Holiday guest blog kindly provided by Danielle Bourguet! Thanks Danielle!!!
Foreword: Not being a literary charmer or word smith, I will attempt to entertain you as a guest blogger with juxtapositions related to the beer of subject and an emulation of the linking style of the author.
After catching up on this blog and avoiding a fairly significant decision, I was inspired to get a six pack after my bar method class this evening. Spoetzl Brewery is based in none other than, “Sveden?” you say, incorrect, Shiner, Texas. “Shiner Holiday Cheer” is the brewery’s seasonal brew. Many of you may have imbibed a beer of the Shiner legacy, with its unassuming label of non-metallic colors, reminiscent 50’s fonts, and English language and moderate price. My last Shiner experience was with their summer ale, which was brewed with ruby red grapefruit and ginger. Bizarre indeed.
I know nothing about Shiner, Texas, and chances are, neither do you, but the label has holly and stars on it. Holly, plus what I’m assuming are sunny and moderate Shiner December days seem unnatural, but let’s go with it. This seasonal is brewed with (unseasonable) peaches and pecans. While peaches are always great in concept, experience has proven them to be expensive and mealy in December, but what the hell. For technical purposes it is characterized as a Bavarian-style dark wheat (nope, no noun after that) on the neck label, an ale on the front label, and an old world dunkelweizen on the back label. Editing fail or conflicting win!
As you can see above, the color is darker than any beer I ever imagine brewed with fruit. It has a fruity peach/apple aroma with only a late hint of malt reminding you that it is indeed a beer, not a party punch served with a soup ladle. The carbonation is less than soda or any other bud-light-type beer i.e. if you drank it quickly your eyes would not water. Upon your first sip you are hit with a light and sweet peach flavor, next reminded that it is indeed a beer with some maltiness, and it finishes with a pleasantly mercurial bitter note. This is a stretch, but I may have earlier tasted some pecan flavor in the aftertaste, but 7/8 of the way through any sensation of that has vanished with the development of an incredible thirst. Assuming its high sugar content brings this on, combined with the heavier fruit flavor, I will conclude that this is one of those beers that people will say, “I can only drink one of them.” That being said, I applaud Spoetzl for not flavoring their holiday seasonal with cinnamon, firewood, reindeer, smoke, coriander, Santa, nutmeg or other cliché things. Peach might be a bit strange, but the beer is too heavy for a summer ale. Personally, I’d have two with a glass of water.
Afterword: Beer in a wine glass is a rarity for me, but I selected it as the only way to follow my empty-the-refrigerator-before-leaving-for-vacation meal of half a can of refried beans topped with cabbage and green enchilada sauce.