Monday, April 26, 2010

Beer Review: Shiner's Kosmos Reserve


Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas holds a special place in my heart.  Shiner Bock was the first beer I purchased legally (and probably first illegally, too).  I loved that it tasted different than most things on the market and it meant a lot to me that it was from my home state.

I found it difficult the first time I moved East, as Shiner beer was not widely available outside of Texas.  Not being able to enjoy Shiner just added to my homesickness.  The Gambrinus Company nows owns the brewery and the beer is sold in almost every state in the US.  My husband and I are able to drink Shiner Bock just about any time we want.

It is harder to find the other styles of Shiner beer, however.  While we were in Texas this weekend, I was able to enjoy a wider selection of Shiner beers, beyond the most popular Bock.  My dad picked up a Shiner Family Pack - a six pack with one bottle each of their active beers: Shiner Bock, Shiner Light, Shiner Blonde, Shiner Hefeweizen, Shiner Bohemian Black Lager, and Shiner Kosmos Reserve.

I believe Shiner Kosmos debuted in 1999, but disappeared for about a decade.  It is named after the very special brewmaster who led the brewery through Prohibition and helped the brand develop a loyal following across Texas.  It is an American Pale Lager and is available only in the mixed 6-packs and 12-packs.

It has a hoppy and flowery flavor with a thin, almost seltzer-like feel.  Its drinkability helps it pair well with food, but I enjoyed it on its own to quench my thirst after the long plane ride.  I recommend drinking it straight out of the bottle, as I did.  Prosit!

If you want to learn more about Shiner beers and the Spoetzl brewery, read the book Shine On by Mike Renfro.

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