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.