Shiner Bock

Shiner Bock CapShiner Bock is the most famous of the beers in the Shiner family. The beers are named for the town in Texas in which they are brewed. The K. Spoetzl Brewery has been brewing beers in Shiner, Texas since 1909. It’s amazing that such a small town can house such a large brewery.

I’m sad to say that a bit of a disaster hit the last two beers from my Shiner Family Reunion pack – the Shiner Bock and the Shiner 101. I looked in the fridge this evening to find them (as well as every other beer that was in there) missing. I charged the culprit to pick up replacements. It’s for this reason that the beer pictured is 24 oz. Unfortunately, the 101 could not be replaced in this way, and I don’t believe I will be able to review it. This is very disappointing, since by my rules, the cap from the Shiner 101 can’t be added to my table because I did not personally drink the beer.

Shiner Bock Bottle

The first sip I had of this beer went down the wrong tube and caused me a great amount of pain, so instead, I’ll talk about the second. Honestly, there wasn’t much to it. Like the other beers I’ve had from this brewery, Shiner Bock seemed quite thin. What flavor there is seems pleasant. The beer goes down smooth, and after 24 oz, packs a little kick. Shiner Bock isn’t bad, but it’s not a beer that deserves to be the center of your attention.

Would I buy Shiner Bock again? Probably. It’s a beer that’s easy to find, and it’s a nice alternative if you want something a little darker than a Budweiser or a MGD. However, I’d put it on about the same level as those beers. Should you buy Shiner Bock? Well, you probably already have. Shiner Bock is a fairly well-known beer. If you haven’t had it yet, you should if only to know whether you’d personally want it again.

I give this beer 3/5 caps.

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Shiner Kosmos Reserve

Shiner Kosmos CapThere are some beers in this Shiner Family Reunion mixed pack that I’ve never heard of. I have no idea what I’m getting into with this Shiner Kosmos Reserve. It’s described as being an American pale lager. That sounds promising.

I do have to say, if I haven’t mentioned it in a post before, that I’m enjoying these caps and bottle art. I feel like I’m drinking beer from a hundred years ago. Although I haven’t been terribly impressed with Shiner’s offerings so far, I will very much enjoy having these caps as part of my table.

Shiner Kosmos Bottle

The first thing I noticed pouring this beer was that it had almost no head, yet the first sip was very carbonated, almost seltzer-like. The flavor is very much overshadowed by this. You can really only evaluate the beer’s flavor on the aftertaste. It has a pleasant flavor, but I wish it was more present in the drinking. However, this is a great beer if you like burping.

Would I buy this beer again? I don’t think so. I like the name, and I’d like to say, “I’m drinking Kosmos,” when asked what I was having, but I’m not sure I’d enjoy myself while doing that. But, burping is fun (I’m easily amused), so I kind of want to chug a six pack of this stuff and see if I explode. Should you buy this beer? I wouldn’t push you to do it, but I wouldn’t try to talk you out of it. I would, however, try to get you to pour three of them into a beer bong and slam them into your stomach for laughs.

I give this beer a solid 3/5 caps.

Shiner Blonde

Shiner Blonde CapTamara, (my wife) wanted to make some beer bread a few nights ago, so she asked if I had anything that would work for it. Lighter beers work better for beer bread than darker beers, so I had to check. Since my Shiner Family Reunion pack offered its beers in pairs, I figured the Shiner Blonde would work well for her. It also gave me a good excuse to pour one into a glass so that she could confirm that it was the beer she wanted to bake with. Of course, I get to drink that one.

Blonde ales are very pretty beers. Shiny and golden, they look like sunshine in a glass. Shiner’s Blonde was just as pretty as any blonde ale I’ve ever seen. I’m really hoping this one impresses me more than the other Shiner family members I’ve tried so far.

Shiner Blonde Bottle

Just by looking at it, I expected this beer to be sweet. It was slightly sweet as it flowed across the tongue, but that quickly gave way to a pleasantly sharp swallow. In fact, I’d say the best qualities of this beer are the way it plays in the mouth rather than the flavor. Flavor-wise, this beer is unobtrusive and mild. At the moment, I kind of wish its twin wasn’t being made into bread. I’d like to drink another. (And with that thought, my wife came and took the last ¼ of what was in my glass to add to her recipe.)

As bread, this beer was very good. It helped to make a much lighter, fluffier bread than usual. Tamara and I enjoy watching Betty’s Kitchen on YouTube. Betty’s a sweet lady who’s more entertaining than she probably intends to be, and her recipes are really good. Tamara was inspired by this recipe, but made some adjustment as she makes her own beer bread often. If you’re a fan of beer, you’ll be a fan of beer bread whether made with cheese and chives or without.

Would I drink this beer again? Sure. I’d like to get some more right now, in fact. This beer offers a really nice way to wind down from a busy day. It would be nice to sit out on the porch with it. Should you try this beer? If you can find Shiner Blonde on its own, then yes. At the moment, the mixed pack is 1 for 3 though, so I can’t recommend that investment yet. Hopefully the last three beers in the mix will be fantastic.

As a drinking beer, I give this one 4/5 caps.

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

Shiner Bohemian CapToday, I’m sticking with the Shiner Family Reunion mixed pack. This member of the Shiner family is their Shiner Bohemian Black Lager. Black lagers are very popular, and it seems like I’ve had quite a few of them in my refrigerator lately.

Pouring this beer was very promising. It was a lovely dark beer with an almost perfect head. The first sip was hopeful as well, as it delivered the dark flavors one desires from a black lager. However, it began to thin very quickly. Shiner must be proud of the water they use because they definitely use a lot of it. The last swallow was almost flavorless.Shiner Bohemian Bottle

Would I drink this beer again? No. I wouldn’t avoid the beer if it was laying around, but I wouldn’t make the effort to seek it out. Should you try this beer? No. Spend a bit more money and get a black lager that’s a bit more full-bodied. It wasn’t vile or anything like that, but it was disappointing.

I give this beer a low 3/5 caps.

Shiner Hefeweizen

Shiner Hefeweizen CapSince starting this blog, I’ve become a great fan of the mixed beer cases you can get at the grocery store. I picked up the Shiner Family Reunion mixed pack from my local Albertson’s the other day. It’s a twelve pack with six different brews. There’s two of each, so I can write about one and share the other with a family member of my own.

Shiner is best known for Shiner Bock. Although their bock is included in the family reunion, I’ve been eager to try the Shiner Hefeweizen since having the PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale. That put me in the mood for one of these sweet and sour brews, and I decided to start with the Shiner Hefeweizen.

Shiner Hefeweizen Bottle

As I poured this beer, I noticed it to be a bit clearer than the hefeweizens I’m familiar with. Tasting it proved to be a bit thin too. I’m not sure that this is even a hefeweizen. It tastes much more like any other beer than I would expect. I think my expectations prejudiced me against this beer. It still had a hint of that medicinal quality you’d expect from a hefeweizen, but none of the power that makes them appealing. If you’re looking for a good hefeweizen, don’t look to Shiner.

Would I buy this beer again? No. I expect something more from a hefeweizen than Shiner was able to give. I do hope to find a good hefeweizen in my beer adventure. If you know of any to recommend, please do. Should you try this beer? I’d say no. If you want to try a hefeweizen or are a fan of them, Shiner is not a good representation of this beer.

I give this beer 2/5 caps.

PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale

PranQster BSGA CapMy wife went to World Market to pick up some of her favorite coffee syrups. World market also has a small liquor section. Here, they offer a unique selection of beers that you often don’t find at the other stores. They also offer the chance to make a mixed six-pack. My wife, not being a fan of beers herself, grabbed a very random mix of beers for me.

Among the beers she brought me was the PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale. Belgian style golden ales can be fermented up to three times. They’re also typically strong in their alcohol content reaching up to 9%. The PranQster offering claimed to be only 7.6%, but this was still enough to leave me slightly light-headed after just one.

PranQster BSGA Bottle

This bright yellow beer looked like a hefeweizen. It smelled like a hefeweizen. And, it tasted very similar to a hefeweizen. In fact, hefeweizen and Belgian wheat beers are often described as “cousins.” This is a sweet beer, but as hefeweizens often have a mildly medicinal taste, that is absent in this brew. PranQster offers a beer with good flavor, not too strong, and very pleasing. I wasn’t expecting a beer like this when I sat to write this blog, and I usually need to be in a specific mood to appreciate a beer like this. It turns out I’m in such a mood.

Will I buy this beer again? Yes, if I can find it. It was a bit of a fluke that I was able to have this beer. I hope I will come across it again some day. Should you drink this beer? If you’re a fan of hefeweizen, you’ll like this. If you’ve never had a hefeweizen, this might be a good beer to try first. The Belgian style wheat beer is milder than a hefeweizen, and it might be a bit easier to introduce yourself to.

I give this beer 4/5 caps.