Everyone gave me the same two bits of advice for things to do on my recent trip to West Texas: "Order one of those thousand-ounce steaks," and "have some Shiner Bock."
Although I managed to avoid the first (not easy, in a land where menus read: "Beef. And a few other things."), I decided I should probably have a go at the second. And so I did--twice, in fact; once on draft, and once from a bottle.
My opinion? While die-hard Texans (you know who you are) will probably consider this blasphemy, the verdict on Shiner Bock is: "meh." I really don't see what all the fuss is about. I mean, it's not bad; compared to your generic macro, it's much more flavorful. But I wouldn't rate it as particularly anything special.
Some of Shiner Brewing's other lineup, on the other hand, is quite nice. In particular, I enjoyed the two bottles of Black Lager I had. I didn't get a chance to try the Rauchbier (a smoked Helles), but I wouldn't hesitate to do so, if and when the opportunity presents itself.
In other news, this past weekend was Lochmere's Baronial Birthday. I had several things in bottle and on tap, and was pleased to sample the offerings of a couple of other brewers. But for that, you'll have to wait for my next post.