When I went to Texas for Christmas vacation, I of course wanted to check out the local beer flare. And in many parts of the state, when it's not one of the Big 3, the two big Texas beers are Lone Star (what one friend in San Antonio called "Texas' Budweiser") and Shiner. I only had one bottle of Lone Star, but I had a fair amount of Shiner, both the flagship Bock (4.4% ABV) and the winter seasonal Holiday Cheer (5.4% ABV). Both beers were very delicious and were highlights of my trip, along with a trip to the Blue Star Brewery and La Tuna for drinks.
It was when I got home that I discovered that Spoetzl, the brewery that makes Shiner, celebrated their 100th anniversary this last year, and they released a special beer to commemorate the event, called, er, 100 Commemorator, a Doppelbock-style lager that Spoetzl notes was used as "liquid bread" by monks fasting during Lent. The anniversary of the "little brewery" in Shiner was one of the many that occurred involving beer, including Guinness' 250th anniversary and Rogue's Sesquicentennial Ale to celebrate Oregon's 150th birthday. Since it was only available for the entirety of 2009, I figured that I should pick one up while I can find them in 2010.
After doing a little research, I discovered that this is the last of the anniversary beers that Spoetzl brewed. They started in 2006 with 97 Bohemian Black Lager, and followed up with 98 Bavarian-Style Amber in 2007 and 99 Munich-Style Helles Lager in 2008. Too bad I didn't try them when they came out, although I lucked out on the 97, which is back for good.
Spoetzl Brewery, so named after first brewmaster Kosmos Spoetzl, was founded in 1909 as the Shiner Brewing Association by German and Czech immigrants in Shiner, Texas, first releasing Shiner Premium that same year. In 1913, they released Shiner Bock, and in 1914 the Association recruited Spoetzl to head up the brewing operation; he ended up buying the brewery the next year. They managed to survive Prohibition by brewing near-beer (and, rumor has it, Shiner Premium for local farmers), and Spoetzl survived until 1950, when he passed away; at that time, his daughter took over and renamed it the K. Spoetzl Brewery. I'm not entirely sure when Shiner expanded out of Texas for the first time, but I do know they expanded to North Texas officially in 1992, so it probably was pretty recent. (Spoetzl Brewery â†’ History)
Here come the stats:
Shiner 100 Commemorator
BREWERY: Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, TX, USA
FIRST BREWED: 2009
BITTERNESS: 17 IBU
FOODS TO PAIR WITH:
The style, bitterness, and ABV come from Shiner's 100 Commemorator website (What's On Tap â†’ 100 Commemorator). The rest will hopefully come as a response to an e-mail I'm going to send to the brewery.
The beer poured a mid-amber color and produced a light tannish foamy head. The aroma was fruity in nature and pleasant to my nose. The beer itself also tasted fruity but also very malty as well, proving the liquid bread reputation this style is known for. The taste also is slightly hoppy and also felt "heavy" and complex, if that makes sense. The aftertaste reminds me of a sweet dark bread, and it was pleasant and non-intrusive.
I snagged one from my usual haunt Booze Bros. in Reno, but if you want to grab one, you better do it soon!