Friday, February 12, 2010

Give Your Enemy a Shiner

...and then buy them a beer. Spoetzl Brewery seems to come out with a new variety of Shiner beer every month or so, yet I never give them much attention. Maybe it is because they let me down on my first try of one of their beers, Shiner Bock. It was long ago and not so far away, I think at the Giant at San Mateo and Osuna, that I purchased my first Spoetzl product. I saw Shiner Bock in the cooler, and was happy because I was really into bocks at the time. Of course, the bocks I was into were pretty strong ones, such as Dock St. Illuminator and Ayinger Celebrator, but I was not prepared for the watery letdown that was Shiner Bock. You'd think that a bock beer available at a convenience store would have clued me in a little bit, but clues usually need to punch me in the eye before I become aware. So back to present day, and Spoetzl has released their Winter beer, Shiner Frost, which is of the Dortmunder style. I think of a Dortmunder as the Amber Ale style of Germany. Not from the color, as it is a yellow lager, but from its "in the middle" kind of taste. Not as malty as a Munich Helles and not as hoppy as a Bohemian Pils, but stronger in alcohol than either of those beers, something to please the rugged coal miners in the area where the beer originates. That may have been fine for the time, but most Winter Warmers are of a more hearty breed these days, so I'm not sure that the 5.6% ABV Dortmunder fits the bill here. But it has to be better than that first Shiner Bock.

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