Brew Review: Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

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I won't lie, Arizona. We've had some great times drinking beer. Who could forget our first trip to Four Peaks? Or the Mesa Strong Beer Festival just a few months ago? We've had fun and that's what makes this so hard to say: my beer gut belongs to another state.

That's right, Arizona. I, like many of my fellow Phoenicians, am a transplant. It just so happens that I'm from Texas and as such, my heart belongs to Shiner; that delicious beer made from the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner Texas. Which is why I've been sneaking bottles of Shiner's Bohemian Black Lager between Kiltlifters. I'm sorry for the betrayal.

Initially I was attracted to Bohemian Black Lager's tiny, black label, but when I opened my first bottle, I found so much more than superficial reasons for enjoying this beer. So despite how hard it will be for me to get this off my chest, I'm going to tell you the reasons why. You deserve that much.

Tastes: like caramel riding that fine line between velvety goodness and a little too dark. Bohemian Black Lager is a Schwarzbier or "black beer" that has much in common with British stouts only with a milder taste. As the Bohemian slid across my tongue I could detect notes of coffee and chocolate from the dark roasted malts used in the brewing process. The Spoetzl brewery uses Czech Saaz and Styrians Hops in the brewing process and I'm glad because it's delicious.

I got mine: on the down-low at AJ's for $1.39 a bottle. Surely there are tastier brews on the rack, but what this one lacks in flavor it makes up for in cold, hard cash. I'm not sure it's possible to find a black lager this enjoyable for such a pittance. When the honey moon period fades, that will keep me coming back.

Goes with: gratification without consequences. Whether your enjoying those post-work/pre-bedtime hours, or relaxing on a weekend afternoon, Bohemian Black Lager is perfect for spending some time with. If you're going to enjoy it with dinner, allow me to recommend a bowl of Texas red or a sizzling platter of Tex-Mex.

Verdict: So there you have it, Arizona. I've been as honest with you as I know how to be. I know this is hard, but I hope we can still be friends. Want to go to Four Peaks later? I'll meet you there, there's something I have to drink...er...do, first.

Happy (secret) drinking!

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