When brewing Shiner Holiday Cheer, Spoetzl Brewery flipped the script on holiday beers. Instead of boozy barrel-aged stouts and overspiced winter warmers, the Texas brewer took a cue from its German roots and opted for a light-drinking dunkelweizen (a German-style dark wheat beer). With the addition of peach and pecan, it’s a delicate balance of flavors that pairs well with the beer’s manageable 5.4% ABV.
Holiday Cheer pours a gorgeous ruby red fit for the holidays. Tiny bubbles cascade to the top of the glass to form a tan head. Between the red hue and the green-and-red-accented label, Holiday Cheer is dressed for the season.
As soon as the beer is poured, the smell of freshly cut peaches floods the room. The peach scent is so strong that it’s difficult to find any other notes without really spending significant time over the glass. Subtle nuttiness from the pecans as well as roasted wheat complement the ripe peach. Holiday Cheer’s aroma is more bright and nutty than sweet, despite such a heavy dose of fruit.
Spoetzl smartly pairs the peach and pecan with wheat to create a flavor profile similar to peach cobbler.”
You guessed it: More peaches follow with the first stip, though they are not as bold as in the aroma. Instead, it’s a bright and floral peach flavor with very little sweetness. The pecans remain subdued, but as the beer warms, roasted nut notes begin to shine. Spoetzl smartly pairs the peach and pecan with wheat to create a flavor profile similar to peach cobbler.
Maybe it’s the red color, or the fruitcake-esque combination of fruit, nut, and wheat, but Shiner manages to make Holiday Cheer feel more in the spirit of the season than most winter warmers. Add in the price point and wide availability to the beer’s approachable flavor profile, and Shiner has certainly cracked the formula for spreading holiday cheer.