9/2/20: The Spoetzl Brewery's Shiner Oktoberfest

3:35 PM

We're finally nearing the end of summer. Weird as the season's been, and, man, it's been super weird, I'll be glad to see it gone.

What better way to spirit this awful, hot season away than to usher in Oktoberfest season on the blog? I can't think of one either! So, today we have the first Oktoberfest beer (of five!) that I'll be discussing:  Spoetzl's Shiner Oktoberfest. Let's get to it.

Shiner beer is brewed in Shiner, TX's Spoetzl Brewery. Kosmos Spoetzl first opened the brewery 1909. Over a century later, beer is still flowing out of the historic Texas brewery--not even prohibition was able to squelch it. Be sure to visit the Shiner Brewery page for all the information you could want on the people behind today's beer.

Shiner Oktoberfest is a Märzen that rings in at 5.7% ABV. It's brewed with Hallertau Tradition and, according to it's official page, is best enjoyed cold. My bottle further states that the lager's brewed with caramel and Munich malt and that, in addition to the Hallertau, the folks at Spoetzl used Hersbrucker hops in the beer. I'll let you know that you can find a sixer of this for $9, making it the least-expensive Märzen I've encountered this year.

I mainly get biscuit, honey, and caramel on the nose. If I dig a little deeper, I find decent amount of hops, which serve to ground the bouquet from soaring into the sweet heavens. There's some smoky aspect here, too, whose source I can't quite pinpoint. On the whole, it's a bundle of incredibly appealing aromatics that make me think: "Okay, yeah, this is definitely an Oktoberfest." Purrl seems to enjoy the bouquet as much as me, seeing as how she gave my bottle twenty-five whiffs (a new record high score from her!).

That sweetness I picked up on in the nose is tempered in Oktoberfest's flavor profile in a similar manner. Sure, I'm finding the same caramel, biscuit, and honey (and brown sugar) on my tongue, but it's reined in. Not by the hops--I mean, they're here, but they're far from prevalent. No, it's something else. Maybe expert craftsmanship? I don't know, but I support whatever magic those Spoetzl folk used here. Way back in the finish I find an abundance of hops, which helps to fuel the desire for another pull.

This Oktoberfest has a frothy mouthfeel. Exactly what you want from this style of beer. It's refreshing and decidedly crushable. Really, this Oktoberfest has pretty much near everything that you'd want from this style.

Shiner Oktoberfest's webpage (linked above) suggests that you have a hot pretzel with the lager. Maybe that's why I'm craving pretzels right now? 

My favorite pretzels in Cincinnati come from a pub in my old neighborhood. Three bucks would nab you a giant pretzel and a little container of cheese. My roommates and I would head up there every once in a while and treat ourselves to the pretzels (and entrées and drinks, of course). Sometimes the place would be packed. Other times, we'd be some of the only people present. Regardless, we'd have a great time and find good conversation between our food and drinks.

You know, I wasn't sure what I'd think of Spoetzl's entry into the Oktoberfest canon. I can now say, honestly, that it's great. 9.0/10 great. You most likely won't find a less expensive Märzen of this caliber on the market this year, so I can't recommend enough that you get a sixer of this if you find it in the wild.

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