The featured beer painting for today is of Shiner Holiday Cheer by Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. World famous for the Shiner Bock Beer, this is a special brewery, making finely crafted beer in the heart of Texas. I think its Ruby Redbird Summer seasonal is my favorite, and this is the first time I’ve tried the Holiday Cheer. It’s a very interesting winter seasonal. When most people think of winter brews, they expect Bock and Double Bock beers – rich, dark lagers that the Germans have traditionally served for generations. Ironically, Bock is the style that Spoetzl puts out as its flagship offering, so its winter seasonal had to be something with a bit more. Officially, this beer is a dunkelweizen, or dark wheat ale, with pecans and peaches (as well as natural flavoring), which seems fitting for Texas. In Alaska the flagship seasonal is brewed with Spruce tips, and I’m sure if Alaska had anything like fruit, or nuts growing in the winter, we would add it to beer as well.
Seasonal beers are always my favorite, because they are unique, and are only available for a limited time. I think many beer seekers are driven by the same motives. Of course, everyone loves great beer that is available year-round, like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, or Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter. Consistency seems to be a huge desirable trait in a flagship beer, but seasonal beers allow breweries to flex their creative muscles. I always eagerly await the release of Celebration ale every year, and when Jubelale comes out, I am as happy as a 12 year old in a candy shop. It wouldn’t be the same, though, if I could buy these types of beer all year long. It would no longer be special, like living in Hawaii all year long, instead of visiting for two weeks.
Cheers to Spoetzl’s Shiner Holiday Cheer! A beer that is sure to bring you happiness on the holiday! I hope Spoetzl keeps up the good work, and never stops making finely crafted ales and lagers!