A Glass of Friday – Shiner Black Lager by Spoetzl Brewery

Word is that the Spoetzl Brewery, maker of the Shiner line of beers, took some medals at this little beer fest we call the Great American Beer Festival.  Wish I could’ve been there.  That implies that I wasn’t there.  That implication is utterly veracious.

Upon reading that my favorite Texas brewery (for now, since I haven’t really had other Texas beers – what a horrible phrase to have written!  My very knuckles feel cursed after keyboarding such heresy!) won gold medals, I forthwith decided it was time for a series of Friday Glasses featuring the Shiner beers.

That Smell …
It smells like yellow fruit.  No, not lemons.  Nor is it honeydew melons.  No, as Yoda said, “there is another.” Hmmm.  I also sense some light marshmallow-ness.

In Appearance …
It is nicely dark, if not really black, like – no, better stop there else I could get myself into trouble.  Suffice to say it was nebulous with a red dwarf star embedded in its core somewhere.  The head was very light brown and creamy. The creaminess was foreshadowed by the marshmallowy aroma.  This, in turn, foreshadows the texture noted below.

But the Taste …
Hold on, hold on – it tastes creamy!  Honestly, the soft and billowing mouthfeel made me think of fresh cinnamon rolls with fluffy whipped cream-like icing.  Just the mouthfeel, mind you.  I did not taste any kind of cinnamon.  It tasted like burnt 7Up.  It is also athletically smooth, not pudgy.  It’s a beautiful body with a transcendent , slick, carbonated aftertaste.  Whssst & gone, that’s what it was like.

Join Me For A Plate Of …
The Black Lager is perfect with stew. The roared meat and roasted grains are like two Vulcans in a mind meld. Harmonious. It tasted even better with brownies. Yes, you heard it here:  brownies are better than dead cow.

The Conclusion Of The Matter Is …
Black Lager is my favorite of the Shiner beers thus far.  The texture sold me, it was such a southern belle as opposed to an outlaw.

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The Session #70 – The Hyping of the Beer

To publicize or promote, especially by extravasession_logo_all_text_300gant, inflated, or misleading claims.

That’s what I found to describe “hype”.  This month’s beer blogging topic is all about the hyping of beer.   Here are some examples that I thought of regarding beer hype.

  • Budweiser – “king of beers”. Utter marketing hype. No one believes this. Not even the family.
  • Coors – “rocky mountain water.” Whatever.

This kind of hype has nothing to do with the beer; it’s all marketing, of course. Crafters are all about the beer and not the marketing. Does the craft beer world still get beer hype (sounds icky, like a communicable disease)? I guess.

  • Bigfoot from Sierra Nevada is often touted as the “greatest American barley wine.”  It’s Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale with even more hops.  This is like saying Arnold Schwarzenegger is the greatest action hero because he has the most muscles.  Honestly couldn’t taste anything but Cascade.
  • Anything from Dogfish Head. Granted, Calgione is a good brewer and his story is textbook for brewers looking to start their own brewery. I dig it; he’s cool and his beers are usually unique. But, seriously, this guy could package his own urine and somehow it would become “the greatest imperial blahblahblah with just a hint of … Earthiness.”  Whereas Sierra Nevada and others seem to just infuse hops into anything, Dogfish seems to triple the malt content of any recipe and toss in something weird from the attic.

There may be other examples, but I live just to the left of the middle of nowhere so I don’t hear of (or get to drink) a huge amount of beers.

Does hype affect our perception? Sure. In fact, if I try a beer that’s been touted as ’the best whatever’ and I just don’t appreciate it , then I feel like an idiot, like I must have missed something.

But then I also feel like an idiot when someone asks why a certain beer I’m drinking is so wonderful and all I can say is, “well, uh, New Belgium (or whoever) makes it.”  I’m doing that right now with Shiner beers. They won medals, I’m drinking up. Well, that and they are from Texas and I’ve got this thing for Texas and frontier history at the moment.

So, anyway,  beer is art, which in turn is a glimpse into the soul.  This glimpse resonates differently in each person. Thus, I don’t think there is any reason to state that any beer is “the best ever.” Everyone experiences it in a different way.

A beer can be cited as a proper example of a style. That makes sense. “This is what a brown ale should taste like,” that kind of thing.  If a properly certified and reputable critic of beer points that out I suppose listening to that particular brand of hype can be forgiven. Then again, that’s what happened with the Shiner beers I am drinking.

I must be missing something, but, whatever, they’re from Texas.

A Glass of Friday – Shiner Marzen-Style Oktoberfest by Spoetzl Brewery

Word is that the Spoetzl Brewery, maker of the Shiner line of beers, took some medals at this little beer fest we call the Great American Beer Festival.  Wish I could’ve been there.  That implies that I wasn’t there.  That implication is utterly veracious.

Upon reading that my favorite Texas brewery (for now, since I haven’t really had other Texas beers – what a horrible phrase to have written!  My very knuckles feel cursed after keyboarding such heresy!) won gold medals, I forthwith decided it was time for a series of Friday Glasses featuring the Shiner beers.

Even though this is November I will be drinking a beer named after two other months, namely March and October.  Livin’ on the edge!

In Appearance …
It be looking like perfection.  It seems that for many years the mainstream image of a beer is a fizzy yellow libation in a mug.  But for Crafters* I believe the image is different.  I think it’s this beer, or, to be more specific, this style of beer.  It’s mango-tango or clementine in color, a beautifully clear orange kind of color.  A slightly off white head sits atop it, like some kind of giant mushroom.  And it’s in a pint glass.  Orange is the new yellow, to corrupt a stupid modern saying.

That Smell …
Did some M&Ms take a dunk in this beer?  And were they loaded on brandy?  And there seems to be a small aroma of, maybe, Roman Meal – I mean, bread.

But The Taste …
Dang, it tastes yellow.  No, more caramelly than yellow.  Does that even make sense?  No.  All right, fine, I got nothing.  I am totally without inspiration right now.  Fine, it’s like the Dallas Cowboys.  I hear people say they are spectacularly talented, just like the judges say this beer is medal worthy.  I want to believe.  I taste hints of greatness within the beer.  There’s a suavity it gains as it warms.  Sometimes it seems mediocre, though.  Unlike with the Cowboys, however, I will trust what the judges of GABF say – this is a good beer, I just ain’t educated enough to dig it yet.  As far as the Cowboys, well, whatever, I still watch cuz I am Texan, but …

Join Me For A Plate Of …
I have no idea.  Sorry.

The Conclusion of the Matter Is …
Will I drink this again?  Duh, of course I will.  Was it worth drinking this time around?  Duh, of course.  Let it warm up before you drink, because, seriously, this drink gets way better the warmer it is.

*A note on the word “crafters.”  You know how Star Trek fans are sometimes called Trekkies?  And the so-called hard-core Trekkies insist that they should be called Trekkers, because, I guess, it sounds more “official” or what-not.  So, using similar logic, I will call craft beer drinkers and enthusiasts “Crafters.”

A Glass of Friday – Shiner Bock by Spoetzl Brewery

Word is that the Spoetzl Brewery, maker of the Shiner line of beers, took some medals at this little beer fest we call the Great American Beer Festival.  Wish I could’ve been there.  That implies that I wasn’t there.  That implication is utterly veracious.

Upon reading that my favorite Texas brewery (for now, since I haven’t really had other Texas beers – what a horrible phrase to have written!  My very knuckles feel cursed after keyboarding such heresy!) won gold medals, I forthwith decided it was time for a series of Friday Glasses featuring the Shiner beers.

Back in August 2011 I wrote about Shiner Bock.  So, while drinking a fresh one I reviewed and updated that post and put it into my Friday Format.  Plus, I added a little content.

Shiner on!

In Appearance ..
“Shiner Bock looks a lot like … Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot … It looks like iced tea as it pours (which is brilliant because, really, Texas is home to the best sweet tea in all the planet).  The head did not last nearly as long.  Not hardly at all, in truth.”  This remains true this time.  But, while it lasted the head was very conversational.  It sounded like Snap, Krackle and Pop.  (You know, Rice Krispies).  (The cereal).

That Smell …
” … [T]here are no hops evident in the aroma.  I am so happy!  I could smell raw grains, but no hops.  There didn’t see to be much else evident in the aroma.”  A little over a year and my smell buds have not altered.  Super.

But The Taste …
“It’s not quite as malty and heavy as other bocks I’ve had.  So, if I go looking for a bock, well, this one isn’t necessarily first on my list.  But, if I want a good beer that complements fried chicken just right, it’ll be Shiner.”

Really?  I actually wrote that Shiner would not be first on my list?  Crazy.  I guess.  Well, yes, it is because I do not have some ethereal list of beers by style that I would pick because that’s weird.  You want to know what else is weird?  I’ll tell you.  I made a comment about fried chicken.  Guess what I had for dinner this night?  Yes, fried chicken.  You must be a genius for having figured that out.  There must be something about Shiner Bock that makes me want chicken.  Sooooo Pavlovian.

Join Me For A Plate Of …
See above.

The Conclusion of the Matter Is …
What a great beer.  It’s going on the Introduce Yourself to Craft Beers With This List list.  It’s a constant, as grand and as down to earth as Texas itself, a brilliant dichotomy of beery stuff.

A Glass of Friday – Shiner Blonde by Spoetzel Brewery

Word is that the Spoetzl Brewery, maker of the Shiner line of beers, took some medals at this little beer fest we call the Great American Beer Festival.  Wish I could’ve been there.  That implies that I wasn’t there.  That implication is utterly veracious.

Upon reading that my favorite Texas brewery (for now, since I haven’t really had other Texas beers – what a horrible phrase to have written!  My very knuckles feel cursed after keyboarding such heresy!) won gold medals, I forthwith decided it was time for a series of Friday Glasses featuring the Shiner beers.

Since my last beer was a British blonde it seemed appropriate that this week I should try a Texan blonde.

In Appearance ..
It’s very fizzy, bubbly, champagne-ish.  The yellow is very bright.  The white collar is foamy and bouncy.  Bright and gorgeous and alluring it is.

That Smell …
Just like you’d expect a Texas blonde – a little earthy, slightly harsh.  It’s grain and hops, to be sure, in an odd conflation.  Honestly it’s not that appealing.  It smells like Boddington’s and other innocuous “pub” ales.  Maybe a tad stale?

But The Taste …
It’s light and watery (or ‘aqueous’ if you prefer the descriptor used upon a time by the snobs over at Craft Beer Radio).   Maybe there’s a bit of sugar in that body.  It’s a non-lagered pilsner without the hops.  It’s not bland, so to speak, but it isn’t overly exciting.  That’s, uh, disappointing.  No one wants a non-exciting blonde.

Join Me For A Plate Of …
Creamy potato soup with ham.

The Conclusion of the Matter Is …
Meh.  I can’t stand that word, not sure why.  But, alas, it was so appropriate I used.  It looks pretty good, it’s a better beer than most mainstream artists – uh, beers, but there’s not a whole lot to it.  It’s a fun diversion.  Move along.