I blog primarily over at "geosciblog" (http://geosciblog.blogspot.com), I am doing this one for fun. It is inspired by 30+ years of beer can collecting and having tried more than 3,000 different American beers during that time. “. . . And beer was drunk with reverence, as it ought to be.” — G. K. Chesterton

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Mystery is Over...Shiner 97 is on the Market

Shiner 97 is a Bohemian-style Schwarzbier (black lager), that has received some decent reviews from contributors to the Beer Advocate.

I haven't found it here in my hometown, just yet, but if I get the time, I will trundle down the road to Doraville, to Tower Liquors, where they allow the purchase of single bottles, so I can try several new varieties at one time. I am not sure if I have had the Shiner Kolsch, yet, if it is different from their Summer Stock.

I was hoping for perhaps a Doppelbock or something like that for this anniversary beer. Maybe that will be Shiner 98.

Here is a Beer Advocate listing of the various Spoetzl brands. I am not sure if I have had the Honey Wheat and I know I haven't had the Dunkelweizen.

When I used to commute between El Paso and Atlanta, I often took the slightly longer southern route so as to be able to stop off at the Spoetzl Brewery and visit the hospitality room and pick up some fresh beer. As this was before it was purchased by Gambrinus Corp., it didn't have the distribution that it now has.

One of the draft packages they tried in late 1980 was a "beer ball", a plastic sphere with a little over 2 gallons. I picked up a Bock beer ball on my way back to El Paso after Christmas vacation. In the summer of 1981, I carried a pony keg of Shiner Lager (now Shiner Blonde) back to Atlanta to my friends there. I bought a trash can to keep the keg cold in my pickup camper and I ended up spending more money on ice than I did on the beer. Then I had to haul the empty keg back to Shiner and that gave me the excuse to pick up a little more beer to carry back to El Paso.

So I have had a 25+ year relationship with the beers of the Spoetzl Brewing Co. Maybe someday I will get the chance to go visit the brewery again.
Hear some comments about Shiner 98 straight from the brewamster at Spoetzl:
Hi, I'm a student in Atlanta and writing a story about the 100th Anniversary of Shiner. Could I ask you a question over email? My address is sybilfletch at hotmail.com.
Thanks so much!
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