Review Date 12/24/2010 Last Updated 12/19/2013
I just love Christmas. The lights, the music, the food, the outrageous festive spirit that permeates all aspects of our lives at this, the most wonderful time of the year. Were I asked what my very favorite facet of the holiday season is, however, would you be surprised if I said beer? I didn't think you would be. And why shouldn't beer be at the top of the list? Brewers have been concocting special holiday ales and lagers for centuries, and the list today is more expansive then ever.
I, for one, am always cheerful upon discovering a new one. So you can imgine my delight at trying Shiner Holiday Cheer, the new seasonal offering from Texas' Spoetzel Brewery. Actually, this beer was first launched a few years ago, but only made it to the Atlanta area this holiday season. And rest assured, the fine folks who are best known for Shiner Bock have crafted a fine little holiday treat here.
Shiner Holiday Cheer is a German-style dunkelweizen, or dark wheat ale, at base. In the spirit of the holidays, however, the beer has been livened up a bit with the addition of Texas peaches and roasted pecans. The beer has an average alcohol content of 5.4% by volume, so you can enjoy a few bottles without too much harm. Sounds so good we'll jump right into a glass without further ado.
Shiner Holiday Cheer pours to a bright mahogany color with a thick, creamy head formation and a soft malty, very fruity nose. The palate is crisp from the wheat and has some lightly chocolaty, toasty nutty malt going on like a good dunkelweizen should, although the clove and banana from the yeast is lacking. That might make sense here, though, since it might detract from the subtle pecan nuttiness and more pronounced peach fruit flavors. Those make this beer a lot of fun and add some bright holiday cheer, almost like a slice of holiday fruitcake in a glass.
The beer finishes a bit sweet, and could use a bit more hops to balance. Overall, though, I like Shiner Holiday Cheer. It's a pleasant sipping brew, and while not something I could probably drink more than one of in a sitting, I like the bright fruity flavors that add a ray of sunshine to a cold winter's eve. Average in price at $7.99 a six-pack, Shiner Holiday Cheer is worth a try.
Update: 12/19/2013: Enjoyed a mug of this delightfully different and refreshing brew tonight at Taco Mac. Love the luscious fruity peach in the nose and palate, and the light nuttiness of the Texas pecans. This beer really is a bright and fruity delight for the cold, short winter days and cold, long winter nights. At $4.50 for 20 ounces of draft holiday refreshment? You cannot go wrong here folks.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.