Beer O’ The Week: Shiner 102 Double Wheat
Shiner wheat beer lacks character, impact
Shiner 102 Double Wheat from Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, is the brewery’s anniversary ale meaning the brewery is 102 years old.
It pours clear and brilliantly blonde for a wheat beer. Aroma is grassy with a strong smell of bread. The taste is like a bready pilsner with none of the earmarks of a traditional wheat beer. This beer is filtered so there is no cloudiness normally found in wheats. Also, I couldn’t detect any fruity flavors or cloves.
This beer is unremarkable and forgettable with nothing to distinguish it from any number of other light, bland offerings.
I like what Spoetzl does, and it’s one of the breweries I’d love to get a chance to tour when I have some time and money. For years, Shiner Bock has been one of my default beers when I’m in a hurry to make up my mind or just wanted a general beer. I’ve ordered Shiner the way some might order a Miller Lite.
I’ve also enjoyed some of the new things Shiner has branched into, such the Shiner 101 Czech style pilsner and its Dortmunder spring seasonal beer. Recently, I’ve had a fascination with their summer beer Ruby Redbird, made with ginger and Texas ruby red grapefruit.
On the other hand, there are the creations Spoetzl Brewery hasn’t been so successful with. Shiner Light, Shiner Blonde and Shiner Blonde Light all leave a lot to be desired. Shiner Smokehaus — a lager made with Texas mesquite wood-smoked malts — still ranks as one of the nastiest things to ever touch my tongue. That was one bottle I was very happy not to finish.
102 Double Wheat tends toward the more undesirable side of Shiner for me. It’s light, clean and inoffensive but also thoroughly nondescript — as lacking in flavor and character as a bargain basement slice of wheat bread when it should sparkle like fresh loaf from a local bakery.