Monday, May 12, 2008

Shiner Hefeweizen Review

Brewery: Spoetzl Brewery | Beer: Shiner Hefeweizen
Style: Hefeweizen | ABV: 5.6%
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

Shiner HefeweizenThe first thing I ever noticed about this beer, back when I was first starting to appreciate great beer, was the bizarre graphic of two men sharing the same head (or is it just one man?). Turn the graphic one way and its a wistful chap reminiscent of Phil Collins in a dirty suit after being dumped. Turn it the other way and he’s happy, but looks much less like Phil Collins. The sad chap is pouring a bottle of beer upwards to the happy one. I guess that’s why he’s sad; not because he was dumped but because gravity stopped working right and stole his beer.

I absolutely loved it, I had to have this beer! True, buying a beer based sheerly on it’s labeling is not a smart move; I’ve learned that the hard way. Luckily for me (and Shiner) this time I was not disappointed, I’ve been a big fan ever since. A few years back, Shiner changed the label design to a different interpretation of the one-headed-men concept, this time more stippled with the happy guy wearing a polo shirt.

While visiting my local supermarket a couple weeks back, I noticed a new Shiner design. Once I reached the six-pack my heart sunk as I realized that it was Hefeweizen and the weird little graphic was gone for good. The new design is very bold and colorful and really fits the flavor profile of the beer. But all of this is about a label, who cares, the important stuff is inside.

Shiner Hefeweizen is brewed in the Bavarian wheat beer style that is Hefeweizen. The beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized and brewed with Texas clover honey, and both lemon and orange peels. This makes the beer very unique, especially when compared to the other offerings I can find at local gas stations. Hefeweizen has earned many awards, including a gold medal at the 2002 World Beer Cup for specialty honey lager or ale.

Appearance: Pleasantly cloudy straw to pale orange body with a decent off-white dimpled head that dissipates rather quickly leaving a decent amount of lacing (Note: The sunset light in the above picture makes the beer appear more yellow that it appears in normal light)

Aroma: Sour citrus dominates, with some faint sweetness on top of a subtlety hoppy and grainy body

Taste: Very crisp and tart with huge citrus notes (that linger well into the aftertaste) with slight hints of the added honey - the hops and wheat are very much in the background here

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and a bit thin, but that’s what you are looking for in a summer’s day thirst quencher like this

Drinkability: This a great beer for Texas summers: goes down easy, refreshes and has a moderate ABV so you can keep drinking all afternoon

Verdict: Sour citrus flavors absolutely dominate this beer, so if you aren’t a fan of those flavors you probably aren’t going to like Shiner Hefeweizen much. If you happen to like sour citrus flavors though, you’re going to find a great refreshing beer that is quite affordable (depending on where you live). I’ve always have a fondness for this beer, and although I will always miss the creepy guy(s) on the label, the beer still doesn’t disappoint me.

: A


Anonymous said...

Shiner Hefe is like drinking golden sunshine.

Eustace said...

Have you ever tried it half-frozen in a mug? Excellent. The first time was by accident. I put it in the freezer to get it just a bit colder and forgot about it. When I remembered and went back it was half-frozen and delightful. I call it my beer slushy. It only seems to work this well with this beer, though, and I think it's because of the strong citrus flavor. Seriously, you should try it. I told the good people at the Spoetzl brewery about it and they looked at me like I was nuts. LOL