It seems like every region of the country has a beer it’s known for. Unfortunately, these beers aren’t usually considered good, except to the drinkers within the region. Shiner Bock is a great example of this. I tried this beer when I visited Texas after hearing a lot of hype about it, but once I drank I thought I must’ve had a bad beer. After several different attempts at drinking Shiner on tap, from a bottle, and back home in New York out of cans I mailed to myself, I’m certain this is a mediocre beer at best.
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
I poured a 12oz can into a tumbler. It’s not a good sign when the best thing that can be said about a beer is that it has a pretty appearance (and, while we’re on the subject, why I see no correlation between a beer’s color, clarity, etc. and its overall quality – but that’s the subject for another sermon). Shiner Bock looks like thin, sugar-free maple syrup with its clear, mahogany/maroon color. The body is completely tepid and it does not produce much of a head. It fizzles away quickly like flat soda and leaves no lacing on the glass at all.
The aroma is almost non-existent. It doesn’t have that cheap, grainy smell of a macro lager, which is nice but not really a compliment. There is a touch of malty sweetness like a stale Marzen, but otherwise it’s virtually non-aromatic.
I said Shiner Bock has the appearance of a thin, sugar-free maple syrup and it’s not surprising it tastes as such. Up front there is a touch of malt sweetness with extremely diluted toffee and maple flavors. Its body is extremely short with a watery, neutral taste and a touch of macro graininess in the finish.
Not that this beer is repulsive. In fact, it’s difficult to think of another beer that is so overtly bland and yet so tolerable. At the very least it’s clean and refreshing, but the fact the palate is so weak is quite amazing, actually.
With its almost non-carbonated body, and bland, watery palette, Shiner Bock is a cinch to drink. The mouthfeel is thin and clean with no aftertaste at all. It’s easy to slug it down, so it would work well in social situations paired with food as a thirst quencher.
At 4.4% ABV this is rather light for a bock. If you can tolerate mediocrity you can easily throw back an entire six-pack yourself. And since Shiner Bock is about the same price as the BMC brews, you might as well.
I understand why people take pride in their hometown brew, but I have yet to find anyone with any real beer knowledge explain to me why Shiner Bock is a good beer. It’s easy to drink and isn’t repulsive, but I’d rather drink something that is MUCH more appealing.