I first enjoyed Shiner Bock in its home state of Texas. I was on a vacation with my mother, sister, grandmother and aunt and we were in a restaurant in San Antonio. The waiter suggested Shiner Bock to us as a “Texas beer” and we all tried it. And enjoyed it. Shiner Bock, at that time, was only available in Texas and it was “the beer” at most restaurants.
Additionally, as per my mother, grandmother and aunt, it was the only thing that made the non-drivers able to make it through the interminable hours driving across the Texas desert. There was a reason I was only on the San Antonio part of their trip.
Shiner expanded its brewery about two years after that and I’ve been able to enjoy their Bock whenever now. It’s a good beer: tasty, not too hoppy, with a nice carbonation and flavour. Per the Shiner site and write-ups, the Bock is their “flagship” for their family of brews and if you haven’t had it, do. Good beer.
[ad#longpost]Recently, I came upon a six-pack of Shiner called the Family Reunion. It has one of the Bock, a Bohemian Black Lager, a Hefeweizen, a Blonde, their Kosmos Reserve (a lager) and their Brewer’s Pride (an amazing old-world pilsner). All, except the Brewer’s Pride, should be available in good beer stores in six-packs. I’ve never seen any Shiner labels at my local growler store but I live in hope. The Shiner in bottle versus the Shiner on tap is significant. Which, except for PBR, is true for most beers.
(As an FYI for my tastings, I tasted all of these separately, on different days, and tasted them without any food. Most I drank straight from the bottle instead of pouring. Yeah, yeah, yeah–I’m already hearing Serv bitching that I should always pour. What evs.)
The Bohemian Black Lager is a schwarzbier and is close to, but not quite, like a stout. I didn’t taste any chocolate or coffee (as with most stouts) but a deep, wonderful malty flavour. This beer sticks with you, even though the ALC was only around 5%. It’s got a heavy mouth feel, like many stouts, but doesn’t have a great deal of after-taste or tongue-coat. The flavour is what made me think of a stout, though. It’s like a meal–pretty tasty and fills you up. I could see drinking this as the weather gets cooler.
Shiner’s Hefeweizen is a wheat beer. A good, solid wheat beer. What else do you say, if you like wheat beers? There’s no aftertaste, there’s very little hop and it’s crisp and clean. I drank it straight from the bottle without a citrus (orange) slice for the first half and with the slice for the last half. As always, with a wheat beer, I enjoy the undertone of flavour I get with adding the citrus. I’m going to look for this one–and the Blonde–next summer in their own six packs.
The Shiner Blonde was a light beer–not light in calories but light in colour. It’s tasty and very very summery. There’s a bit of a sweet aftertaste but nothing that detracts you from the beer. You aren’t drinking a cider and you won’t think that you’re drinking a “frou-frou” beer but it’s light across the board: light colour, light flavour and light lingering taste. I’m looking forward to it next summer, especially as it was only 4.4%.
FYI, there’s a Shiner Blonde Light that is only 99 calories, if you can find it. I haven’t been able toâ€¦but good luck, if you like Light (not light) beer.
The Shiner Kosmos Reserve was my least favorite out of this six-pack, but note that a “least fav” of a Shiner puts it, usually, way above any mass-produced Bud, Mich, etc. This one was the hoppiest of the six, which is why I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other five–but it’s a dry-hopped method so a bit less hoppy than a Terrapin or Sweetwater. Additionally, there’s a sweetness that justâ€¦is odd with the hoppiness. I drank this one over about twenty minutes and the flavour did not improve as the beer got warmer. Also, as a “reserve” I was expecting more flavour, more alcohol (5% on this one), moreâ€¦somethingâ€¦and I didn’t get it. Not sure why this is given a “reserve” label but it’s not special enough to buy again.
Brewer’s Pride, Czech 101, was with my family pack and I’m happy it was. THIS should be the “reserve” beer. Even with a low alcohol content (4.6%), it is a very tasty and enjoyable beer. GREAT for summer but it’s not available in six packs. The hop is only tasted as an aftertaste and it’s a classic pilsner: crisp and clean and nice bubbles. Not too much flavour but a very enjoyable sip and would have loved to have had another. There’s a malty-citrusy taste throughout with a nice mouth-feel–not to heavy and clean after that hit of hop aftertaste.
That’s the Shiner Family Pack Review. I hope you can find and enjoy and I’d love to hear your thoughts. For now, enjoy and have a merry tipple.
Image. Editors’s Note: It’s not the exact pack, but Leigh drank it before taking a picture. So.