Keeping It Simple – Shiner 101 Czech Pilsner

Posted on June 25, 2010 by

The Czech Pilsner is not a style of beer that I have tried all that many of. I think my knowledge of this style goes as far as a Pilsner Urquell that I drank a few years ago. It is always nice to open the doors wider with a new selection for a style. Today, Shiner 101 Czech-Style Pilsner from Spoetzl Brewing in Shiner, TX is going to teach me a thing or two about the Czech Pilsner style. Established in 1909, Spoetzl is another one of the oldest, still operating breweries in America, so I better sit down and really listen to what this beer is trying to tell me. But that is just it, this beer isn’t saying much, but what it was brewed to speak only one message. “Simple.”

Shiner 101 Czech Style Pilsner

Review of Shiner 101 Czech-Style Pilsner

Packaging

Shiner 101 Czech-Style Pilsner has nice looking packaging. It has an old world like flare to it. The colors are simple black and white with a pop of red. I like the “seal” that says “Every drop of Shiners brewed in Shiner.” It gives me a feeling of approval. The bottle is riddled with little sayings about the simple recipe, ingredients and the 101 years that Spoetzl Brewing has been around. You’ll have to pick up a bottle or watch the video to hear what they say as there is just to much to write.

Appearance

A light golden straw color with a light fluffy head just hanging out on the top. My head didn’t stick around long or lace to the sides over time.

Smell

Spoetzl takes great pride in the tradition of using barley, water, hops and yeast to make beer and that is exactly what I smell in this beer. I get malt and hop aroma with a pinch of hay like smell. I also get that sweet/spice that is quickly becoming something I am associating with all lager beers.

Taste

Very clean and crisp flavor. It isn’t complicated at all. Malty sweet with a hop bitterness that hangs out on the tongue long after you have swallowed the mouthful.

Mouthfeel

Light bodied, smooth and goes down easy. It has a quenching quality to it that would be very good with some spicy nachos! A light army of carbonation bubbles dances on my tongue with each sip.

Drinkability

Shiner 101 Czech-Style Pilsner is very good. This beer is a perfect summer beer that would be refreshing out on the lake or in the heat of the day. It is a sipping beer that taste excellent as it warms up slightly, but is also very tasty crisp cold as you gulp it if the situation calls for it.

Brewing Thoughts

I have not had a lot of Czech Pilsners in my life, or I haven’t known they were Czech Pilsners, so if I take one thing away from this beer to apply to future recipes it is that things do not have to be complex to be good. You don’t have to put this and that into a recipe to make it special or tasty. Simple can please, refresh and should not be overlooked.

Have you tried Shiner 101 Czech-Style Pilsner? What did you think?

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  • Mattyb

    I love Shiner 101. Your review pretty much says it all Mikey. I would take a cooler of this stuff (if it came in cans) down the Ottertail anytime. I've been heavy into the Pilsners lately and for me, this simple, crisp, refreshing brew does it every time. Thanks for the review!

  • http://freshbeereveryfriday.blogspot.com Jez

    I think I can probably get this in Indiana. I will go out and look for it, as I think I only have like 5 of my Czech Pilsners left. Mine came out at 5.2%ABV, though, and 47 IBU, so it might be a bit “more over” than this one. Have you had the Sam Adam's Noble Pils? Not sure if that's still around. Might be good to compare the two. Also, I recommend New Belgium's Blue Paddle if you can get it.

  • mikebiewer

    For sure. I'll give the Blue Paddle a try. What's your take on it? Like it?

    My Czech Pils that I made didn't turn out very well. I think it is because I couldn't get the temp down to ferment it so it tastes like a funky ale right now..

    I have had the Noble Pils. That was a fantastic beer. I like it more than the Shiner. The Shiner is pretty simple, but would definitely refresh on a hot day. My wife is a huge Noble Pils fan. One thing I noticed about it though is that it tasted distinctly different in different places that I had it. I'm sure it has to do with handling and time on tap, but it is definitely a hard beer to hide off flavors in.

    Thanks again!

    Mike

  • Mattyb

    If you're looking for a pilsner with complexity, Noble Pils is the way to go. If you're looking for a fresh clean pilsner that isn't the typical watered down bar piss shoved down our throats by the big 3, then Shiner 101 definitely fills the bill. They should almost be in different categories. But props to Noble Pils. In my opinion it's the best seasonal Sam has ever sold. Not even close.

  • mikebiewer

    The Noble Pils is probably their best beer, I agree. This Shiner 101 was good an exactly how you explained it. It is simple and refreshing, nothing more. One beer I'm curious about trying is the Redhook Rope Swing. It is Redhook's first and only lager they have ever made and it was brewed to authenticate Czech Style. So…brother, you should give that a try. Redhook sent me 2 for review. I usually drink one off camera then one on camera, but I'd be willing to go all in if you wanted to jump on camera with me and try it.

    Let me know.

    Mike

  • Mattyb

    Oh gawd, it would be my internet video debut. Aww, what the hell…why not? You know where to find me when it's time to film.

  • Brian Graftaas

    Mike,

    Loved your comment regarding twist-offs ;-)

    I used to be a huge fan of Shiner Bock; howevver, I've been pretty disappointed since they started mass distribution. I'm not sure if it's my tast bugs that have gotten more refined, or if they've changed their recipe.

    Cheers!

    Brian

  • mikebiewer

    Brian,

    I have yet to try the Shiner Bock. Its interesting you mention that. What do you think has changed? Is it just not good, watered down, stale? I'm curious now!

    Thanks for the comment.

    Mike

  • http://freshbeereveryfriday.blogspot.com Jez

    I always like when you do these from the garage, it's like you keep looking outside as though someone is checking you out or like a kid is going to come up and screw up the video. You also seem like you're 1 or 2 beers in when you filmed this.

    Shiner Bock is really like a Leinenkugel's beer – they get the style okay, but it always seems a bit “watered down” for the style. It's a very light bock.

  • mikebiewer

    LOL. Thanks. I live in a small neighborhood and there are people wandering past a lot. I'm always trying to not be looking around like that. I need to start doing something different in these videos though. I'm just a talking head ya know? At least bring in some other people to chat with.

    Sometimes, I've had one before I do the video. I like to get my notes together and figure out what I want to touch on the most before I film. It prevents me from saying “Uh…” and giving blank stares while I think. So it usually isn't the first time I'm drinking the beer.

    I like Leinenkugel, but I shy away from it more and more these days. Its mainly because of what you are saying. It tastes a little watered down now. It has flavor, but not as much as it used to. I suppose its difficult to brew beer and know that people's tastes are always changing. I used to drink nothing but Honeyweiss, especially when I went to Buffalo Wild Wings. I still drink it at BWW, at least the south one here. The north one has Summit EPA on tap, so I drink that instead. Other than that, I don't drink it much anymore.

    I do want to give the bock a try.

    Thanks for the discussion!

    Mike

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