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Bottle & Tap

Shiner's Wild Hare

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Shiner's Wild Hare

The good folks at the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner have explored many German and Czech lagers since they launched their annual anniversary brew series seven years ago, but on the occasion of their 103rd year of making beer for Texans the brewery has made its first ale.

Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale isn't as assertive on hops as many micro or brewpub American pale ales, and it finishes much drier than a typical English-style pale ale. This is what makes it a perfect introduction to the style for Shiner fans.

An unscientific survey of a dozen business people attending an 8:30 a.m. beer-and-cheese tasting I conducted recently resulted in many of the attendees pledging to become regular drinkers of Shiner Wild Hare.

The recipe is that of a fairly classic American pale ale, using two-row barley, Munich and Caramel malts that add both color and richness, with U.S. Golding and Bravo hops bringing subtle fruit and floral notes and just enough bitterness and carbonation to stand up to cheeses, sausages, or even spicier fare. Expect to see this in the regular Shiner lineup even after the anniversary year comes to an end.

Could a 10 percent ABV Shiner Russian Imperial Stout be far behind? Unlikely. That would truly be a bit of a wild hair.


Freetail stares at goats

Freetail Brewing Co. is going batty for goats. Not in a vampiric chupacabra kind of way, but by pairing a selection of their beers with artisanal cheeses from CKC Farms goat dairy of Blanco.

The Monday, February 13 tasting will feature Rye Wit served with fresh chevre, Broken Treaty IPA with Baby Caprino, a rare remnant of Freetail peach double wit Pechecus paired with Baby Blue cheese, and the strong Old Bat Rastard ale with chocolate ganache strawberries.

Chrissy Omo of CKC will talk about each local goat's milk cheese served. Advance tickets purchased for $20 at the brewery (4035 N Loop 1604 W, Ste 105) are recommended.


Lüke does Deschutes

Lüke restaurant on the San Antonio River Walk will feature Deschutes Brewery beers alongside Chef Steve McHugh's creations at their next beer dinner Thursday, February 23.

This impressive Oregon brewery will feature Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, Green Lakes Organic Ale, Hop Henge IPA, and a rare appearance by Obsidian Stout.

They will be paired with yard egg salad with local greens, bacon jam and jalapeño battered cock combs; house-made corned duck arugula and pickles, cracklin' crusted Pacific salmon over creamy lentils and rosemary aioli; and fried bread pudding "churros" with Nutella.

Prepaid reservations for the $60 dinner can be made at 227-5853.

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 at 7 p.m. February 9 at The Friendly Spot Ice House leading a tutored tasted of local beers. Reach him at

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