Beer Man is a weekly profile of beers from across the country and around the world. This week: Shiner Strawberry Blonde, Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, Texas,

Last week I wrote about Brombeere, a blackberry gose beer from the Odell brewery in Fort Collins, Colo. I enjoyed it.

It started me thinking, however, whether it was necessary to make the beer a gose style. After all, instead of using lactic bacteria to sour the beer, the brewery could have just relied on the natural tartness of the blackberries, probably losing a bit of the sour.

The salt and coriander of the gose style had minimal impact on the pleasurable aspects of the beer, which were mainly its blackberry flavor and prickly carbonation. So, was the brewery just jumping in on the current gose bandwagon and using blackberries to make it stand out from the pack, or did they think this was the best way to make a blackberry beer?

Shiner’s Strawberry Blonde is a different aspect of a fruit beer. There is nothing strange or trendy about it. It is simply what it says it is. And that has resulted in a fantastic beer.

My kitchen filled with the aroma of strawberries when I popped the cap. The head was huge, rocky and long-lasting. The base blonde ale was light, malty and creamy on the palate. So, right off the bat, this was a well-made beer that would be good even without the fruit.

And then the strawberry flavor kicked in. It tasted natural and wasn’t overly sweet. The strawberry didn’t disrupt the malt flavor, so I was always aware that I was still drinking a beer instead of soda or a malternative. The 4.3 percent ABV beer had minimal bitterness, but didn’t need more. It was delicious.

Sometimes when I am confronted by another sour, gose, triple imperial double IPA, vegetable or American-style (insert other style here) beer, I wish that simple would become the new trendy.

Shiner has wide distribution throughout the U.S., but at least in my area in Wisconsin, Strawberry Blonde is not carried. Shiner’s Beer Finder link is at

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 protected]


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