#47: Shiner Bock: Spoetzel Brewery, Shiner, Texas
State: Texas, a large and proud former nation which you are strongly discouraged from messing with.
Brewery: Spoetzl Brewery, founded in 1909 it is the largest and oldest brewery in Texas. Its just a piece out east from San Anton and is one of the largest craft breweries in the country.
Beer: Shiner Bock, which accounts for three out of four Spoetzel beers and is called the company's flagship. Lone Star, "the National Beer of Texas," is owned by Los Angeles-based Pabst, which is itself owned by Greek businessman C. Dean Metropoulos and was not considered.
Difficulty of obtaining in Oregon: Moderate. Shiner was sold in Oregon until recently, when Spoetzel pulled out of Oregon and Idaho. It doesn't seem to be available in Vancouver or Longview, but if you drive up to Seattle you can pick up a sixer at Fred Meyer.
Aww, hell, this ain't too pretty. Like most good folks, I try to oblige Texans' sense of national pride by not messin' with 'em. But twist me up like a possum's tail if Shiner Bock didn't end up near the bottom of our blind taste test of the flagship beer from all 50 states. Damn it all.
I'll be the bur under a mule's saddle if our tasters didn't find the stuff "boring" and "weak tea." Finishing 47 out of 50? Son, I tell ya Texas ain't got it so bad since Santa Anna rode home. Why, this is the worst beating a leader from the state of Texas has taken since the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election. They got squished like a skeeter jumping from a rodeo clown onto an armadillo on a highway through El Paso on a hot day.
Listen up son, I'm saying Shiner stunk it up. Lost, and lost bad.
Shoot, Shiner Bock ain't even a bock. And it ain't much of a beer, neither, judging by its scores. I don't mind Shiner's beers myself, 'specially the sweet and mealy Black Lager, but it didn't impress the 12 kindly folks who judged it in our blind contest. Maybe we should have subbed in Live Oak Hefeweizen, the best beer from the state, but it ain't available in bottles and I s'pose lotsa folks would have complained if we picked a beer no one outside Austin drinks. Pearl in a can, son, that's what a real Texan drinks. Mighta done a sight better. Hell, couldn'ta done much worse.
Well, boys, at least y'all beat up on Louisiana. Don't do that much playing football these days. Take what ya can get, I guess.
By the way, I had the privilege of discussing the President of Beers project with Beer Goddess Lisa Morrison on her weekly show Beer OClock Radio. The show airs at 3:10 pm on Saturdays at Portland's KXL 101FM and KXL.com. Here's an MP3 of the appearance: