Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beereview: Shiner Bock

First off, sorry I missed my post last week. We were vacationing at Lake Tahoe and although I got to try some great west coast beers, I just couldn't find the time to write up a proper review. Among my favorites were Lagunitas IPA, Black Butte Porter and anything by New Belgium. Hopefully someday I'll get back there to try all the great craft brew we just can't get here in Jersey!

Speaking of traveling, the beer I have for you today comes from the best little alehouse in Texas. To truly appreciate the regional powerhouse that is Shiner Bock, a little historical comparison is in order between some of Texas' oldest institutions.

The Best Little Alehouse in Texas The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Actual Name Spoetzl Brewery Chicken Ranch
Dates of Operation 1909 - Present 1905 - 1973
Main Product Bock Style Ales and Lagers Prostitutes, Chickens, Eggs

So what can we learn from all this? Beer can even outlast the world's oldest profession (while enduring prohibition, the great depression, the civil war, two world wars and Marvin Zindler.) Without having to resort to chicken salad sandwiches and sex (probably,) Spoetzl Brewery has remained economically viable even through prohibition, while the chicken ranch was legislated out of existence. As an added bonus, unlike most restaurants in Texas I doubt the brewery ever showed up in Marvin's "Rat and Roach Report" for "Sliiiime in the Ice Machine!"

Bock is typically a dark, malty, lightly hopped ale originally brewed in Germany.Shiner Bock is a Texas institution and has a lot of regional pride surrounding it. Does Shiner do traditional bock justice? Is this just more "it's bigger in Texas" hype? Let's see!

Spoetzl Brewery - Shiner Bock

This ale pours a clear dark amber color which is almost brown. Once poured, the head sticks around for about as much time as it takes me to blink but the beer remains very fizzy and active for some time. The aroma is vaguely bitter grapefruit and slightly sweet (but not at all thick.) It doesn't have a very full aroma and I detected a slight peachy sourness and a yeasty smell (but not like bread.)

The initial flavor of this beer is sweet and slightly watery. The light hoppy flavor is not unpleasant but is hardly there. If somebody hates hops they could probably still drink this beer. There's not a lot more to say about this other than it finishes sweet and light. It's sort of like the "soda of beers."

Overall if you're a fan of American style lager and drink your beer ice cold this is a pretty refreshing and light beer. It's great when you're washing down an over sized hamburger or some Texas toast but it's definitely mainstream. If you're looking for something complex in this style, they probably make some interesting seasonal brews. If you're just looking for something light, cool, and refreshing to have with dinner, this beer is for you.

Have you tried anything else by Spoetzl? Do you prefer a European Bock? Let me know in the comments below!

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