Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shiner Holiday Cheer by the Spoetzl Brewery

Well guys, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and with the holidays coming at us like a shotgun of dread and disappointment, I felt it was a good time to get back into the swing of things on Intoxico. As the days get longer, and the nights colder, intoxication is a much needed facilitator to spending more time with extended family, and thus more time with everybody’s friend, alcohol. You can’t have the Christmas Spirit without the Spirit!

To begin the season, and to get back into the habit of review intoxicants, I will begin with one of the first seasonal beers to hit the shelves here in Texas since Oktoberfest left town, Shiner’s Holiday Cheer by our friends at the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX.

This beer, augmented with pecans and peaches during the brewing process per its label, pours out a clear, light amber color that seems tinted towards the red side of the spectrum. The light brown head starts out frothy and impressive, but quickly dissipates to only the faint memory of co2 buildup.

The aroma of the freshly poured beer is more fruit forward than of any malts or hops, reminiscent of strawberry soda or syrup.

As the nose suggested, the first sip is very sweet, with aggressive peach and strawberry like flavoring overpowering any generic beer or ale flavors. On the backend a not very pleasant nuttiness develops on the back of an acrid bitterness that leaves a bit much to be desired.

While I do like the brewers in Shiner to explore new brewing frontiers, I feel they have some issues with taking this enthusiasm and turning it into an enjoyable, well crafted beer.  They seem more interested in generating a marketing tool than brewing a good and unique, well-crafted product.


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