Shiner, TX has had its own homegrown Bavarian-style beer since 1909, and Spoetzl, the last of the independent Texas breweries, has been distributing Shiner labels farther and farther outside the Lone Star State ever since. Shiner Bock — the brewery's most popular, year-round offering — is a tasty lager, and at 4.4% alcohol and 13 IBUs it lands in the Goldilocks zone between watery domestics and heavier craft brews.
Shiner has celebrated Oktoberfest with a Märzen-style ale since 2005, with a recipe calling for two-row Munich and Caramel malts along with German-grown Hallertau Tradition and Hersbrucker hops. At 5.7% alcohol and 18 IBUs, Shiner Oktoberfest is richer and sweeter than the Bock, but not so much as to make it less of a crowdpleaser.
Sold in both aluminium cans and brown bottles with an orange and gold label sporting a wide, relaxed Gothic script, Shiner Oktoberfest’s packaging suggests warmth and comfort rather than austere adherence to standards. The beer pours golden brown, with a thin head and some bubbling. A mild caramel scent as you lift the glass suggests the pleasant experience to follow.
The flavor begins slightly sharp, then sweetens on the tongue; we tried the beer out on drinkers on both sides of the hop divide and both those who loathe and love bitters were fine with the flavor. The clean finish seemed glassy, almost grassy to this drinker — no one else at our table seemed to think so, but the cheerful feeling that built as we finished our glasses led everyone to happily acquiesce to the description. As you might expect of a Texas beer, Shiner Oktoberfest paired reasonably well with tacos. Finish your glass before starting chocolate cake, though — sweets are not the best match.
Shiner is distributed widely in most regions of the country now; we’ve seen Oktoberfest already in stores in New York. While this brew isn’t a must-find, it’s a perfectly good beer worth picking up if you come across — if you’re one who finds heavily spiced pumpkin beers to be cloying, Shiner Oktoberfest is definitely a pleasant seasonal alternative.
Photos by Jordan Davis
Guinness Stout is world famous for its creamy, smooth body, and now the brewery is bringing those same attributes to its IPA....read more ›
Just in case you weren't yet tired of pictures of cats on the Internet (and really, nobody is), we have a new Instagram account for you to check out. ...read more ›
Michael McConaughey named his son after his favorite beer, and after nine years, it finally paid off. ...read more ›
This year's Great American Beer Festival was larger and more delicious than ever....read more ›
First, a Harry Potter-themed bar opens up, and now, you can enjoy a Christmas feast in the Great Hall itself. What a time for Potter fans!...read more ›
Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›
Dogfish Head announced today they have sold a 15% stake in the company to a private equity company....read more ›
Make your cocktails shimmer and shine by mixing in some Unicorn Tears. ...read more ›
Big things are happening at Boston Beer Company as proved by founder Jim Koch over the weekend....read more ›
This past weekend saw the 29th Annual Great American Beer Festival come and go. Cheers to all the great beers shared at the festival and congrats to t...read more ›
The Sunland Baobab is one of the world's largest trees. Inside its hollow trunks, patrons can enjoy a drink or two at a specially crafted bar....read more ›
The world's largest commercial beer competition, the Great American Beer Festival, took place over the weekend in Denver....read more ›