A Drive Across the Country to Learn Beers by the Region
As a writer and journalist, we all go through that time when you just don’t have work. For me, that time came in early 2012. When you reach that point, it’s all about what you are going to do about it. You can sob, pout, complain, search for work, what have you.
As for me, it was a no brainer. I decided to go on a cross-country road trip to blow the money I don’t have in search for tastes of the regions throughout this massive country.
Over the course of 11 blogs here on DME’s Daily Drink, I’ll break down my thoughts of the six packs of beer I got from five different regions (Northwest, Midwest, East Coast, South and Southwest) amassing 11 states. In our last stop, we made our lone trip to the South of the country, visiting the Bayou State of Louisiana to try a state-specific pale ale. In this entry, we’ll continue on to our tweener state amidst the South and Southwest part of the country, Texas. This week’s blog will focus on Shiner Beers – not one, but the whole Family Reunion of beers.
Of course, for many of us, the Shiner Bock option is in every liquor store we visit. I wasn’t on a mission to find a beer that we can get nationwide. However, when I stopped through the Lone Star State, I found myself drawn to Shiner Beers and their selection of brews that I’ve never laid my eyes on.
Personally, after drinking one ale after another throughout this entire trip, I figure I take a step to the lager side of things and get refreshed. After all, these are some of the hottest states I’ll be going through. Shiner was able to hook with up with six different options – all lagers – in their Family Reunion six pack. Featured in the Family Reunion sixer are Shiner’s Bock, Black Lager, Blonde, Hefeweizen, Ryes and Shine and Kosmos.
We all know of the Shiner flagship beer, Shiner Bock. It was a great start to my run through the six pack – and yes, I did have them all in one sitting to get a feel for the full Spoetzl Brewery variety of lagers.
Moving on from the Shiner Bock, I snagged the Hefeweizen. Typically, with the hef beer, I’m put off from the smell and taste, i.e., I’m not a big fan. For me, when I smell and taste a hefeweizen, I get this bubble gum aroma and flavor that turns me off completely. While the Shiner Hefeweizen had that same bubble gum aroma, the mouth was arguably the most enjoyable hefeweizen I have ever flowed down the gullet.
Shiner Blonde was your typical golden lager, comparable to the macro institutions of American lagers, but with a little more care for the drinker and less for the bottom line figures. Ryes and Shine is a rye lager that was extremely similar – to my taste buds – to that of the Shiner Bock, but with the addition of rye, giving it a wee bit of a twist to the Bock.
Black Lager and Kosmos were my favorite selections of Family Reunion. There was a certain uniqueness to each of them. Simply put, the black lager had a quality to it that put itself apart from the other lighter lagers in the bunch. The addition of the black malts in the brew certainly lent a quality that would have allowed me to drink three, four or 12 more in an evening. Meanwhile, the Kosmos, a dedication to the man who started Spoetzl Brewery and the Shiner Beers, is a dry-hopped lager that has the most character. With a semi-floral aroma and pleasant mouth, the Kosmos is a sure bet for a Shiner Beers favorite.
If you’re in the South and making your way through Texas, stop through Shiner and head to the Spoetzl Brewery. They have a variety worth sampling for sure. You can find the brewery on John Hybner Way in Shiner, Texas.
With the tweener state of Texas now in the rearview mirror, we make the final stop in the cross-country trip, our last of the Southwest venture. Next up on the cross-country joyride to beer heaven is the Grand Canyon state: Arizona.
Like it? Hate it? Love it? Let me know. I’m sure you’ll be pleased though.