Posted by: girlvsbeer | January 1, 2011

Back for the New Year.

Due to an overwhelming amount of well…junk…I forced myself to step back from a few commitments.  However things are looking to be a bit calmer…well not so much calm as predictable.

Armed with a new regular schedule I have allowed myself to once again take on the world of beer. I had stopped blogging in the middle of my Shiner kick and that is where I plan to pick it back up.

I can’t even tell you all how amazing the people at Shiner were to me and I was very unhappy with myself for not doing them proper justice. So be expecting some high praise for Shiner, and not just because they have an amazing tour and wonderful people working there but because they really do have fantastic beers.

Happy New Year, give me a call and we’ll go grab a beer.

Posted by: girlvsbeer | August 15, 2010

Shiner Kosmos Reserve.

Shiner Kosmos Reserve.

The original Shiner Kosmos was available in 1999 with a higher alcohol content and a different taste. This re-release is an American Pale Lager style beer available only in Shiner Family Packs, one bottle per six-pack.

Kosmos is brewed with a two row barley malt and triple hopped for enhanced hop flavor and aroma. First, the boiling kettle receives US Mt. Hood and Bavarian Spalter Select hop for crisp bitterness. Second, in a procedure used by Kosmos Spoetzl hot wort is strained through a hopjack containing US liberty whole cone hop flowers, and finally Cascade hops are added as “dry hop” in cold storage for hop flavor.

Shiner Kosmos Reserve is a pale Lager that pours a light Amber orange with kind of yellow tinting and a white head with decent retention and a light lacing after the head dissipates.

Kosmos has a grain type taste and a thin malt taste. It also has some sweet flavors like caramel and something else sweet I couldn’t quite pick out, maybe the malt was sweeter. There is also a light taste of hops. It has kind of a sweet earthy smell as well.

It’s smooth and a decent drink but it’s only available in the family pack. I don’t know if  I’d buy it in a 6-pack regularly but I’d like the option. I think Kosmos is a great beer with something like pasta with red sauce, or a wine sauce. I think the family 6-pack would probably be better if it contained 101.

3 Sparkles!

5% ABV

Posted by: girlvsbeer | July 30, 2010

Shiner 101

Shiner 101

Tex-Czech! Texas has a love affair with all things Czech, from the Czech Stop just North of Waco to the Czech Museum in Houston. With a handful of annual Czech and Slavic festivals, Texas has shown time and time again that if we aren’t Tex-Czech then we’re obsessed. So it makes sense that Texans would make a Czech beer.

For Shiner’s 101st Anniversary, Shiner released Shiner 101, a Czech-style Pilsner. Taking it back to the basics Shiner 101 is brewed with bohemian grown “Hanka” barley, Czech Saaz Hops and water with a reduced mineral content.

Okay there are a few Shiner Beers that I am in love with and in order they are: Hefeweizen, Blonde, Bock, and 101…now don’t get me wrong the others are great too but there is something about these 4 that makes me excited to drink beer.

Poured into my new Shiner 101 Pint glass, 101 is a Czech-style pilsner that pours a deep golden color with a thick creamy white head that leaves a beautiful lacing that breaks up down the glass. 101 has a great grassy hop smell with some grain behind it.

This is a highly drinkable beer, that starts with a slightly sweet taste followed by a perfect slightly bitter hop taste all with a very slight bready taste that is more apparent in the after-taste as it fades leaving a light but nice taste on the tongue.

This is definitely a beer to buy, but though I often say you should keep certain beers in your fridge this is a beer you need to buy with a purpose. If you’re planning a movie night, poker night or if you’re having a dinner with Slavic influences this is what you want around.

If you are on anytime soon you can click over that tells you about all things 101. It even gives you a few Czech phrases to learn.

4.6% ABV

4 Sparkles!!!
-social factor
-Tex-Czech love
– taste

Czech sign on the way to Shiner.

Posted by: girlvsbeer | July 30, 2010

Oktoberfest Label Preview

Posted by: girlvsbeer | July 23, 2010

K. Spoetzl Brewery Tour

Shiner Mosaic Tile

Yesterday I took the K. Spoetzl Brewery, home of Shiner Beers. A fairly short hour and a half drive from Houston and after turning off of I10 a really beautiful drive.

A Czech sign on the way to Shiner.

There is so much I want to relay from my trip from Shiner today that I’ve decided to split it up. Over the next two weeks I will be reviewing all Shiner Beers (leading up to my interview with Jimmy Mauric, Brew Master!!!) that are available to date and sharing everything I wrote/can possibly remember from this amazing day. Though I really suggest you pile a bunch of friends in a car and make the trip, you won’t regret it.

Gift Shop

The tour starts in the gift shop where I was a little surprised to find everything was really reasonably priced. I walked away with Shiner Lip Balm, Coasters and Pint Glasses and I plan on returning soon for the Shiner Pop. 2070 sign and the 100 years of Shiner History.

Bock on Tap = LOVE

Shiner Bock and Beer Tokens.

After grabbing a Bock I spent sometime in the video room where you can view a brief history of the Kosmos Spoetzl and Shiner Beer.

David in the video room.

Also in the Video Room this Sweet Mural…

Mural Part 1

Mural Part 2

We then headed to the Brewery where on the first floor we learned more about the History of Shiner.

Pictures from the Shiner's history.

Our Awesome tour guide Anne Raabe told us so much I wanted to go on every tour for the rest of the day so I could take it all in.
Here are a few fun facts:
-Kosmos always wore his hat tilted to one side, when asked about this he said it was because he kept his recipes in his hat.
-The record holder for longest employed was Joe Green who was employed for 63 years. If you’re doing the math that’s only 38 years out of the 101 years since Shiner was founded in 1909 that Joe Green was not working at the Brewery.
-Spent grains go to local farmers for feed (no alcohol content).
-The Family Pack is hand-packed.
-Everyday has a different schedule on the bottling floor. Shiner creates their schedule based on what orders need to be filled from vendors.

Brewery Flowchart

A great deal of the information that I was trying to process as I was scribbling notes furiously is in fact on this flow chart. What it doesn’t show is the time it takes.

Shiner Science Lab.

Shiner truly is a family company as they say. Greg Hybner who is assistant Brewmaster is the son of John Hybner, the previous Brewmaster above is his wife who works in the Shiner Lab. There were several stories from the day like this, lots of family connections throughout the whole 67 employees.

Mash Kettle

One of our first and most stern warnings of the day was not to touch the copper. Apparently hand prints and the oils in our hands are detrimental to the copper.

Grain Mash you can barely see.


Though pictures are not normally allowed on tours I got special permission to take these for my blog. There was another tour group blocking the way to the floor so I didn’t get pictures of that but needless to say you should go to Shiner and see for yourself, you won’t regret it!

And now for an EXCLUSIVE!!!!!!!!

During my interview with Jimmy Mauric, Brewmaster at Shiner (which will be up soon!) He gave me permission to preview the new label for Oktoberfest!

Though the pictures came out somewhat blurry when I tried to get a close up (stupid iPhone) The very tops says EST. 1909 underneath printed on the shield: Spoetzl Brewery Shiner TX
and on the banner: Nothing Finer Than A Shiner
on the main logo: SHINER Marzen-Style Oktoberfest
underneath oktoberfest is a banner reading: A deliciously festive seasonal ale
on the side is a small diamond reading: fl. 12 oz. Ale
and on the very bottom: crafted with pride at the Spoetzl Brewery-Shiner Tx 77984

This one came out more blurry than the first. Sad Face. But here is what it says: Raise a Stein to Oktoberfest Here in Shiner, Tx (pop. 2070) we’re suckers for tradition. Which is why this classic Oktoberfest brew is made with the highest quality two-row barley, Munich and caramel malts, along with German grown Hallertau Tradition and Hersbrucker hops. It’s our way of honoring our ancestors and the beer they loved to celebrate with. So raise a stien to tradition and enjoy this utterly classic brew. PROIST! Then a government alcohol warning and So Fine In a Stein!

The Neck label reads Shiner 96 and then Shiner Marzen-Style Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest is a re-issue of Shiner’s 1996 anniversary brew. According to Shiner it is “A celebration lager typically brewed in the Spring, stored cold during Summer and served in Autumn. Features all Two-Row Barley with Munich and Caramel Malts for a deep amber color and slightly toasted flavor. Initial rich malty aroma and sweetness with a moderately dry finish. Hop bitterness is also moderate using German grown Hallertau Tradition and Hersbrucker hops.”
ABV: 5.7%
Original Gravity: 13%
Real Degree of Fermentation: 68%
Bitterness: 18 IBU
Color: 12 SRM
Calories: 170/12 fl. oz.
Carbohydrates: 12.9 g/12 fl. oz.

This had to be one of the most exciting days of my life! Everything from their history to a nice man named T-bone in the back is fascinating. I don’t think I blinked the entire day. There aren’t enough Sparkles in the world! Thank You Shiner for making my day so so wonderful!

There’s nothing finer!

Posted by: girlvsbeer | July 15, 2010

Red Stripe.

Red Stripe.

Red Stripe is brewed byDesnoes & Geddes Limited, originally a soft drink manufacturer incorporated on July 31, 1918, by Kingston, Jamaica natives Eugene Peter Desnoes and Thomas Hargreaves Geddes.

I first discovered Red Stripe at a friend’s going away party a few years ago at a small hidden bar called Etro Lounge. They had a small selection available for open bar to the going away party. Red Stripe was one of the drinks available. The fact that it’s been years and I can still remember the first time and place I had a Red Stripe says alot to me about how much I liked this beer.

Red Stripe is a lager that pours a golden straw color with a creamy head that is about 3 fingers deep but dissipates quickly leaving a small amount of lacing that washes down after a few sips. It has the smell of grains, definitely a corn smell and some fairly grassy hops, also a very very light citrus undertone. It has a mildly sweet flavor as it first hits your tongue, but finishes with a great hop flavor that leaves a very mild amount of bitterness. It’s very smooth and has a kind of freshness to it that somehow feels very familiar.

All in all this is a beer I wouldn’t turn down very easily. It has such a great sociability factor that I should give it a whole extra sparkle for that reason alone. If you are like me and enjoying having a wide range of beers around for yourself and your friends you should definitely have this one in your permanent collection. You’ll never be sorry it’s there.

4.7% ABV

3 Sparkles!

Posted by: girlvsbeer | July 9, 2010

Summer Pils.

Summer Pils.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company located in Houston, is Texas’ Oldest Craft Brewery. They brew ten different beers, five are made year round and five are seasonal. St. Arnold’s are available in bars, restaurants, grocery stores, liquor stores and warehouse stores in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth and San Antonio.

I have now been on the Saint Arnold’s Brewery Tour twice and can I say I want to go at least 100 more times before the year is out. The first time I was bummed because they did not have Elissa on tap, this time I was DEVASTATED that they did not have Texas Wheat and my new St. Arnold’s favorite Summer Pils, on tap.

Summer Pils is a German style pilsener.

I’ve talked a great deal about summer beers so far and without a doubt there is something about summer and beer that belong together. At a baseball game, a bbq, a picnic, and hanging out by the pool, there are endless places where having a beer feels natural. And for the endless places there are endless beers that seem to be summer beers.

So how do you choose a summer beer? Well for starters it helps to find a beer that is brewed especially for summer, if you can find it from a craft micro-brewery even better, and if you can find a micro-brewery as good as Saint Arnold’s you’ll have found your Summer Beer for life.

St. Arnold’s Summer Pils pours a light golden color with a 1 finger head that dissipates after a few sips and leaves little to no lacing. It has this fantastic fresh smell to it like bread and sweet malt.

Do you ever feel like something wide-spread was meant for you? That’s how I feel about the taste of this beer. This beer was crafted for me. I swear it was. It has this light sweet malty flavor, kind of a super light honey type flavor lingers. A fantastic hop flavor follows and finishes with a great crispness.

I’m so in love with this beer, when it comes right down to it you’re going to buy the beer you love. I find it important to test and see what’s out there but for every summer that St. Arnold’s continues to make Summer Pils it will continue to be my Summer Beer.

4.9% ABV

5 Sparkles!

Poured in my St. Arnold’s Pint Glass!

Posted by: girlvsbeer | June 22, 2010

St. Arnold’s Brewery Tour.

Yesterday I took the St. Arnold’s Brewery tour with two of my dear friends who are moving overseas. Here they are enjoying one of St. Arnold’s beers. It looks like Eric has Brown and I believe Lauran had Lawnmower.

Lauran and Eric

The Brew House.

Brock Wagner

The man between the two heads is Brock Wagner, creator and co-founder of Saint Arnold’s brewing company. He gave us our tour, which was really exciting, not only because he really knew what he was talking about from a Brewers level down to a molecular level but also because he is hilarious and still even after 16 years of owning the company and many many more of brewing he is really passionate about his work.
“Life is too short to drink bad beer”-Brock Wagner

Every Fermenter is named for a saint.

One of the Saint Arnold's tye-dye cars.

Just one side of the Fermenting floor.

Painted logo above the taps.

Special Thanks to Lauran for all the good pictures!!!

And now the crappy cell phone pics…

The Door to Beauty

St. Arnold Patron saint of Brewers.

wall detail

Free Glass and 4 beer chips.

This was a fantastic Brewery Tour…okay so far it’s my only brewery tour but I believe it’ll be a hard one to beat. Good friends, Good Beer, Hilarious Creator/Tour Guide…plus I walked away with a sweet T-Shirt and an even sweeter pint glass.

Love you St. Arnold’s Brewery!

100 Trillion Sparkles forever!

Posted by: girlvsbeer | June 20, 2010

The Art of Beer-volume 2

3D Sidewalk Chalk Beer Art

Beer Can Girl

Beer Can Cactus

Beer Can Peacock

Beer Art Tapestry

Beer Can Vespa

Becks Painting Art

Beer Art Photography

Musician Beer Can Art

Beer Can Beer Man

3D Sidewalk Chalk Beer Mug

Beer Can Butterfly Art 1

Beer Can Butterfly Art 2

Beer Can Butterfly Art 3

Beer Can Butterfly Art 4

Beer Can Photography

Hieroglyphic Beer Art

Beer Can Dress

Beer Can Shoes

Beer Tab Corset

Pray for Beer

Skeleton Beer Art

Beer Keg Building

Beer Fridge Sculpture

Brian Western 1

Brian Western takes old beer bottles and re-purposes the glass to make beautiful pieces of art.

Brian Western 2

Brian Western 3

Brian Western 4

Brian Western 5

Brian Western 6

Brian Western 7

Brian Western 8

Posted by: girlvsbeer | June 17, 2010

Dos Equis

Dos Equis.

Dos Equis is a pale lager that was originally brewed by the German-born Mexican brewer Wilhelm Hasse in 1897. The brand was named “Siglo XX” (“20th century”) to commemorate the arrival of the new century, and the bottles were marked with the Roman numerals “XX”, or “Dos Equis” (two X).

Dos Equis is a pale lager. It pours a clear pale straw color with a small white bubbly head that dissipates very quickly.

The smell is the general light lager smell with stronger notes of grain. There is kind of a bread like smell going on too with the malt.

Dos Equis has been a standard of mine for many years. I began drinking it when I was going to lots of concerts in smaller venues with limited beer choices. Sometimes served with salt and lime, which actually makes it quite lovely, it’s a great drink for those kinds of settings. I’ve grown quite attached to Dos Equis through the years. It’s great with spicy food, hot nights, hot venues. It has a great smooth taste with a perfectly light bitter finish. The corn and grain come through as well.

With the Summer Solstice coming up on June 22nd I say break out the Dos Equis and enjoy the longest day of the year. Though this isn’t making my Summer Beer list because I strongly believe it’s a great year-around beer.

Of course you can’t mention Dos Equis without mentioning the most interesting man in the world. The amazing Jonathan Goldsmith. Who besides being a successful actor is also a sailor and a works with the S.A.B.R.E Foundation whose mission is to protect and preserve the Siberian Tiger and has had the opportunity to feed a Siberian Tiger by hand, he also works with Free Art for Abused Children and has taught on and off in prisons.

This is just the actor! You can see easily why Dos Equis chose him out of 400 hopefuls. Plus he is incredibly handsome. Here is a mash-up of all the commercials…

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Here is an interview with the actor…

5% ABV
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon

3 Sparkles!
-social factor

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