Friday, December 05, 2008

Shiner Holiday Cheer


I was certain I would hate this beer.

I still had some residual annoyance toward Spoetzl Brewing for canceling one of my very favorite summer beers, Shiner Kolsch, when I received word that they were also killing off a winter beer I liked, Shiner Dunkelweizen. Their replacement as their winter seasonal, they announced, would be a new dunkelweizen flavored with peaches and pecans named Holiday Cheer.

Great, I thought, just what the world needs — another crappy fruit beer.

But you know what? I'm man enough to admit when I was wrong. I've tried it. And tried it again. And again. This stuff is great.

At least, that's what I think. You may completely disagree. Thus far, I have yet to find anyone who is apathetic toward this beer. People either react like me with a "wow," or they do like my wife and make a yuck face.

On the one hand, I feel like I should have known I would like this. Peaches are my very favorite fruit, especially Texas Hill Country peaches. (Of course, I love raspberries and blueberries too, but that doesn't mean many a good beer hasn't been ruined by them.) And I love Texas pecans, although the peach flavor here completely overwhelms any taste of the pecan.

On the other hand, I ought to hate this. On those rare occasions that I do like a fruit beer, it's when the flavor is subtle. Holiday Cheer's peach is not restrained — it smacks your tastebuds pretty hard. You won't have to search your palate too hard to find it.

Eh, I'm not going to overthink it. The bottom line is, I find this peachy flavor addictive, and it keeps showing up in my beer fridge. I'm not sure it's a taste that immediately says "Christmas" (or whatever winter holiday you prefer) but it's definitely says Texas, and I'm good with that.

16 comments:

Jeffrey said...

I think you're right. People either like it or hate it. I like it, my friend hates it.

Michael said...

I had the same reservations as well. I'm not a fruity beer kind of guy but now Im having to go out of my way to search for it.

assurbanipaul said...

This is turning into the most controversial Texas beer ever.

Seems to be some batch inconsistencies coming out of Shiner. The beers I've had were subtle, with a balance of light peach/nutty flavors, but others describe it as "sickly peach syrup" -- which is not at all what I had.

a beer sort of girl said...

I love divisive beers. :) But do not love peach, so I think I'll skip this one.

Po said...

Beer-- liquid bread, earthy, malty, hoppy, umami, the flavors of harvest.

Desert and Fru-Fru mixed drinks-- peaches, blueberries, lemon, coconut, agave

Nary the twain should meet.

Po said...

Make that "dessert".

Catherine said...

Just saw your post and i thought that this beer was fabulous! I'm generally a wine drinker, but I do love a cold beer every once in a while and this was by far one of my favorites of Shiner! great holiday movie night beer!

Lyssa said...

We had a keg of this at a recent party and everyone LOVED it. The beer guys at Spec's wouldn't even stop commenting on how great it was when we bought it. Definitely worth a shot, even if you're not into fruity beers.

pete in nb said...

We have had this beer at several recent Holiday occasions. I really like it, and my wife, who NEVER drinks anything but Miller Lite, also really likes it.

Anonymous said...

Im drinking one right now. I must say, its definitely not even close to the same league as what is probably the best winter beer ever- Saint Arnolds Christmas Ale. It is ok, but I really think that Shiner needs to step up their hop content...

Lee said...

Let the record show that "anonymous" above is the first testimony I've seen describing this beer as just "okay." Like I said, everyone else I've encountered either thought it was great or awful.

Anonymous said...

I agree... the 'peach' flavor tended to overwhelm the other promises of pecans and good ol' Shiner taste. I bought a twelve and the first 4-5 went quickly and then I found myself reaching past them for a Bock. I pawned a few off on friends with mixed reviews. The last couple just went down over a period of two weeks. It was fun for the holidays, but probably wouldn't purchase again, until next xmas when I forget all that I have reported. Gregg in Texas

James said...

I wanna drink this right now. In this summer season i need this beer daily.

Anonymous said...

Put me in the "Shoot man, this is great" category. I suggest this beer goes into a glass for better maximization of the aroma and flavor. I think its a great tasting brew. And drink it slowly, it aint budweiser or Coors. Appreciate a good brew like a good cigar.

Anonymous said...

Do you know where I can get some in Austin? Thanks :)

Lee said...

Anonymous: Shouldn't be too hard to find in Austin. HEB, Central Market, Spec's. Most places that sell Shiner will have it.