Shakparo (Fire-Brewed African Style-Ale) - Sprecher Brewing Company
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
2.33/5 rDev -25.3%
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.
12-02-2012 21:33:26 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.85/5 rDev +23.4%
Bold kumquat with ripe lemon trim. I expected to see more haze since the beer is unfiltered. However, a sparse cloud of fine yeast can be seen on closer inspection. The pale orangish ecru cap persists nicely, but qualifies as unattractive in terms of texture. It's soft, mealy and unsticky, leaving the glass virtually untouched. I'm sure the ingredients are mostly, if not entirely, responsible.
Shakparo smells like an especially clove-intensive hefe weizen. There may be other spices present as well, it's hard to say. The beer is also nicely fruit, as advertised, with bananas at the head of the line as far as my nose knows.
This 'Fire-Brewed, African-Style' beer is the best gluten-free ale that I've ever had, hands down. I now wonder why the others were so distasteful, relatively speaking. I don't think there's any question that sorghum and millet are inferior to barley malt when it comes to the brewing of beer. For those who have no other choices, though, this is damn good stuff. It's too bad Sprecher doesn't distribute nationwide.
The secret to Shakparo's success is, I believe, the abundance of fruit and spice that covers up the potential unpleasant graininess of the atypical grains. As noted two paragraphs up, the hefe weizen comparison is right on the money. If I hadn't known better, I don't think I would have been able to identify this as a barley-free beer.
The mouthfeel is where the absence of barley malt is felt most keenly. Not its lightness so much as its lightly oily slickness. It's far from unpleasant, however, and is easily managed given what's happening on the taste buds.
Shakparo is vastly superior to Sprecher's other recently released African beer, the abysmal Mbege Ale. I'm amazed at how good this offering is under the circumstances. I try never to say 'never, but I doubt that I'll have a better gluten-free beer... ever. This is the first one that I'd consider drinking again. For those who have celiac disease, I would think the drinkability score would be a 5.0.
05-07-2007 14:03:33 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.08/5 rDev -1.3%
Appearance: Pours a lemony hazy with a bubbly head; not much retention or lacing
Smell: Lemony and herbal with a medicine character
Taste: Starts with a somewhat sweet but medicinal herbacious lemon character; after the swallow, the herbal qualities build
Mouthfeel: More like a soda than a beer
Drinkability: Kudos to Sprecher for brewing this but it is just too foreign for me to consume
10-18-2007 00:29:47 | More by brentk56
2.13/5 rDev -31.7%
Picked up this bottle as an extra in a trade and just now got around to trying it. Not really sure what to make of it to be honest, but here it goes. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 2/22/2009.
The pour was average at best. Medium light amber with a nearly crystal clear body on this one. Nice carbonation coming up from the bottom. The head was small, white, and fleating. The aroma was dull, ginger maybe, hints of light grain and a nasty acidic tone to it. The flavor though was where I almost gagged. It had an astringent taste that just did nothing for me. Grainy, almost chewey with a stale peanut butter like finish. Light body and crisp, but just wrong. This was not an enjoyable expiernce for me to say the least. I will pass.
02-22-2009 22:39:54 | More by mikesgroove
3.15/5 rDev +1%
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.
03-08-2011 23:51:51 | More by TMoney2591
3.7/5 rDev +18.6%
Silhouette of African animals walking together, that lion must have had his dinner already. The scene is very Lion King, Hakuna-Matata...
Hazy orange pour into a pint glass. Two fingers of foam at first, which dwindle down to a skimpy ring of tiny bubbles. Some sediment in the bottle, which clouded up the ale when poured.
First impression is of funky apples, ripe and rotting in the orchard. Some unidentified spice in there as well.
Well carbonated at first, but seems to lose steam after awhile. Tart, citrusy at first, lemon or cider suggestion, with a dry, papery, herbal finish. I'm guessing the sorghum is responsible for the mild sweetness. I'm not sure how millet tastes, but it could be the dry herbal/grainy side to this.
When served cold, this is pretty refreshing. Don't let it warm up too much. It's an acquired taste, but isn't too hard to get used to. Two in a sitting was easy.
08-20-2007 23:18:37 | More by emerge077
3.33/5 rDev +6.7%
Review based on notes
Pours a hazed caramel with a modicum of fast falling cream colored head. No head retention or lacing
S: Fruitty with cereal & gluey type smells
T: Grapes, booze & peach up front. Grainyness, green banana & green apple skins as this warms. Finishes with some figgyness
MF: Juicy with medium body & low carbonation. Becomes puckery as this warms
Drinks a bit slow, not to my taste. Cut this some slack as far as the style being attempted, could drink a few if pressed
04-17-2009 04:18:21 | More by russpowell
3.3/5 rDev +5.8%
ale made from sorghum & millet, brewed without wheat or barley, fire-brewed, African-style...with a label featuring a trio of African pals, giraffe, lion, and elephant traveling together against an African sunset without once mauling or stampeding one another...hakuna matata!
16 ounce bottle, 5.7% abv.
Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip glass. Elephants going back to Africa, so to speak.
Very hazy apricot appearance, disappearing head...
Slightly sour and funky aroma, at first...smells like a spiced wheat beer, though we know it isn't. Reminds me of a yeasty Belgian pale ale, oddly enough.
Bright flash of flavor in the mouth. Citrusy feel, then softly fading, leaving a faint lemony ring behind. Feel almost hefe weizen-like at times, though there's no wheat here...so this is what sorghum beer tastes like, eh? Not bad...
Although for a while, it gets too acidic and astringent for me...
got to say, not the sort of thing I'd want to have too often...
...there you have it...
Wonder why I liked this less than the others who liked Mbege less, though...interesting...
08-18-2007 09:24:41 | More by feloniousmonk
3.3/5 rDev +5.8%
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.
09-28-2010 21:57:25 | More by WesWes
2.78/5 rDev -10.9%
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.
02-04-2012 05:31:03 | More by mactrail
3.93/5 rDev +26%
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.
06-04-2011 04:39:11 | More by Halcyondays
2.93/5 rDev -6.1%
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.
07-27-2014 02:51:13 | More by woodychandler
2.13/5 rDev -31.7%
OK, "fire-brewed" may sound cool, but that's where the cool train stops. It looks and smells like beer with sweet caramel. For a split second, it even tastes like beer, but then a unpleasant sweet and sour tang kicks in that reminds me of bad macro lager. I commend Sprecher for making a gluten free beer and a beer that's just plain different. This one's not for me.
12-11-2007 03:37:11 | More by tempest
2.78/5 rDev -10.9%
(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer has a hazy orangish-yellow body with a white head made up of micro-bubbles. This beer has a strong carbonation of big bubbles.
S- The smell of baker’s yeast has a strong note of dry apple cider.
T- The taste of yeast and apple cider is mild with no tartness or sour notes at all. There is a light raw corn and soap note that is not really offensive and is followed by a taste of stale water. The finish is a note of chewed bubble gum that might be just latex?
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight sticky texture and a pretty clean finish.
D- I really like sour sorghum beers and wild beers but this has none of those flavors. No fresh raw grain, sour and tart notes or even any funky hints. This beer is very bland and the only real flavors are a bit off. I couldn’t finish this beer which is pretty uncommon.
09-03-2007 03:52:13 | More by rhoadsrage
3.55/5 rDev +13.8%
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.
05-27-2012 15:45:31 | More by tdm168
3.13/5 rDev +0.3%
Orange body. Cloudy and murky. Thin ivory white head with little stick. This beer's got a big banana nose. Like their hefe-weizen. Same yeast?? On the buds, I actually do get a bit of a "fire roasted" character. Odd to say the least. Otherwise, the beer's musty and dank. Got some of that weizen yeastiness going on with the banana and pepper. But this one just doesn't appeal to me a lot. Quite weird.
03-29-2007 02:26:32 | More by Bighuge
2.6/5 rDev -16.7%
The allure around this beer is just so intrigueing. African style beer. No wheat or barely ehhhh. Poursa s ort of hazey, sltraw and amber color with hardly any head. But very good bubbling I must say. The smell is a tart almost creamy lactose and bitter fruit aroma., very foreign and unique. The flavor is also unique, but a bit too awkward in the tartness department. Hints of clove, young orange and some sweat. Different, slightly complex, but just out of my "will buy again range." The palate is still a bit too dr and tart and grapey for my taste. But,way to stretch the boundaries on beer.
07-25-2007 05:14:42 | More by scruffwhor
4.06/5 rDev +30.1%
12 oz twist-off bottle poured into a Sprecher Pokal glass.
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.
05-13-2014 22:29:07 | More by BeerFMAndy
2.64/5 rDev -15.4%
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.
07-07-2013 13:44:14 | More by tone77
2.13/5 rDev -31.7%
Hmmm, interesting experiment on their part. can't say as I'd want them to repeat it though. It does resemble their claim of spicy. But there's a lot of other funky flavors too. And a strange cloying quality in the body. I don't even think I'd want to cook with it. Has a little head, no lace. A hazy light amber. Spicy aroma and taste. Lots of strange esters in flavor. Finish isn't so good either, bu thanfully not too long. Lakefront's new grist is much better.
06-27-2007 23:33:58 | More by drpimento
Shakparo (Fire-Brewed African Style-Ale) from Sprecher Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.