11/26/18: Shiner's Holiday Cheer

5:50 PM

This beer and I go back. During my undergrad (and I guess my the first year of my master's at Ohio University), this was my go-to Christmas ale. Why? Because I was a broke college kid. Most Christmas beers would run $11 or $12 a sixer, but Shiner's Holiday Cheer was only around $9 or $10, which seemed much more appropriate for my budget.

Here's some realtalk: I haven't had this beer since my collegiate days. That means that while, yes, I have technically had this ale before, this is, for all intents and purposes, a blind review. So, please come along with me and let's see if I can still find some holiday cheer in Holiday Cheer.

Shiner is brewed in Shiner, TX, a small town with just over 2,000 residents. It's brewed in the Spoetzl Brewery, which was opened by Kosmos Spoetzl in 1909. Today, the company's brewmaster is Jimmy Mauric, who's held the position since 2005 and has worked for the place since he was seventeen. I've pulled all this information directly from the Brewery section of Shiner's website, which I definitely recommend checking out because it's set up in a unique way that begets exploration.

Holiday Cheer's official page states that the 5.4% ABV dunkelweizen, which has been the company's Christmas seasonal since 2010, is brewed with pecans and peaches. It's a short and sweet writeup about the ale, which I definitely appreciate since so many beers have stories slapped on their labels that seem to rival the length of a Harry Potter book.

My open bottle has a bouquet that's mostly peach. I also pick up on a little yeastiness here, which is not uncommon for a weizen, and the slightest hint of roastiness, but the peach is the most prevalent note here. Holiday Cheer has an uncomplicated nose, which appeals to me. It doesn't appeal to Purrl, however. She gave my bottle two quick whiffs before turning her back on me.

The pecan taste is in the ale's fore, but only for the briefest moment before being overwhelmed by the peachiness of the beer. That weizen yeasty quality is here for a moment as well, lingering below the peach before Holiday Cheer finishes in a wash of, you guessed it, peach.

The stuff's incredibly creamy, which I attribute to the wheat in the beer. It's reminiscent of peaches and cream and works for the ale.

You know, it's been half a decade since Holiday Cheer was a staple of my Christmas season. The second year I was regularly drinking it, Michelle and I picked up a cheap Christmas tree, plastic, of course, at a big box store. We used that tree every year through last year (you can see it in the pictures posted on the blog in previous Christmas posts). It wasn't really nice, but it was ours.

The first year we had it, though, we didn't have many Christmas decorations--really, we just had the tree and a few ornaments to hang on it. So, what I did (mind you, I was still a college kid at the time) was decorate with empty Holiday Cheer sixers. They were all a festive red color then and, when paired with the green of the tree, gave our crummy apartment a Christmasy quality that brought some joy our holiday season.

I'm pleased to say that I still enjoy Holiday Cheer. Shiner's little Christmas ale is far from what you may expect from a beer made for this season. It lacks the heaviness and the spice, but it's still a tasty ale. The peach and the pecan fit the dunkelweizen style very well. For the price, this is a damn fine beer. I'm giving it an 8.0/10. If you're hankering for a Christmasy vibe on a budget, this is a beer you need to grab.

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