Shiner Bock, the National Beer of Texas

Posted: March 2, 2011 in Bock
Tags: , ,

Since I recently spent time in an airport in Houston, I took the opportunity to have a mug of Shiner Bock.  You see, Shiner Bock and I have some history. In beer circles, people talk about their “One Beer,” that one beer they had that made them realize there’s more to beer than Budweizer and it’s clones.  Shiner Bock is my One Beer.  I actually spent college avoiding beer.  I’d go to club 616 in Memphis and dodge frat boys who were all either spilling their cheep beer on me or trying to make out with me and their foul beer breath.  The result was that I wanted no part of the swill they overflowed with.  I decided that margaritas and vodka drinks were much more my style.  That choice served me well for years until I found myself at a party where the only adult beverage available was a keg of Shiner Bock.  The rest is history and Shiner and I have been solid friends ever since.

For those of you not from Texas, I feel some additional background about Shiner Bock is warranted.  It’s made at the little brewery in Shiner, Texas; the Spoetzl Brewery may be the oldest independent brewery in Texas.  Shiner Bock has been made there since 1913, making it one of the older craft beers in the country.  If you go into any bar in Texas, even the real dives, you’ll be able to get a Shiner Bock.  At many bars, it even approaches the market share of the big three.  Shiner Bock is a very important part of Texas culture in a way that I’m not sure people from elsewhere can really understand.

I had my Shiner on tap and served in a mug at Houston Intercontinental Airport.  It pours clear and is a golden brown, the color of strong iced tea.  It had one finger of off-white foam that dissipates quickly without leaving any lacing.  Shiner really doesn’t have much of a nose, there was a bit of a sweet malty scent, but it was pretty faint.  It’s definitely a sweeter beer with a bit of malt and a hint of hops.  It has a smooth mouthfeel, not too watery or too carbonated.

Overall, it’s not a very interesting beer to drink compared to some of the others I’ve been sampling recently, but when the alternative is a Miller Lite it’s definitely a winner.  It’s a great gateway beer for people who are bored by what the big three have to offer.  I’ll continue to drink this when I need a comfortable beer to drink while playing cards or pool when I don’t want to think about my beer.

  1. Scott says:

    My first experience with beer was somewhat like yours. I remember drinking a miller lite when I was a teenager and thinking it tasted exactly like soapy water. I had to force myself to finish it.

    Then some time in college I came accross something called Cellis White. It was made in texas, but sometime in 2000 it was moved out of state. That was my beer for quite a while. When they were getting ready to move I went out and bought as much as I could afford. Recently I came accross some and thought it was awfull. Maybe the recipe changed, or maybe I changed. I would be interested to know what the Beer Chick thinks if she ever comes accross that beer.

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