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

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

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Shakparo Ale is a West African Shakparo-style beer brewed from sorghum & millet. Unfiltered ale. Gluten-free (not wheat or barley).

Added by shbobdb on 01-15-2007

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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 103
Photo of fgump
1.16/5  rDev -62.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Light bodied, semi-cloudy, no head.
Smells like bath caulking.. very industrial rubbery. I mean VERY rubbery.
You can tell this is not a traditional grain/wheat beer by the flavors and mouthfeel.
Sweet, paint thinner like flavor, with a sharp aftertaste. Reminiscent of bad white wine with tannins.

This is Heineken meets yeast slurry.. with some ethanol added.

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Photo of jwinship83
1.71/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- golden yellow with a small white head. looks very much like a tripel. very odd, for an amber.

S- uhhhh pretty gross. yeasty, mildly fruity, and something i cant put my nose on because it doesnt smell like its supposed to be consumed.

T- tastes very much like it smells and slightly sour.

M- medium bodied and well carbonated.

D- never again. maybe its because of the lesser used grains, but something about this one comes off as horribly wrong.

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Photo of drpimento
2.15/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of tempest
2.22/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.22/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

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.

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Photo of Ragingbull
2.22/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Fire brewed ale made from sorghum and millet instead of wheat or barley. Dark gold and cloudy in appearance. Very faint prickle that doesn't quite break through the surface. Almost brown looking down in the center like there is a cloud within the beer. Light grain nose of either the sorghum or the millet but I couldn't tell you which. Attack and flavor is reminiscent of malt liquor. The finish manages to be clean. The mouthfeel is more "soda pop" like than it is beer like. It is very unique. I would dare say this is one of the beers that reveals the minor flaw with how reviews are done here. The style is not on the list, but rather than having the capability to add styles, the reviewers just pick a style. So if you are comparing this to an American Amber or Red its not all that great, but if it were a truly "african" style beer it might be very good for that type. As it is, I didn't really care all that much for it.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
2.25/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

16oz bottle pours a clear straw yellow with a hint of orange. Not real head just some fizzy bubbles. Aroma is rather off putting quite frankly. Light toasted grain and an odd fruity scent. A touch of a syrupy accent as well.

First sip brings lightly toasted grains again along with an odd conglomeration of fruit flavors. Some grape skin and apple. I get the syrupy twist on the way down again. Really light and a bit biting on the palate. Flavors just don't work for me here.

Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy overall. Hard to drink as the flavor is quite a punch in the mouth. Can't say I really enjoyed this one but the concept is cool. Will stick with my other Sprecher faves.

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Photo of nick76
2.26/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The aroma is metallic, with yeast, funk, grains, and rotten fruit. The appearance is cloudy gold with a small but persistent head. The flavor is gross and like the aroma. The palate is smooth. This is hard to drink. I won't be having another one of these.

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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.

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Photo of PiecefulToker
2.33/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a cloudy amber rubycolor with a thin head that dissipates rather quickly. Little lacing.

S: Not much here, can't put my finger on anything in particular.

T: Blech, I do not like this. Tastes like thin fermented grain water, but in a bad way. It is metallic and has very sharp citrus sourness in the aftertaste. Maybe one could develop a taste for this, but I would rather turn to better offerings.

M: Thin and watery.

D: Very low... this stuff is gross to me.

I am thankful that I am not allergic to wheat or barley!

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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.

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Photo of nsmartell
2.38/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From Sprecher's 16 oz bottle to pint glass.

Appearance: Looks like a slightly hazy american lager. Very little head with light carbonation.

Smell: Smells like cheap wine with hints of cider.

Taste: Tastes like it smells but with even more tartness.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied.

Drinkability: I have tried samples of this during the brewery tour, but I'm glad I tried it in a pint glass to get more of the aroma. Not a session beer for me.

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Photo of Soneast
2.43/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmm...this is an interesting beer. Like others I wasn't sure what I was getting into.

Poured a golden color with a bit of cloudiness. About a fingers width of white head that disappeared with a few seconds, with no lacing.

Smell is similar to a wheat beer, although apparently it is not brewed with any wheat or barley. Yeasty with a hint of citrus.

Taste is...lets just say unique. Seems pretty dry. It has this weird aftertaste that I can't put my finger on (almost like rubbing alcohol or some sort of antiseptic)...suffice to say, it's not a flavor I feel belongs in beer.

Decent carbonation, feels good in my mouth has a crisp refreshing quality.

Overall...hey i tried something new...I didn't much like it and I'm sure I'll never get it again. I also definitely would not classify this style as an American amber/red ale. It's in a category all its own (Fire Brewed African Style I guess).

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Photo of wheatyweiss
2.52/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle.

Pours a light honey with a smallish head that disappears quickly.

Aroma is of apples and citrus, small grain aroma is overpowered by the sweetness.

Flavor is phenolic and medicinal, strange and cloying. I'm not sure what millet tastes like but if that is the predominant flavor I'm getting I really don't think I like it. Green apple flavor fights with the medicinal tastes that fights with the estery alcohol flavors. The sweetness is a strange dry sweetness that belies the normal sweetness. I can only think of chemical tainted cider when I drink.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy and is one redeeming quality.

I may get through the pint, but this may be my first "drain pour" I just don't have the palette to appreciate the flavors I'm getting.

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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.

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

A- Light golden color. The head dissapates very quickly like a soda. Leaving no head at all. The glass looks like nothing was in it when its all said and done.

S- Smells mostly of gingerale and wine. Very reminesent of a margarita.

T- The flavor is of ginger and a malt like character. Leaves an aftertaste of tequilla and applecider vinegar.

M- Medium bodied, heavily carbonated. Smooth texture.

D- Didn't care for the flavor of this beer. Have not tried any other beers in this style. Drinkability very low for my palate.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.64/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of Homerbag
2.65/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a warm yellow body with thin fizzy, soda like head.

Smells like a cheap white wine, grape and some plum like qualities.

Tastes like lemon, weak apple cider, and some off the wall gummy taste.

Feels more like a soda than a beer. Very fizzy, at first when I opened it I thought it was one of the Sprecer sodas that are very good. Overall thin and watery like a macro.

Ok, I respect beer, I respect the work that went into this. I even respect the brewery. This was a failed experiment. I give it up to go out on a limb and try something new, but this was no reward. They can make great German style beers, outstanding soda, hell the RIS is very good. This evens out the bell curve.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
2.74/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased this directly from Sprecher.

A-Murky, hazy, orange with no sign of head, lacing, or carbonation.

S-This one smells a bit like their Abbey Tripel. Raw yeast is predominant. A hint of banana lingers.

T-Interesting to say the least. It is quite different than any other beer I have had. A rough, sandy texture covers any discerning flavor. This one is hard to pin-point

M-Grainy through and through with a semi-sweet finish. This one seems to have some qualities of the Tripel, but not in place.

D-This is a one-timer for me. I totally commend Randy Sprecher for brewing a beer that he probably knew would not be welcomed by many, but I would have rather had him do something like a Saison or Biere de Garde for something new in the lineup.

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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.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
2.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A 16 ounce bottle purchased at the Craft Ale House for around $2 (to-go). Poured into an Imperial pint glass. Appears a cloudy bright golden yellow with a light jade green tint around the edges with an inch of off white foam. The head quickly fades into a thin layer, leaving no lacing. The nose consists of apples and lightly toasted grains of some sort. Tastes medicinal and sweet with notes of green apple, lemon. Unique to say the least. Thin bodied with barely any carbonation. I drank just enough to form an opinion of this beer, the remainder went down the drain. Although, I'm glad I had the chance to try it I guess.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.8/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(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.

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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.

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Shakparo (Fire-Brewed African Style-Ale) from Sprecher Brewing Company
3.09 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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