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Bottle & Tap

Shiner gets prickly

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Shiner gets prickly

The Texas prickly pear cactus makes for some tasty nopalitos dishes, but the fruit of the cactus has been a staple in seasonal brewpub beers throughout the state. The Spoetzl Brewery is taking the concept to a wider audience with Shiner Prickly Pear Lager.

As part of the Shiner Brewer's Pride Craft Brew Series, you can only get it one bottle at a time in the mixed Family Reunion Variety Pack (two if you get the 12-pack). The slight tartness of the prickly pear is balanced nicely with hints of Citra and U.S. Golding hops.

Real Ale cans

The popular Fireman's #4 ale from Real Ale Brewing Co. has been a summer favorite of Texans for nearly a decade, but bottles aren't always welcome everywhere. That prompted the no-longer-little brewery in Blanco to jump on the can wagon this season.

The refreshing and lightly hopped golden ale hit Austin and the Hill Country in 12-ounce cans during Fourth of July week and will be on shelves in San Antonio and throughout the state by early August.

Canning craft beer, once considered a no-no, took off after Colorado microbrewery Oskar Blues decided to put its Dale's Pale Ale in the latest and greatest aluminum packaging that no longer leaves behind a metallic taste and has the added benefit of protecting the beer from light and air. In fact, Austin Beerworks and Southern Star Brewing of Conroe focused on canning and draft from brew one.

Alamo brewery closer

The days of Real Ale making Alamo Beer and focusing on expanding their own lines seem to be getting closer.

Eugene Simor, owner of Alamo Beer Co., received City of San Antonio Planning Commission approval to buy city land adjacent to his own by the Hays Street Bridge to build the Alamo brewery.

The new brewery will not only help the cause of the restored Hays Street Bridge in linking downtown to the near East Side, it also means an expansion of the beer lineup.

Simor has maintained that a pre-Prohibition-style lager is a likely candidate as a little brother to Alamo Golden Ale — something Pedernales Brewing Co. has pulled off with its Lobo Lager — but he also is talking about seasonal brews such as porter.

Friendly Beerducation

The sixth monthly Beerducation series presentation at the Friendly Spot on Thursday, July 12, will feature a discussion with Ray Mitteldorf, head brewer at Faust Brewing Co. of New Braunfels. Mitteldorf is a veteran of the Texas brewing scene in both Houston and San Antonio.

SA pils plaudits

Dwight Mulcahy, a member of the Bexar Brewers, took bronze in the Pilsner category for his German-style pils in National Homebrew Competition of the American Homebrewers Association. Congrats, Dwight!

Travis E. Poling is beer writer for the Current and is co-author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State. You can hear him March 8 at The Friendly Spot Ice House leading the monthly Beerducation series.

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