Sometimes We Just Stay Home and Drink #23: Shiner (Spoetzl) Homespun Cream Ale
Date: June 22 , 2019 —
The Story— We continue our presentation of the handful of the more that 100 cream ales we’ve tasted that we’d like to taste again. This one was a surprise for us. Shiner used to be a cute hard-to-find Texas brewery that was a remnant of the German settlement of some of that state. We’ve been to Spoetzl in Shiner and were impressed with the commitment to quality even in a brewery that had its toe squarely inside the mass market tent.
The Cream Ale is clearly not one of the original German recipes that the Shiner folks brag about, but it’s a fine addition to a lineup that fits the brewery’s American home. State laws make labeling in Texas is an exercise in misdirection. Pierre Celis (who singlehandedly rescued the Wit style from obscurity and set the standard with his original Hoegaarden brewery) loved Texas, but railed against state laws that required him to label ales “bock”.
The folks at Shiner — typically for a German brewery– give the name of the town to the beers and the name of the company and the family name as the name of the brewery.
The Beer– It’s an ale, but it drinks like a German Helles — lots of pale 2 row with a crisp and effective balancing tang. Easy to drink, but not easy to brew since any flaw will scream from the well balanced and easy drinking sessionable beer.
Value — Very good. It’s a quality beer priced to compete with the big boys.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
Sometimes we just stay home and drink beer — hundreds of them over the course of the year as we hunt for a new favorite. The searching for the beer of the day never stops, so for a while, there will be fewer travel-oriented posts and just some to-the-point descriptions of beers we’ve enjoyed.
We’re often asked to share our tasting notes on over 33,000 beers; this blog is in answer to those requests. Not all our notes, though. The great beer writer Michael Jackson admirably followed the Thumper Rule, and we’ll try to do the same. (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”) All the beers we post are from the top half of our ratings and most are from the top quarter. Of greater value, we think, are the stories behind the beers, and we try to give you enough about the brewery, the style and the places to find great beer to help you on your own beer journeys. At CulturAle Press we try to write books and publish posts that will help you “Drink Well and Travel Safely.”