Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shiner Smokehaus and BBQ

Upon first trying Shiner Smokehaus, I speculated that "this may be the perfect beer to drink with BBQ." But until now, this had only been speculation on my part – the only barbecue joint I've hit this summer is Uncle Billy's Brew & Que, and I always buy their house brews when I'm there. (And though they stock other Texas beers, I'm not sure if they have Smokehaus.)

So today, before this summer seasonal brew goes away, I decided I better jump on it. I ran over to Mann's Smokehouse for lunch, which despite being only two miles from my house, I'd never patronized. I decided it was about time, considering the glowing reviews I'd heard from the Chronicle, Texas Monthly, and Bobnoxious.

I tried to create the perfect setting. After I grabbed the brisket plate to go (and some blackberry cobbler), I ran home, fired up some Willie on the iPod, and poured myself a Smokehaus into a frosty mug (yeah, I know, I'm normally against frozen mugs, but that rules gets waived when it's 105 outside).

And you know what? I was absolutely right. The mesquite smoke of the Smokehaus perfectly complemented the mesquite-smoked meat. I was in heaven. Best lunch I've had in a while. Mann's does good work — the brisket was only the teeny tiniest bit tough, by which I just mean it took a knife to cut it, not that it was actually chewy. On a 10 scale, I'd give it a 9. Delicious tomatoey sauce, and sides of crunchy fried okra and delicate, buttery, mashed potatoes. And blackberry cobbler for dessert. I'm definitely taking the whole family back there.

Spoetzl, I certainly hope you aggressively marketed Smokehaus to BBQ restaurants; if not, you missed a big opportunity.

If I'd been thinking more clearly, I would have snapped a picture of the BBQ plate before I ate it. But I was lusting so badly for meat and beer by the time I got my food home that I just wolfed it down. I'm afraid all you get is this snapshot of the aftermath:

15 comments:

Beer Retard said...

We get some Shiner stuff out here, but we asked and were told we can't get the damn Smokehaus. Really wanted to try that beer. Stupid distributors...

Anonymous said...

Glad u liked the Smokehaus... I tried some earlier this summer (sans briosket - maybe that was the problem) and it was so bad I threw the remaining five bottles out. Seriously. It was like drinking Liquid Smoke.

Steve said...

There definitely seems to have been different batches of this beer with varying strengths of smoke flavour. I bought a sixpack shortly after it came out and it was almost impossible to detect any smoke flavour in it whatsoever. I've since had it on tap and it was definitely noticeable, but not strong. And, like Anonymous above, others have complained that it tasted liked liquid smoke. They smoked the malt themselves at the brewery, so it sounds like they need to work on getting a more consistent level across batches.

Jeffrey said...

I may have to try another six pack. The one I tried was very subtle in flavor. It didn't taste anything like liquid smoke.

Lee said...

Steve, I agree. The first batch I tried was light on the smoke, I've had others where it was pronounced. That happens with microbrewers – their quality control isn't as consistent as the big boys.

Of course, the big boys make theirs consistently crappy.

Beer Of The Day said...

Shiner's no microbrew.

And like many beers, I think it depends on what you've eaten or had before trying this one. I find it unbelievable that Shiner has such poor quality control that the smoke flavor varies so much from batch to batch.

Another vote for liquid smoke here.

http://dailybeerjournal.blogspot.com/2009/06/spoetzel-brewerys-shiner-smokehouse.html

Steve said...

I had a bottle of it with bbq to try and coax a little flavour out of it but still got no smoke. I still have a couple of bottles left that I'd like to compare with someone who said their bottle tastes like liquid smoke.

War Horse said...

It's s pretty decent brew. Of course they had the strength of Shiner 99 to build it on, which I'm sure helped out a ton in developing this brew. Overall I like it. I've drank a few solo, but I've found that it goes best with at least some type of food. Heck, Smokehaus will even fancy up a burger.

Lee said...

Beer of the Day: Well okay, "craft brewer" then, if microbrewer doesn't sit well with you. While they are certainly a regional power, they can't be described as a major brewer. In terms of sales, however well they may be doing, they're still nowhere near the league of AnhueserMiller or CoorsBev or whatever the major companies have conglomerated into.

Greg said...

Drop by Mann's for lunch on a Friday sometime. They give away free homemade ice cream with every plate. Not sure how that would go with Shiner Smokehaus, but still...

Lee said...

You know, Greg, that was the one flaw in my otherwise perfectly executed plan: I forgot to swing by the IGA Minimax and grab some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla to go with the cobbler.

And I'm a longtime proponent of ice cream and beer. Back when I lived at 34th & Guadalupe, I used to go over to Amy's Ice Creams and then take it across the street into the Austin Outhouse to hear a band. People thought I was a freak. Then, one day, I walked into Amy's and saw the Guinness ice cream. Two birds with one stone! When I took it over to the Outhouse and told people what I was eating, they said "no way!"

Beer Of The Day said...

Any beer that my brother can get in NYC isn't micro...

Nobody is as big as BMC, and never will be. They're not the measuring stick for what is micro, and what is craft.

Craft is closer, but only because it's so broad. Anyway, glad you liked it. I'd gladly give you the rest of mine.

Lee said...

I accept!

Bob said...

My beermonger up here in MD only has Shiner Bock & Hefe. Too bad, the Smokehouse sounds good. So does the BBQ.

Lee said...

Mmm, I just had some more Mann's. But I confess this time I washed it down with a Big Red instead of beer.