed African Style-Ale)Shakparo (Fire-Brewed African Style-Ale)

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BA SCORE
73
okay

98 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.09
pDev: 22.98%
Wants: 5
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: shbobdb on 01-15-2007

Shakparo Ale is a West African Shakparo-style beer brewed from sorghum & millet. Unfiltered ale. Gluten-free (not wheat or barley).
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 69
Photo of wac9
3.79/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

what a wonderful beer i always try a gluten free beer this one taste like apl a dam good ale a dark golden color great taste a winner enjoy

Photo of Texasfan549
2/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Weirdly smoky, off putting aromas and flavors of old moldy bread

Photo of woodychandler
2.96/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had a colleague who has issues with gluten and she was always curious about beers that were gluten-free. I usually eschew them since I am not gluten-intolerant and prefer to leave them for people who are. In the interim, I am purging my massive backlog of bottles this summer and lo and behold! this one popped up.

From the bottle: "Beer made from Sorghum & Millet".

It had a screw-top cap, so once that was off, I started the pour, getting a brief fizzy finger of bone-white head that quickly became wisps. Color was a pretty sunshine-yellow (SRM = 4) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled slightly sour, kind of like apple vinegar. In fact, when I initially poured it, I thought that I smelled cider. Mouthfeel was thin, watery, almost flat. Taste was bland, slightly tart, but fairly innocuous. If anything, it really had a tart apple taste, but even that was pretty light. Finish was semi-dry, but it really left me cold. This should be Exhibit "A" as far as why I do not truck with gluten-free beers. I feel like I am ready to drink a beer after this.

Photo of BeerWithMike
2.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Sampled tonight on 5/27/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a handled glass stein. Top label around the neck says "6.3% Alcohol".

Pours a hazy golden honey in color with a very thin white head with some spotty lacing seen. The aroma is different with a lot going on actually. Some spice, dark fruit and yeast. The taste is well...different. Wasn't really sure if I liked it or not as this one is complex. On the side of the bottle it says: "water, Sorghum, Millet, Hops and Yeast". Yeah, you can taste a little of that for sure with a crisp, slightly bitter finish. Lower carbonation also. Overall, not real fond of this one.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.08/5  rDev +32%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz twist-off bottle poured into a Sprecher Pokal glass.
6.3% ABV

A - Sprecher's unfiltered take on a Gluten Free beer pours faintly hazy with a tint of orange appearing in the golden-yellow. The soft stark white head which crowns the top is retained well, leaving

S - Surprisingly aromatic, Shakparo smells like a German hefeweizen with notes of ripe banana and Bubble Tape bubblegum with a slight funk of wet straw to it. Despite the lack of wheat or barley malt, there's a nose reminiscent of grainy pale malt which gives this gluten free beer a certain appeal.

T - Following in the footsteps of the aroma, Shakparo relies heavily on this German hefeweizen style yeast strain that brings offerings of ripe banana and a subtle nod to clove and bubblegum to the table which, for any normal beer drinker, does a good job of distracting from the lack of malt. The sorghum and millet combination certainly isn't awful but, in league with a touch of artificial sweetness, it brings a slightly husky, earthy finish that lingers, transitioning into a green apple-like cider flavor that's not bad at all.

M - Crisp carbonation dances on the tongue while this light-bodied beer finishes dry and with a tiny splash of sweetness, like the flavor, reminiscent of a cider.

O - Some times it's hard as "regular" beer drinkers to take a step back and objectively look at gluten free beer, but I view Shakparo as a huge step in the right direction for beer available to those who normally can't partake. With an overall flavor like a hefeweizen, this gluten free beer manages to pull together essences of beer that tastes like, well, beer; one style in particular. It's not for everyone but it's great for those who have my deepest condolences; people with Celiac's or who live gluten free.

Photo of DerekQXQX
3.5/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I loved this beer for the uniqueness of the idea. It was strange and bitter, so the taste wasn't great but I loved the idea of it. I have never had nor heard of an African style ale. I think that is something to be lauded and praised. Good for you Sprecher!

Photo of dmfrench
2.31/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Strange tart thing to avoid.
___

A: Cigarette stain amber body with a fleeting one finger nicotine white head that I had to hard pour to generate. A few yeast chunks, losing points.

S: Potent, funky. Sharp, bitter and sour apple/pear, some amber-like spice, sugary plum, a bit of butter, not much hops to speak of. Strange and not too reminiscent of beer.

T: I hate to say it, but this is pretty gross. Having a hard time drinking enough to get a fair review in. Tart white grape dominates. Fuck it. I can't take it anymore.

M: Thin with a soda like carbonation.

Photo of Abcabc
4.31/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - copper; white head; mild retention and long lasting lacing.

S - light sweetness, apples, with hints of orange peel.

T - apples, caramel, spicy with light tartness. No bitterness.

M - light to medium body, smooth, crisp

This is excellent as a gluten-free beer and has far more flavor than the big brand American beers. It has a slight sweet, apple character that makes it an excellant session beer.

I would prefer more body, although most beers need this for my taste.

Photo of tone77
2.69/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head, lots of carbonation. Smell is grains, mild fruits. Taste is like sour cider, and not in a good way. Bitter, an unusual aftertaste that is hard to describe. Yes, this beer is hanging around in the glass for a while. Feels light in the mouth and overall, while unique, is not very good.

Photo of WissBrauSean
4.23/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I was loving this 16 oz. bottle until I opened it and found out it was screw top. Booo! It's a cool bottle and a nice label otherwise. It's a pretty affordable beer though, so that is good.

The beer poured a mostly clear light brown/amber in color with a full one finger head that immediately dissipated to non-existant pretty quick. This seems to be the norm for gluten free's.

I immediately smelled sour upon opening, it wasn't strong, but released all of a sudden. As I drink it, that has mellowed but still apparent. Indeed it does have an apple note to it but there is also a faint caramel aroma associated with it.

I don't know what they mean by "Fire Roasted" in the description of the beer, perhaps that pertains to the millet adjunct used to flavor the beer. The beer starts off mildly cider-like and as it moves across your tongue it moves into caramel apple with, indeed, a very mildly apparent fire roasted flavor and then a slightly dry mega mild hoppy finish with black pepper notes at the very end. Lots of beers have this in common. There is also a lingering mildly grassy and yeasty taste. It's really good and mildly complex and warming with alcohol when drinking on an empty stomach. It's not easy picking out these flavours, but they are there. It's just a little thin. The roasted flavor is quite noticeable between sips. It's F@CKING GOOD!

Mouthfeel and Body are kind of like those difficult terms to describe like "Ethereal" or even "Surreal" and it takes a while to really discern them. When people mention them don't get discouraged and just try and see what they mean by trying that beer as well. You can think of it as sweet and syrupy or thin like lemonade in one respect, but it encompasses a wide range of how it makes your mouth feel. Sometimes it is as simple as that. This beer is thin for a beer like an ale like bass ale, but more full than say a coors light. So I call it thin to moderate. Something syrupy might be like a Belgian Tripel or something like a La Fin Du Monde (if you haven't tried that, you are missing out). Mouthfeel also describes how the carbonation of the beer feels on your tongue or whether or not the carbonation carries flavors and smells along with it as the bubbles burst. This beer is only mildly carbonated which is nice. Sometimes higher carbonated Gluten Free beers will taste like champagne on the tongue and in your nose.

As Gluten free beers go, this is one of the best that I have had so far. The roasted flavor really tips this beer over the edge and I feel that this is going to be, or has been, an award winning beer. I highly recommend it! It's only downfall is it's lack of head and lightly thin body and I have to give average scores for those. How the "sorghum problem" was handled in this beer is excellent and definitely world class! CHEERS!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.36/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, fermented pineapple, and strong alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a funky flavor on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a poor beer with some pretty foul aromas and flavors.

Photo of tdm168
3.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - copper; big, dense, white head; good retention

S - grainy, sweet, apples

T - yeasty, apples, caramel, spicy

M - medium body, smooth, crisp

This isn't bad as far as gluten free beers go. It has that typical sweet, apple character that I find off putting. My wife who can only drink gluten free beers ranks this among her favorites.

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A. Lightly clouded straw yellow color with no head or lacing of any sort.

S. At first sniff it smells somewhat like a cross between a sake and a riesling's aroma! More probing pulls out a sort of semi acidic-soured apples, bananas, and pears aroma.

T. The major flavor component is musty soured green apples, secondary flavors seems to include a light psuedo-belgian fruit ester and bubblegum spectrum. Medium levels of phenolics persist towards the back end of the sip.

M. Incredibly astringent and mouth-drying finish, yet paradoxically it has a creamy texture on the medium body. Bizarre!

Photo of comfortablynumb1
2.95/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16oz bottle into a Stone IRS snifter...

A - Pours a light amber with a one finger off white head that dissipates very quickly. Lacing is minimal...

S - Lots of sweet fruit notes with some spice in the mix...

T - Apple, banana, pear, and a good spice kick. Spice and yeast come through in the finish...

M - Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Thin and fizzy feel...

O - Interesting drink, but not something that I will be revisiting...

Cheers...

Photo of mactrail
2.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This is pretty far outside the Beeriodic Table. It's like discovering a new rare and radioactive element. Looks like beer, foams up and has carbonation like beer, but it tastes like Dr. Pepper mixed with Xango. Or some kind of Chinese medicinal concoction. Maybe this is traditional or gives us a glimpse into other cultures, but I don't have to like it. First sip give you that spoiled fruit taste with the forgot-to-take-out-the-garbage smell. A little edge of banana pith. Eventually it goes down easier, but my next beer is going to be a double IPA to get the taste out of my mouth.

I'd say we need a separate style category for this sort of stuff. It is in fact beer-like, but to call it an amber is silly. If there are wheat beer categories, there ought to be one for millet or other sugar sources.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Sprecher gluten-free beer line, Shakparo is the most easily available of the beers. However, Mbege is the superior offering. When either are available at the brewery, it is advisable to stock up.

Poured into a pint glass, I was surprised by the vinegar odor. Having drank this many times before, I do not remember this issue. Allowing the ale to air out, this became less of a disturbance. With little head, the ale is a golden orange color. The initial taste brings cider to mind. Notes of sour apples and various spices are noteable. This is an easy drinker with not much carbonation and disappears into a pleasing slightly sour taste. It is not a drink for everybody, but it is a nice change of pace.

Photo of Lemke10
2.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I bought a single bottle of this from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $1.79 in Fall 2011.

Pours a clear, light amber color with not too much of a head due to the lack of carbonation. Scents of banannas and some spices are evident. The texture of the beer is watery and the taste is not too inviting. The taste has hints of banannas and dry malts with a slight lemon zest. Overall that taste is very dry and chalky feeling. Perhaps this is good for a gluten free beer, but I'll take my next beer without sorghum thank you.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Reading the label, I get the feeling this is mis-categorized here on BA. And pouring assures me of that. There's no amber or red to be found in the appearance, just a cloudy peach-yellow color with a wispy head and mellow bubble activity (although the healthy cap-opening "zisss!" assures it's fresh enough).

Smell is an odd one. Musty (like a wet basement) with faint traces of peach, pear and apple. Yeasty and earthy, with a very light white pepper character in the background.

Taste features a kind of spicy attack that gives the illusion Shakparo is much stronger than 5.7%. The fruity elements are propped up and shining, especially big green apple, as is a hint of white pepper and even the ghost of some sort of chili. The yeast has a decidedly Belgian character to it, and knowing Sprecher has attempted Belgian styles, maybe it's an authentic strain of some sort. All in all, the beer carries a pretty exotic flair, which I guess is thanks to, uh, I don't know, whatever is making these characteristics pop...probably the sorghum and millet? Interesting, and pretty enjoyable too.

Unfortunately the feel is the downfall of this beer. It's all spritz, like soda-pop. Not good.

Lots of different things happening here, and I'm really glad I tried it. Very different. There are definitely lesser beers out there for gluten-allergic beer lovers, but I'm still grateful I'm not one of them.

Photo of tvv375ia
3.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16oz bottle into pint glass

A-What head there was disappeared before I Could tell if it was over a finger or not. Amber apple juice color

S-Strange, almost like a sour apple

T-hard cider flavors, a lot of apple that tastes better than the smell.

M-carbonation leaves very quickly any the beer seems flat

O-Actually came across a fairly drinkable if you like hard cider once you get past the strange smell. In the glass it simply looks like hard cider since there is no head retention or lacing when I first smelled it I was sure it was going to be a drain pour but it is not bad, not sure if I would get another one but I did finish this one.

Photo of cdkrenz
2.65/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Light and white quick lived (its already gone) head. Body is a cloudy brownish orange with nothing at the surface reminding me that head was once there.

S - The aromas of banana, fig, and bubble gum make for an inviting scent.

T - There's a strange clove-live flavor in this brew that's rather overwhelming near the beginning. It's not a true clove but almost a cross between clove and smoke. There's some banana to note as well.

M - The feel is smooth, soft and easy.

~ White it smells and feels the part, the flavor holds the most weight here and unfortunately I can't say its something I'll every purchase again, nor will I recommend this beverage to a friend.

Photo of TheHoppiest
2.85/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a silty, cloudy amber, with an almost muddy look to it. A 1/2" head reduces to a 1/8" lid that is being fed with active carbonation.

Has a heavy banana and clove aroma, with hints of ginger and cinnamon. In fact, it almost smells like carrot cake.

Has a tangy, peachy taste, with hints of apricot. A slightly sour ending, the lack of malt in this beer leaves it feeling like there's a hole in this beer's taste.

Medium bodied, there's a slight creaminess that is buried beneath the sour fruit.

Well, I really wanted to like this gluten-free beer. And, as it is the only one I've ever had, I can't say if it is any better or worse than other gluten free beers. However, I can say that I'm not planning having another any time soon.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.91/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a hazy orange yellow with a very light fizzy white head, light lace.

S: Heavy banana and wheat, bubblegum, nice smell.

T: Assorted grain character with a lot of banana and bubblegum. A very estery flavour, quite good.

M: Medium-bodied, fairly smooth, soft carbonation, quite easy drinking.

O: A beer that is very much in the hefe category, but as with Mbege, Sprecher has made a very good African-style version of one. I've had it before, and I always enjoy this beer.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.15/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Who doesn't love crazy-ass beer recipes? I know I do (ask around). This one pours a cloudy, sediment-filled amber-straw topped by a very short-lived half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises coriander, wheat, orange peel, and a strong sense of something akin to strawberries and red grapes. It's as though a mild wit were blended with a framboise or something, with less-than-stellar results. Nose-wise, anyway. The taste, though, continues this idea, with the orange peel coming off as a bit old, slightly musty. The strawberry remains, and a bunch of really dry wheat makes up the foundation. Altogether, it just doesn't work for me. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a grainy feel. Overall, a decent-ish beer, but not one I'd really reach for very often at all. Not my cup o' beer.

Photo of WesWes
3.28/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a cloudy dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a fruity/sour scent along with a mild sorghum/millet aroma. This style is a little new to me, but it's pretty light and refreshing. The taste is decent. It's fruity as hell and the taste isn't close to that of a malted beer. It's an easy drinker with a unique flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a beer I'm glad I had the opportunity to try, but will not seek out again.

Photo of tim9887
3.65/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice slightly hazy golden-orange with white foamy head. Aroma is on the pungent side, big notes of banana and clove similar to that of a hefeweizen. Belgian yeast-esque spice to it as well. Similar characteristics in the flavor as well. Very tart juicy fruit (orange/pear?) character to it. Very faint, subtle bitterness in the finish. Bright, bubbly carbonation. Interesting stuff. My first foray into gluten-free beer.

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Shakparo (Fire-Brewed African Style-Ale) from Sprecher Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.