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San Antonio beer tasting

My wife and I are going to be taking a little trip to San Antonio soon to celebrate our one year anniversary in the coming days. We are planning on doing a  number of things while in the city, but I am looking forward to doing two main things; visiting the two brewpubs the city offers and going to  Schlitterbahn Waterpark. While not related at all,I love beer and I love amusement parks. For the past eight years or so I have also run a roller coaster related blog in addition to Brewery Reviewery.

The two brewpubs we are looking at visiting are Freetail Brewing Company and Blue Star Brewing Company. Looking around the internet, both seem like solid brewpubs and I am excited to visit them. I just hope that the town is similar to Portland where public transportation is the perfect designated driver.

One of the most surprising things in my mind is that a well known city like San Antonio should have more beer related things. The do seem to have a number of good beer bars, but I would of thought that they would have more brewpubs or even a production brewery. The city is over one million strong and two brewpubs seems pretty low. I don’t know if it is a southern thing or not, but I could name a dozen or so breweries or brewpubs in the Philadelphia area. Even here in Lubbock, a city of a quarter of a million people, there is one brewpub. Portland has over half a million people and they have a place called the Brewer’s Blocks where there are a handful of brewpubs in those four or so blocks. I really wish I liked Texas more as it is a gold mine waiting to be tapped in terms of breweries or brewpubs.

09-12-04

St. Arnold Brewing Company Texas Wheat

09-12-04My wife has been on a wheat beer kick for a little while now and we saw St. Arnold Texas Wheat at the store last week so we decided to test it out. I’ve heard some good things about St. Arnold Brewing Company so I wasn’t too scared of what I might be drinking. I’ve also been trying to add to my collection of Texas beers since I don’t plan on living here too long.

It twisted off the top to see what awaited me. The first impression I got from the beer was that it was surprisingly clear to be a wheat. Clear to the point that there was almost no haze and you could see though it easily. Not what I expected from a wheat beer what what can I do? It was golden in color with minimal head and looked more like a Pilsner than a wheat.

09-12-03The smells emanating from the glass where sweat, lemon, and some grass. I was kind of expecting all of those but I was also hoping for some wheat/bready smells that just did not happen. On the first taste I had trouble picking up much of the flavor. There were no hops and some lemon on the back. The beer almost tasted stale. All of the bright flavors seemed to have been taken away from it. The mouthfeel was light and washed off of the tongue quickly. The only strange thing about this beer is that it is brewed with a Kölsch yeast.

I don’t have much more to say on the beer. It wasn’t very drinkable; cat piss comes to mind. I just did not enjoy it. My wife did not either nor our friends who we tried to pawn it off on. From what I have read since we bought the beer, it is apparently the worst of their beers. Awesome. (more…)

Shiner Bock Beer Review

I’m going to be moving to Texas this summer and I figured I should try some of the local brew to get an idea of how much homebrewing I will be needing to do. After a bit of research I found that Shiner Bock is the biggest beer down in Texas. With a little help, I was able to get a case of the stuff to give it a proper try.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much. Usually the most mass produced beer in any area tends to be terrible compared to more microbrews. Shiner Bock also comes in twist offs, which didn’t give me a lot of confidence either.

I opened it up and poured it into my glass. It pours a reddish copper with great clarity (as expected in a lager) and a small head. Bocks generally are a bit undercarboninated so I wasn’t super concerned about that. Shiner Bock didn’t have too much of a smell either, it was mainly all malt (as expected with a bock).

The taste was much beer than the smell or look. It was full of malty sweetness that stayed on the tounge for a bit. I didn’t get anything in the hop field when I tried it. My biggest problem was that it was really watered down compared to a typical bock. Shiner Bock came in at 4.4% ABV where a traditional bock generally starts at 6% and goes up from there. If this is the best of Texas, I’m going to be doing a lot of homebrewing. (more…)