Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shiner Makes Its Philadelphia Debut

The beer landscape here in the Philadelphia area was radically changed today with the arrival of Shiner Beers out of The historic Spoetzl Brewery located in Shiner, Texas. I just got home from the official launch down at Percy Street BBQ where I had my first taste of Shiner. I'm still in a bit of a food coma so I'll keep this short with the press release that went out earlier today announcing Shiner's arrival to our humble beer market. These guys know what they're doing.

You'll start seeing these fine Lone Star brews on tap and on the shelf starting tomorrow.



May 7, 2013
Philadelphia, PA
Shiner Makes its Philadelphia Debut;
All the way from Texas to you.

You've probably tasted Shiner Bock and the rest of the brewery's beers while traveling out west. It's practically the official state beer of Texas. You wished you could enjoy them at home in Philadelphia, and now you can.Origlio Beverage, a wholesale distribution company of fine beers, ciders and malt based beverages located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, proudly announces its partnership with the Spoetzl Brewery for the distribution of the entire Shiner portfolio. The beers will be available in the metro Philadelphia marketplace on the 8th of May. 

Craft beer is all about genuine authenticity. And it doesn't get anymore authentic than the beers coming out of the Spoetzl Brewery of Shiner, Texas. The brewery celebrated its 100th anniversary about four years ago and it's the oldest independent brewery in the Lone Star State.  The brewery's flagship brand, Shiner Bock, is a smooth-drinking dark lager with a fine malty backbone. Since the 1980s, this beer has developed a fan base all its own that has grown well beyond Texas. This beer and the others in the Spoetzl portfolio are brewed in the German-Czech tradition. One of the original brewmasters from the early 1900s, a German immigrant named Kosmos Spoetzl, was trained in Bavaria and he set the bar for craftsmanship very high.  The brewery's beers have received many awards no doubt by sticking with Spoetzl's authentic brewing methods.

Origlio's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, 
Grant Barrett, is excited about representing Shiner. "Philadelphia is an established craft brew town and our customers know a great beer when they taste it." Shiner offers an interesting variety pack called Family Reunion. This six-pack contains the BockShiner Bohemian Black LagerShiner BlondeShiner HefeweizenShiner Brewer's Pride (a limited edition rotating selection) and Shiner Kosmos Reserve, a hop-jacked lager that's a real tribute to the founding brewer. Two of the brands, Shiner Bock and Bohemian Black Lager, received gold medals at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival. Barrett added, "Shiner also has a summer seasonal called Ruby Redbird that blends craftsmanship with some Texas terroir. It's brewed with Texas Rio Red grapefruit which makes it refreshingly tart. And it gets a touch of heat from natural ginger.  These brands are a really nice addition to our lineup."

Shiner's beers are a taste of Texas grounded in old-world, Bavarian tradition. The Spoetzl Brewery is passionate about beer and there's a taste of Lone Star independence in every drop.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Adventures in Homebrewing: Red RyePA

Judging by the frequency of posts here, it would be reasonable to surmise that I had given up homebrewing and drinking all together but rest assured - that is most definitely not the case. Over the past few months I've brewed a coffee porter with the guys I started brewing with in college and started doing test batches for a beer that I'll be serving at my wedding in the fall. The first batch of that wedding beer actually nabbed second place in the Belgian Pale Ale category at the 2012 Monk Melee. All sorts of exciting beer things have been going on but I just haven't had the time to write any of it down.

Despite the lull in posts, I got an email from someone at Midwest Supplies who had come across my blog and was interested in having me write up my thoughts on one of their brewing ingredients kits. I haven't used a kit since my first couple brews back in college, it's much more fun to put together your own recipe and see what happens. Having said that, a kit like the ones that Midwest Supplies sell offers some confidence to your brew. You can trust that the recipe is tried and true, if your beer comes out tasting like crap you'll know it was your fault basically.

They were kind enough to let me pick any kit that they sold and I had been wanting to do some sort of rye beer for a while now so I opted for their Red RyePA. I was even able to pick my own yeast type so I chose the Wyeast smack-pack which ended up being their Headwaters Ale strain. The kit arrived quickly and safely on my doorstep which was great to come home from work to.

Specialty Grains:
2 oz Chocolate Rye
3 oz Crystal Rye
3 oz Crystal 50-60
4 oz Rye malt
4 oz Flaked Rye

6 lb Gold Liquid Malt Extract

1/2 oz Columbus (60 min)
1/2 oz Columbus (20 min)
1/2 oz Centennial (20 min)
1/2 oz Columbus (10 min)
1/2 oz Centennial (10 min)
1/2 oz Columbus (5 min)
1/2 oz Centennial (5 min)

Included, of course, were very thorough instructions that walked you through their recommended process in relatively simple terms. I followed them closely and imagine they would be pretty easy to stick to even if you were a first time brewer. The brew went smoothly without incident, no boiling over or anything of that sort. My OG reading was a bit lower than I would've hoped (or that they projected) but I've had that issue with a couple of my past brews as well, something to work on. There was some very aggressive fermentation going on in less than 24 hours which is always reassuring to see no matter how often you brew.

I'm pretty anxious to see how this one turns out because if I really like it I might end up basing another wedding beer off of this kit. I'm also just excited to have a rye beer under my belt and most importantly, in my fridge. Look out for a follow up post in a few weeks.