Friday, June 22, 2012
New Shiner beer, Prickly Pear, on the market in limited supply
Spoetzl is cagey about availability so that we'll really, really want it.
Shiner's newest beer offering is another that's inspired by Texas fruit: Prickly Pear Lager.
In the process of being shipped now, the Prickly Pear Lager is described as a refreshing lager with a "combination of Citra and U.S. Golding hops" that add "citrus flavor, floral aroma, and signature tartness" from the fruit of the prickly pear -- "a cactus native to our brewery's landscape."
Ruby Red, its grapefruit-flavored fruity predecessor, is readily available in both 6- and 12-packs. But the Prickly Pear will be available only as part of a "Family Reunion" variety pack -- i.e. not sold in a six-pack on its own.
A variety pack means that, in a six-pack, you'll get one bottle of Prickly Pear, along with one bottle each of Shiner Bock, Black Lager, Blonde, Hefeweizen, and Kosmos Reserve.
"That's what makes that packaging a little more desirable," said Spoetzl spokeswoman Anne Raabe. "If we put it in a six-pack, you would have never heard about it."
Actually, Ms. Raabe, I beg to differ, having been obsessed with prickly pear as a component in margaritas for some years: first at Stephan Pyles' Star Canyon, then Ama de Lur, then Glass Cactus, and, cross your fingers, Pyles' new place Stampede 66. But most people are probably not so cursed.
The variety pack with the Prickly Pear is #3 in a series of "Limited Edition Brewer's Pride Craft Brew" packs. The first in the series came with "Shiner Old Time Alt." The second -- which is still in stores now -- has a rye beer called "Shiner Ryes & Shine." They come in 6-, 12-, and 24-packs sold at the mega-stores.
Raabe claimed not to know where or even if the new #3 edition was being distributed -- "some information we like to keep close to our hearts," she said. Oh OK, I get it: Liquor is one of those industries where it's the job of the company spokesperson to NOT tell you things. But some local Wal-Marts have been cited as having 24-packs in stock, said Stephen Walden at Kegs & Barrels in Plano.
"Our reps haven't given us a heads-up that it's coming, but I've heard it is currently out in 24-packs and will be out in 6- or 12-packs in about a week or so," the heroic Walden said.
Kegs & Barrels still has a couple of 12-packs of Series #2 with the rye, which will no longer be available once that series runs out. Hurry hurry, run and get those!
None of the other obvious local beer spots -- World Beer Co. on Greenville Avenue, Whole Foods, Spec's -- have the new #3 series with the prickly pear lager in stock yet, either -- and possibly may not get it until the #2 series with the rye has cleared the shelves, Walden said.
"Sometimes when they change it, the distributors have to burn off what's in their warehouse," Walden said. "In theory, it could be sitting in a Dallas or Denton warehouse right now."