Spoetzl Shiner 96January 1, 2006 Shiner, TX
Spoetzl Brewery, Inc.
Available: AR, AZ, CA, IA, MD, MN, OH, OK, TX, WA, WI, WY
Comment: Shiner 96 a limited–edition, authentic Märzen-style brew. The commemorative ale is a tribute to the brewery’s 96-year history and reminiscent of the craft beers that first poured out of the “little brewery” in 1909. Shiner 96 marks the countdown to the Spoetzl Brewery’s centennial in 2009 and will be the first of five commemorative brews to be released. The new brew will be sold in draught, six-packs and a special 24-bottle case housed in a limited-edition wooden crate.
Alcohol (wt.): 4.4
Alcohol (vol.): 5.5%
Original Gravity: 13
Final Gravity: n/a
Malts used: Munich, 6 Row, caramel
Hops used: Brewer’s Gold, Mt. Hood
I drank Shiner in ’69 and mixed it with tomato juice. I prefer the Shiner 96, a pale mahogany brew with delicate effervescence and a healthy creamy head served with (and not in) a spicy tomato chili. This Märzen-style ale lacks the complexity of the best Bavarian beers of this style—but is still deliciously malty, crisp and clean. We added thick garlic toast and a salad of organic avocado with balsamic vinegar, finished with local apples and farmhouse chévre for a Texas-sized feast.
- Charles Finkel
Good dense head and attractive, bright copper color. Lightly clean vanilla-like, “cream toffee” malt on the nose. Light bodied for the style, but some malty smoothness. Becomes biscuity toward finish. “Crisp and distinctive,” says the back-label. Perhaps the sharpness and citrus of American hops. The style, and this gentle interpretation, might have been better served by German or Czech. The latter would have further reminded me of this brewery’s origins. “Ale?” Mandatory misinformation. Blame the state liquor board.
- Michael Jackson
It seems appropriate that Shiner would begin the countdown toward a big celebration in 2009 this way, choosing to brew a Märzen-inspired beer in time to serve at its annual Bocktoberfest. The latter’s a Texas version of a traditional event, and this beer takes its own approach to the Oktoberfest beer style. Quite drinkable with expected, if sweet, notes of caramel and some toasted malt—but then an ale fruitiness emerges where you’d expect rich Munich or Vienna malts to take over.
- Stan Hieronymus
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.
Editor at Realbeer.com, a professional journalist for 40 years and amateur brewer for 15, Hieronymus is the author of four beer books, including Brew Like a Monk.
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