Wednesday, February 25, 2009

100 YEARS OF AGGRESSIVE BREWING NEAR THE MEANEST LITTLE TOWN IN THE REPUBLIC


let's get one thing straight here: i am no fan of the shiner brewing company. they make fine beers. okay beers. run-of-the-mill beers. shiner beers serve like turkey franks at a german sausage oktoberfest: third-tier at best. if shiner brews anything worth a fancy goshdarn, in my opinion, it's the HEFEWEIZEN. the gratuitous amount of lemon rind river-bottom sediment, curled on the bottom of the bottle like crusty sands of pure citrus onslaught, are irresistible in the late republic summer. i do like a shiner hefe; in fact, it might be my favorite hefe on the mainstream market. therefore, i might be a shiner fan of the most sour degrees.

i toured the shiner brewery back in june with my dear friends timothy and marcus douglass. they are brothers. it was mark's birthday. ask the man what he wants to celebrate 32 years of living, he says a trip to shiner, texas and a tour of the brewery. great trip. overly impressive brewery. the town of shiner, texas probably holds 27 residents, 1 gas station, 1 baptist church, and a billion angry ghosts. on the edge of town they have the busiest brewery i have ever seen with my own nearsighted eyeballs. they crank enough beer in that one tiny brewery, in that one tiny town, to get the whole state of connecticut buzzing for an entire afternoon. the set up is wicked cool, even if you're not a beer geek. 

plus, they give you nearly all the beer you can drink for free. i can toss my preferences aside for a price like that, especially in these times of a great depression. 

mark and i worked our way through a sixer of SHINER 100 tonight, chatting up old christian metal bands, the glory of guns-n-roses' hey-day, and the violent acquisition of God's Kingdom. for those of you who do not know, because you are not from the republic, shiner releases a new anniversary ale every year to commemorate their reign. 2009 marks the 100 year anniversary of this small town brewery. thus, we here in the republic jointly toast the shiner centennial by trying the new celebration ale.

browned to a deep purple, this ale looks every bit as dark and dry as a classic nutbrown ale; however, the aroma indicates smooth sugary-sweet malts. the first sip screams belhaven scottish ale. settling flavors reveal something five notches less sophisticated than belhaven, something more republic and less scottish, something more testicles-on-a-pick-up-truck-trailer-hitch than secure-in-a-kilt-and-rolling-green-bagpipes. as i drink more SHINER 100, i like it more. mark takes to it naturally. (he lived in gonzales, tejas for several years, what can you expect?) for me, the sweetness mellowed out over time, showcasing a fine nutty malt sensation. the bottle claims that the 100 commemorator "is brewed in the robust classic German 'stark' style." i don't know what the hell that means, but it tastes very much like an attempt at a low alcohol old english style ale rounded out by the likes of a scottish ale wannabe, or something. this 1oo commemorator has identity issues: is it german or texan, english or gonzales, scottish or shittish? who knows? by the end of the night i found myself liking it somewhat. mark took a bottle home. i took a bottle to bed. that says something.

i give SHINER 100 COMMEMORATOR 6 "come and take it" flags out of 10. this is finer than shiner bock, but still not worth the seven bones they demand of me.

14 comments:

  1. I must admit... I will never try this beer. And when I say never, I mean never unless someone shows up on doorstep with it and I have no other drinkable beverages in my ice-house. Speaking of which, I might actually drink Ice House brefore this stuff, not because it is better, but for the sheer novelty of it all.

    Nattie Light--I'll drink it. PBR--Sure. Anything from Shiner? I just don't like all those Texas friends I have (Kev, you wouldn't like these cats) claiming that their beverage is better than, say, every other brew out there just because it is Texan. That's my gripe with Shiner.

    Sorry I didn't discuss flavor profiles. This is all about the marketing, ya'll. And that alone is reason enough for me to pass on Shiner.

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  2. come on man,
    even if they don't say it, every brewery thinks their beer is the best.
    Isn't that what you need to project in order to sell.

    i thought you were a lawyer.

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  3. no, baker, seth's not saying that the brewery is so ga-ga over shiner; he's talking about all the actual citizens of the repulic. they think this stuff is the lost gold of el dorado melted and served in the phallic tube of sam houston's ghost. it's ridic! and it's not good beer! but they love it because it's texas and it has a star on it, sometimes!

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  4. Hamster, I'm counting down the days until you visit KC and we once again anoint the Scott backyard with hoppy belches, the pitter patter of Chihuahua feet, and commit to just one more beer for 4 hours straight.
    This shall grace the build your own 6-packs that will be built for the occasion. Enjoyed the writeup, sir.

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  5. sir scott - i want mojo. i want mojo risin. i want scott homebrew. i want an entire night. thanks in advance. cheers.

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  6. good call.
    but... this isn't an isolated incident. Texans do this about everything from Texas. I'm glad my wife has toned down the defensiveness about this because i would be lying if i said we didn't have a few spats about this exact topic.

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  7. Santa Anna was a son of a bitch. Giving away free land, then trying to run you off of it!? But...does that merit 150 years of arrogance and "knock this big chip of cow shit off my shoulder" attitude from the Texans? I say, if they are so proud of their boring state, they should call up the ghost of Sam Houston and try the independent republic thing again! Shiner...hmmm...no thanks. (i know you aren't a die hard texan hamster, i was directing my distaste at the Shiner brewery...for no particular reason)

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  8. Missouri almost broke up the country trying to be admitted as a slave state...there, see, it feels good to admit your state isn't perfect...maybe a Texan should try it sometime.

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  9. My current state? There is a lot of beer out there, lot of it. I can't be wasting my time on Shiner. Honestly I forgot about Shiner. Life was good until you guys brought it up. Now I gotta think about Shiner. Shiner this, Shiner that. What about all those PA brews I could be thinking about?
    But seriously, I could really REALLY go for a beer right now, even a Shiner.

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  10. Alright, my comment earlier was gravely stereotypical, and what's worse is that i knew it when i wrote it. There are some good, (not swayed by popular belief), Texans out there who like a good brew and would take it over shiner in a heartbeat. i will be drinking one to this group tonight at the 80's dance party at my house. i have already shaved my beard into perhaps one of the scariest motifs of my life. i plan on getting suds in this thing.

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  11. is that what they're calling IT these days?

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  12. there are a lot of good texans. i like texans. they just have a funny commitment to anything texas. i'm arkansan. do you know what people can legitimately say about arkansans? i wish they said we were overly loyal to our beer, but that ain't what they say. i think they say something about our loyalty to family. and not a good loyalty, if you know what i mean.

    (incest - just in case you didn't put that together.)

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  13. Hampster's 2nd favorite homebrewer in MissouriFebruary 28, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    Love the sinner, hate the sin...
    Love the Texan, hate their beer...

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  14. that's what happens when you take away the state lottery.

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