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)

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 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 KBomb
3.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pale copper color that's quite cloudy. One finger of soapy head pops up, but disappears to nothing within moments. Smells like a dry champagne; grapes and green apple. There is a hint of something a little sour and musty, but its not too bad. Yeasty and fruity smells are a precursor to yeasty and fruity flavor. Citrus flavors are paired with a little spice (ginger?). What starts a little crisp and sweet turns a bit sour on the back of the tongue. MF is quite dry, prickly high carbonation. A little filling. Not exceptionally drinkable.

I don't really dislike the flavors, but its just a little too different for me to really appreciate all that much. Glad I tried it, but I don't anticipate having it again.

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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 AdmiralDiaz
3.97/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours a semi-hazy orange with a decent sized off-white head. looks similar to a hefeweizen.

S: My first though when I smelled this was sake...the weird thing is that I'm sure there is no rice in there. Anywho strong fruit along with a clove scent

T: Tastes is definitely odd for the style...I'm fairly sure that this is only classified as a red/amber because there is not defined name for the style? Strong fruit flavor; bananas, apple, apricot. Notable spiciness from a good amount of clove. If I didn't know any better I would have thought this was some sort of hefeweien or some other fruity german lager.

Overall: Mouthfeel was well carbonated and very smooth. Pretty drinkable, however the taste is a bit intense, I would only do a few of these. This is unique, that's for sure.

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Photo of russpowell
3.31/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of WJVII
2.94/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a wheat color that is really cloudy (states on the bottle unfiltered). There is a slight head with an aggressive pour that fades to a ring around the brew with a good amount of visible carbonation. The aroma is so unusual. Hard to put my finger on but smells stale (not skunky) or like a wet dog with some spice and citrus aroma. Although the aroma is not all that appealing I have nothing to compare the style to so I want to be fair with my review. As far as the taste goes it is a little sweet upfront but then has a stale aftertaste. The carbonation accents the citrus flavor, but again with nothing to compare it too hard to discredit the authenticity of this brew. Coming from Milwaukee, and having been on the Sprecher tour (learning the history of this brewery) I tip my hat to the boldness of attempting to recreate this brew. At the very least worth a try...I mean it has NO WHEAT or BARELY and made with MILLET...give it a try!

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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 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 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 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 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 dsa7783
3.02/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I really had no idea what to expect with this one here... All I can say is that this certainly does not qualify as an American Amber... To be quite frank, I don't know what style I would label this brew...
"Ale made from Sorghum and Millet"... "Brewed without wheat or barley" on the front logo sticker...
Appearance: Clear, light-copper, deep golden hue...
Smell: Fruity and effervescent...
Taste: Light, heavy on the fruit notes... More malt with slight hops... Candied citrus, lemons, and green apples...
Light mouthfeel...
Can't say I'd drink too many of these in a single setting...

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Photo of supercolter
3.05/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So this is an interesting beer if nothing else. Appearance is lackluster. No stand out features, no head or lacing. A nice orange color.
Smell is almost none existent, a bit of malt and fruity notes.
Taste is a bit more pronounced, some dark fruity notes.
Mouthfeel average for the style.
Drinkability is ok, but one was enough.

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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 hwwty4
3.78/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to RblWitACoz for this one (and thanks to my wife for letting me drink one).

Poured a 16oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This beer pours an orangey, reddish amber with just a slight bit of head that disappears quickly. The aroma is interesting. Vinegar and sour apples come out with just a bit sweet malt at the tail. The taste is sour/sweet combination. It tastes more like a really dry cider than beer. It surprises me how sour it actually is. Really interesting. The mouthfeel is light and crisp. It's interesting. I really appreciate, having a gluten intolerant wife, that an established beer brewery thought it important enough to try out an recipe like this. It gives some options to the gluten free crowd. With that being said, I don't know if I could drink more than 1 at a sitting.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.38/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy amber color with sparse white head. No lacing to speak of.

Smell is a strange sweet-sour combination. At first I thought it was skunked, but then realized that this must be how it is supposed to smell.

Taste is also a bit strange. A stong sweet taste initially, foloowed by a bit of tartness , followed by a bit of a bite (alcohol?0 The beer did improve as the glass warmed.

Also left a strange taste in the mouth. I am not sure it I really liked it or not.

A very unique beer. Thats the best I can say.

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Photo of Drew966
3.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shakparo (Fire-Brewed African Style-Ale) pours a hazy orange with an off white head from a brown sixteen ounce bottle. The aroma is spicy and clove like. The flavor also is very clove like and there are fruit/banana like flavors too. The body is very light. Not a hefe weiss, but has some similar flavors, but certainly not spot on to one. Worth a try.

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Photo of zook74
3.78/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's really tough to judge this beer by traditional standards simply because it's a huge departure from any kind of "norm" we may have in mind, so let me preface this review by saying that I really do enjoy this beer.

This beer drinks much more like a sake than it does a beer. Reasonable enough since it's not brewed from any traditional grains, but rather from sorghum and millet.

Definitely interesting. I picked up a single bottle to try and liked it enoughto pick up a four pack the next time I was out so could enjoy it again and also so that I could share it with the wifey.

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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 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 brdc
3.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small capped bottle poured into a pint.

Slightly hazy golden brew with a decent white head, average retention.
Aroma is unexpectedly nice, quite fruity, spicy, reminiscent of some wine coolers. Different.
Easy going and refreshing, fruity, nicely carbonated, with multiple fruity notes.
This is an interesting "extreme" beer, quite light and refreshing. Not a great beer but an interesting alternative, I might even revisit during summer. Better than expected.

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Photo of Pauly2X
3.23/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Very cloudy with pulpish looking stuff floating in it. The head was reminiscent of diet coke, very fizzy and faded fast.

S- Hints of fruit, very wine like.

T- My taste buds are scrambling and yelling "what is that?" A mellow sweet/sour dryness dominates the palate with a slight fruity taste up front. It appears as though the yeast is the driving force in the flavor profile of this beer.

M- Full boddied with a nice dry finish.

D- Considering just how unique this beer is I'll have to give it annother look.

If you are looking for something different this is a must try. This is also a great example of an Extreme Beer thats less than 6.0%abv and not a "hop bomb". Big props to Sprecher for going out on a limb.

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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 botham
3.28/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pint bottle poured into a nonic pint. pours an amber color with light orange highlights, and one finger of white, fizzy head that dissipates within a few seconds.

aroma is lightly sweet, and rather fruity. fruit notes include a sharp grape and plum, with undertones of an earthy aroma, possibly a touch of coffee mixed in as well. quite intriguing.

taste is full of fruit esters up front, with the same grape and plum, aided by notes of apple and a slightly sour taste. reminiscent of a belgian dubbel, without the body.

mouthfeel is mildly tart, with a medium body and a bit of bite from carbonation. could be a bit heavier.

drinkability is mediocre. this brew is missing something major, namely the barley. this could be considered as a quite weak wine, and it might get by. never the less, a decent experimental brew by sprecher. this one is worth a shot if one is looking for a curve ball.

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