A few months ago I received a few bottles of the first release in Shiner’s 2022 Brewers Pride series: Barrel-Aged Doppelbock. Thank you Spoetzl PR firm! The beer was brewed in collaboration with Garrison Brothers Distillery, a highly acclaimed Texas distiller.
Garrison Brothers, an award-winning distillery in Texas, produces Guadalupe, a bourbon that spends four years in toasted and charred American white oak and then gets two more years in port casks from Portugal. If the flavor imparted to the Brewer’s Pride Barrel-Aged Doppelbock is any indication, this is likely a world-class bourbon.
The massive barrel-aged doppelbock is 12% alcohol by volume, tripling the strength of the Shiner Bock we all know and love, which stands at 4.4% ABV. Bigger and bolder than the classic beer that the Spoetzl brewery has been making in Shiner, Texas, the doppelbock is the first in 2022’s Brewers Pride series. A truly unique beer, it brings together two Texas brands, and reminds us locally of the wonderful work One Eight Distilling has done with Port City Brewing Company and Atlas Brew Works.
Sweet, but dry in its finish; warming, but not hot and void of the ethanol burn some poorly-made 12% beers can taste; Shiner’s doppelbock is really a stunning work of the brewer’s art and the pleasant tannic wood character contributed by the barrels that once held Garrison Brother’s Guadalupe.
Shiner brewers were kind enough to share some inside information on the beer. Read on to get their answers to our questions.
DCBeer: How does the Barrel-aged Doppelbock differ from the classic Shiner Bock?
Shiner Brewers: Aging in the port barrels used to make Garrison Brothers’ Guadalupe Bourbon is different, [also] to achieve this much alcohol, the beer was double fermented. We had to use multiple yeasts since most lager yeast cannot survive in a 12% environment.
Does Doppelbock also contain corn or brewers grits?
Yes. We did want to keep it sweet.
Does the Doppelbock have the same 2 row in the Doppelbock that’s found in Shiner Bock?
Yes, but we added some additional malt to help with the flavor.
And the Goldings hops, are those a departure for this beer or a continuation of the quality ingredients found in Shiner Bock?
We thought the Goldings fit the profile of the beer. When a beer is designed, we take a lot of time to fit the raw materials to the profile of the beer.
Same questions in regards to yeast: is this beer fermented w/the same strain of yeast found in the famous Shiner Bock?
Yes and No. We did use the same yeast as Shiner Bock but added a different strain for the push to 12%.
We are deeply grateful to the brewers in Shiner at the Spoetzl brewery for answering our questions. We are also very thankful to the PR firms who provide us with world-class samples.
If you’re not in Texas, or you can’t get to Total Wine in West Plano, we strongly suggest trying similar beers in the DC Metro area. Or if you’re into spirits, Garrison brothers lists three retailers and three restaurants with their products in DC.
If you’re interested in local beers that match the rich tannins-from-the-barrel character checkout the following beers in DC proper. First, try Atlas’ 9th Anniversary Beer: Triple-Barrel Aged Tomb Essence. While not doppelbock, the imperial rye stout was aged in Sagamore Spirit Distillery rye barrels, then went into Mt. Defiance Cidery and Distillery bourbon barrels, and finally One Eight Distilling wheated bourbon barrels.
If the twang of port is just too mild, consider Right Proper’s Le Flâneur. Le Flâneur comes in a 16.9 oz bottle, which is a wonderful stand in for a nightcap if you find your cabinet has no Hennessy, Evan Williams, or Jameson. The beer is dripping with oak character, having come from sherry casks, but it’s not too intense as the brewery utilizes the Solera method, which entails pulling some of the liquid out of the barrel (be it beer, brandy, wine, or balsamic vinegar) and then topping up the barrel once that smaller portion of liquid has been drained. It works wonderfully for Le Flâneur (2021) Sherry Cask Vin de Céréale, which is French for, you guessed it, barley wine.
Speaking of nightcap stand ins, consider DC Brau’s Legislator Barrel Aged Doppelbock. Void of the twang and tartness found in La Flâneur, Legislator comes down on the sweet side and will shine up your sweet tooth with dark fruity flavors. This one is a nice stand in when you want rum raisin pie and don’t feel like baking, or when you want a cocktail but don’t feel like shaking. And if you’re looking for something with a little less alcohol, we might see an American Bock, perhaps similar to Shiner, under Brau’s Old Time brand, in the near future.
Try these locals in DC to see some of the breadth and depth of barrel aged offerings brewed and barreled in DC proper.