Shiner beer, brewed by Spoetzl Brewing, is a popular brand thanks, in large part, to its best- selling Shiner Bock, which is sold coast to coast. Most everyone is familiar with the Shiner name because of its bock beer, but the company brews much more and it just recently ventured into ales, opening the door for even more styles in the future. One of these new ales is Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale, a saison- style beer.
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Beer Facts and Figures:
Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale is a straw- colored beer with perfect clarity and a nose that is one of light spice/clove and banana. The foam level on this beer is moderate and it does flatten out in a few minutes, but it still maintains a thin layer as you drink.
Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale is a lighter brew with flavors of fruit, yeast, and pale malt. Searching a little deeper yields flavors of bread, grapes, banana, light honey, and some spice such as coriander.
Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale is brewed using Golding, Sterling, and Meridian hops and has a sweeter flavor profile. The beer has an alcohol content of 5.7 percent by volume and a bitterness rating of 21 IBU.
Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale is the latest from Shiner- a company known for its bock beer and for its lineup of semi- craft lagers. Named after Farm to Market road 966 in Shiner, Texas, this beer is one of only two ales produced by Shiner and it represents another attempt by Spoetzl Brewing to expand its lineup in new directions.
Shiner beer products are not usually associated with greatness, but the brewery has managed a handful of tasty, satisfying beers worthy of a second helping. Shiner Oktoberfest is one of the better ones and I like the Black lager, but most of the rest of Shiner beer products are very middle-of-the-road and some of them miss the mark for their style. This beer, Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale, tastes that way a Farmhouse/Saison beer would be expected to taste, but is yet another one of those middle- rated Shiner beers that have become the brewery’s trademark.
So, what makes Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale so ordinary? Well, it certainly isn’t a bad beer and it does have a nice drinkability. It’s also a great choice for those who prefer beer that is crisp and clean, as it easily fits those qualities to a tee. The problem with Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale is that it is, well, very ordinary. Its aroma and taste are similar, in many ways, to a hefeweizen and its body is a little too light and soft. The good news is that it isn’t light to the point of being watery, but it is still lighter than a good farmhouse ale should be.
Shiner used to make nothing but lagers, but just last year, the company produced Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale, venturing into the world of ales for the first time. This beer, Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale, is only the second ale produced by Shiner and from checking official sources, Shiner plans to add more ales in the coming years. I like that the company is broadening its horizons and trying to at least give the appearance of being a true craft brewery. I just wish Shiner would shift gears just a little bit and brew fuller, more flavorful products.
My bottom line with Shiner FM966 Farmhouse Ale is that it’s a good beer overall; crisp, clean, and highly drinkable. But it falls short of what I expect and I can think of many Farmhouse ales that are much tastier overall. It’s worth a try if you can find one, but don’t be surprised if you take that first taste and let out the all-too-common Shiner sigh as you contemplate how much better it could have been.