Beer Man is a weekly profile of beers from across the country and around the world.
This week: Shiner 777 India Pale Lager
Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, Texas
First, 777 India Pale Lager had the fluffiest head I’ve ever come across in a bottled APA or APL. It sat an inch above the glass without any liquid dripping down the sides of the glass. It did eventually recede, leaving sticky lacing.
The initial aroma was of mellow pine and grapefruit. Not overly resinous or citrusy; but not dull, either. The attractive light copper-orange color provided a medium caramel malt taste, with some wood overtones from the use of oak staves. There was hop bitterness, but restrained.
The lager influence showed up in a drier, crisper body and mouthfeel than a typical ale in the same style. All in all, a very enjoyable example and while its 7% ABV may place it as stronger than a session beer, it drinks like one.
Shiner has wide distribution in the U.S.; its Beer Finder link is here.
I wrote about a couple of impressive Goose Island bourbon barrel-aged beers two weeks ago: a porter and a blueberry-almond Northwoods imperial stout.
I mentioned at the time I would include more information on the Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) line, since most of them are being released Friday. These include the original Brand Stout, Barleywine, the Northwoods, Proprietor’s (inspired by Bananas Foster), Coffee and a Reserve Brand, the latter being aged in 11-year-old Knob Creek bourbon barrels.
The original still stands up well — balanced with the typical imperial stout and bourbon flavors, along with a cherry background. I reviewed it last year and found it overly sweet, but that was not the case this year. It was moderately sweet, in line with most imperial stouts.
The Reserve stout differs from the original mostly in that the Knob Creek bourbon notes are more pronounced and there was more char in the flavor, resulting in a nice background smokiness. This beer will only be available in Chicago and Kentucky outlets. I was not able to review the other Brand Stouts being released.
Goose Island has wide national distribution, but these specialty beers will not last long. I have heard for years that lines a block or more long occur at liquor stores in Chicago the day after Thanksgiving solely for a chance to buy the BCBS beers. Goose Island has a Beer Finder link on its homepage.
Many beers are available only regionally. Check the brewer's website, which often contains information on product availability by mail. Contact Todd Haefer at email@example.com. To read previous Beer Man columns, click here.