A Shout Out to Shiner

Now I am not steering this blog into a beer critic site, but while the temperatures rise, and the outdoor projects are in full swing, I thought that I would tip my gardening hat to the frosty drink that I turn to, to top off my summer days…..Shiner Bock.  Since moving out of Texas, and up to Colorado, beer has stiff competition against the local microbrews.  I actually did not care for the stuff until moving to the mountains, but with beers that taste like coffee, malty caramels and even hot chili….I just had to jump on the bandwagon.  I am quite a supporter of Colorado beers now, but all the while I still hold that little Texas town high on my list as well for a basic good beer, Shiner.shiner city limit

I have family just 20 miles from the little town, in fact my rehearsal dinner was just down the street from the brewery (in true Texas style).  The area is a diverse make up of German and Czech immigrants, which can be seen throughout the stern work ethic of the town inhabitants, German fare at local markets, and old tongue which can still be heard to this day if you listen closely.   The Germans in this area stem back to the ‘Verein’ campaign in the early 1840’s, and were promised beautiful Texas soil in efforts to colonize in America.  What they did not plan on at the time, where the battles between the United States and Mexico, in which left many of the immigrants stranded and the Verein perished.  Many settled in the areas of Texas referred to as the “German Belt” which includes (to name a few); Fredericksburg, Pflugerville, New Braunfels, Schulenburg, Weimar, and the little town of Shiner.  Fast forward a few decades to 1909 when the Shiner Brewing Association was started and later hired their brew master, Kosmos Spoetzl, who brought the ‘Old World Bavarian’ beer to the great state. 

spoetzle breweryEntertaining stories of Kosmos are told within Shine On: 100 Years of Shiner Beer from leaving beers on the fence posts for local farmers in the heat of the day, to keeping his beloved Belgium recipe in the brim of his hat.  The brewery has branched out to light, wheat and even dark brews but I still have to claim that the bock is a constant favorite amongst our house hold.  

shiner My husband and I discovered in the April issue of Texas Monthly there is a mouth-watering recipe of chicken fried steak using Shiner.  This is a must try, and of course, don’t count the calories on this one:

Chicken Fried Steak – by Grady Spears

  • 1-1/2 cups flourcover
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tbsp. paprika (or to preference –ek)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup Shiner bock
  • Peanut oil (enough to cover meat halfway)
  • 4 tenderized round steaks (about ½ lb. each)
  • 2 cups cracked-pepper gravy

Mix first 4 ingredients and set aside on a plate or wax paper. Whisk eggs in a large bowl, then add buttermilk and beer and whisk to blend. Set aside. In a deep, heavy skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees. While oil is heating, prepare the steaks by dredging them in flour mixture, coating evenly. Shake off any excess. Dip in egg batter, and then again in flour, evenly coating the batter so it is dry on the outside. When oil temperature reaches 350 gently slide one steak into the oil. Cook about 3 minutes, then turn it, taking care not to break the crust, and cook 3 more minutes, or until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the other steaks. Hold cooked steaks in a 225 degree oven until all are done. Serve with Cracked-Pepper Gravy.


As they say in Shiner, TX “Prost!”

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