So I was listening to this interesting story on NPR the other day. You can listen to it, too, if you click the link above. The theme was craft beer; specifically, is the craft beer bubble in danger of bursting anytime soon? According to the story, 3 new craft breweries open every day, and 1 in 8 beers sold today in America is craft beer. Do I think a bust is coming? No I don’t. Having lived through one at the end of the 90s and been in the revolution since the beginning, I’ve always said there is lots more room for growth, and that is still true. 7 of 8 beers sold today are not craft beer, after all.
This made me think of a brewery that is certainly not one of the newer wave amongst the more than 4000 American breweries operating today: Spoetzel Brewery of Shiner, Texas, which dates back to 1909. Still, Spoetzel is adapting to the times and in 2015 rolled out their first IPA: Shiner Wicked Ram IPA.
Shiner says this about Wicked Ram IPA:
The first India Pale Ale in our 106-year history, Wicked Ram IPA combines perfectly balanced floral and citrus flavors with a bold aroma and a crisp, refreshing finish. Brewed with Crystal, Bravo, and Centennial hops, you’ll want to grab this beer by the horns.
Shiner Wicked Ram IPA has an alcohol content of 6% by volume with 55 IBUs. I paid $5 for a full mug at the new Cumberland Taco Mac, a real deal indeed.
That mug of Shiner Wicked Ram IPA arrived a bright ornage color with a thick fluffy head formation and a wonderfully alluring herbal and citrus nose. Taking a sip I got solid caramel malt, citrus grapefruit and grassy hop flavor with a long dry bitterness.
With Wicked Ram IPA, Spoetzel proves they can brew with the best of the young whipper snappers. For me, this is a great English American fusion IPA with a bit of German character (the Crystal hops) thrown in to salute Spoetzel’s heritage. And for $5 a 20-ounce mug, $8.99 a six-pack this beer is easy on the wallet as well.
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.