Spoetzl has a couple of new beers out right now: Shiner 102 Double Wheat, the latest edition in their annual anniversary series, and Shiner Spring Dortmunder.
Well, okay, the Spring isn't really new – it's just a repackaging of Fröst. Remember that, the winter seasonal from last year? As I noted then, I thought it was strange to market Fröst as a winter beer, as it just wasn't heavy enough, so they smartly decided to re-market it as a spring seasonal.
My great weakness in trying to write about beer is describing the flavors. I just don't have the descriptive facility that some reviewers have, and I really have no idea how to describe these beers, except to say that they both taste similar to one another, which makes it puzzling why they'd be released at the same time.
Okay, they're not exactly alike — I think 102 is definitely the better beer, although I really have no idea what a "double wheat" is. The label talks about the “bright beer" style, and yes, bright does seem to describe this flavor, if that makes sense. It is maltier, sweeter, and a bit more flavorful than the Dortmunder. The Dortmunder just doesn’t have as much going on. My tongue gets more excited with the 102. I suppose in hot weather the dortumunder might go down a little easier, like a light beer. Dortmunder has a nice balance of hops and malt, slightly on the maltier side.
You know what the 102 really reminds me of? Shiner 99, the Helles lager from three years ago. I really wish I could have one of those right now to compare.
They're both pretty good beers, although I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to get either of them. But offer one to me, and I'll take it.