Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner – White Wing


If I had to identify a problem with beer in America, I would say it is that the audience is generally teenage in outlook, even if three decades removed from that age group. People are afraid to buck a trend and to admit that something which their favorite journalist writes up is in fact, odious, and instead they sit around, drinking hipster beers that turn the hops or yeast up to 11 and expect you to like it or be labeled an idiot who can’t appreciate good beer and thus a philistine who belongs in the lower classes, afraid to admit that they are in fact drinking swill.

Shiner White Wing is one such example of swill. Bilgy, decomposition-scented, sweet and yet acidic swill. Joining the trend of Belgian white ales it embarks upon a course of taste that is disgusting, but because it is disgusting allows hipsters and salarymen alike to claim profundity for liking it, White Wing is septic pond water of a beer. It has all that a hipster needs: ironic taste, oddity and quirkiness, and of course it comes from Shiner — who make their fortune selling domestic beers at import prices simply because the average American beers are so horribly bad — so it has automatic hipster cred, which is a holdover from the 1980s when Shiner was cheap beer for desolately poor artists, instead of weekly trust fund credit card swipe party favors for useless hipsters. If you enjoy the thought of fermenting grass and leeks together in a giant vat of sugar and coriander, you may enjoy the appeal of Shiner White Wing, but no one gets to that state honestly; it’s pure Stockholm Syndrome. In all fairness, this review is overwritten. It should merely say: “Yuck.” By doing that, I have stood up in a room of utter sheep disguised as anti-sheep and pointed out that they drink this crap because it is “different” and “ironic” but not because it is good. And good it is not. You’d do better with a brandy and pipe and avoiding this disgusting swill.

Witbier in general has zero appeal to me. The basic idea is this: use lots of cheap wheat in the beer, add coriander to make it “unique,” and then keep the fermentation going until just before the point of consumption. The result is a cloudy, sickeningly sweet, foamy beer that tastes about like huffing the results of a bag of scallions decomposing in the summer heat. If you fed a horse coriander and political promises, its flatulence would taste like this. The white beers I have had from more reputable breweries did better than the Shiner treatment, which consists of making every beer as grainy and yet dehydrating as possible, but the entire style is disgusting and appeals to those who crave novelty more than balanced or even quality flavor. Yuck, ten thousand times yuck. I am sure that the hipsters now are primly poised on their bar stools as they smugly prepare to excoriate me as a beer-illiterate who merely likes his simple ales like a good peasant, but the real peasantry here is people pretending to like this for being “unique,” when in fact it is disgusting. The emperor has no clothes! Witbier is vomit! And Shiner White Wing is low-quality clothes optional vomit sold at top tier prices. Avoid at all costs.

Quality rating: 1/5
Purchase rating: 1/5

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15 thoughts on “Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner – White Wing

  1. Bert Stevens says:

    Ok. Review Hoegaarden now. Compare the two like a good reviewer.

  2. OliveFox says:

    Witbier gets fucked up more than any other style of beer. I have no love for Shiner, so it does not shock me that their attempt to hit the Blue Moon market failed (not that Blue Moon is any better.) Shiner is funny in my area because it is what the “white-trash” folks get if they are “bein’ awl fancy en’ sich.”

    Anyhow, I can’t really think of ANY American company that does a good “White,” much less Shiner. Allagash, maybe. But even DogFish and Ommegang did fairly mediocre versions of the style.

  3. freudian says:

    I always buy the worst beer possible. Tastes like shit, but I get 8 tall cans for $7 and still get drunk (5.9 alc./vol. so more than this Shiner brand). Crappy American beer (Steel Reserve, Natural Ice)… still gets you drunk for cheap (which is the point – being drunk and not dealing with boredom/sobriety/society).

    Is reviewing drugs on the table?

  4. Smoking_Gnu says:

    If you’re looking for a quality wheat ale (albeit American) with coriander and spices, which I’d highly recommend Nicie Spicie by Short’s Brewing Company in Michigan:


    Three Floyds Gumballhead is also respectable; no spices and unlike the reviewed beer here it also avoids the weird sweet/musky flavor in favor of a crisp and lightly bitter taste.

  5. Ara says:

    Haha I’d love to see a review on Kombucha and the hipster backing that goes with it.

    1. This is a good idea. I’ll see if one of our writers drinks the stuff. I’m afraid of it.

      1. Ara says:

        You should be. If you’ve ever worked in food service, you may be familiar with that garbage water that leaks through the bag and stays at the bottom of the can when you take out the trash. Kombucha smells EXACTLY like that.

        1. Ugh. That stuff is terrible. It can also be found draining from passing trash trucks… a unique scent and I’m sure, flavor.

          Various family members, depending on their level of pretense, have either enjoyed or urged me to try: kombucha, arugula, and quinoa. I have resisted so far and spent the money on tobacco instead.

          1. Daniel says:

            I’ll do it the next time I go to the supermarket. I like the vinegary aspect but the rest of it is disgusting.

  6. elgghis says:

    you guys are always reviewing beers you hate.

    .. what’s a beer that gets a 5/5 from DMU?

    1. Daniel says:

      Deschutes Black Butte Porter
      Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
      Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (made in Ireland version)
      random cask ales
      various sours
      cask Pilsner Urquell

      1. OliveFox says:

        Bell’s is tops for sure. Hard-ish to find in DC/Metro area, but always a home run for the most part when I stumble across it.

        Michigan, for whatever reason, is a treasure trove for great American beers.

        1. Smoking_Gnu says:

          That state is amazing. Short’s, Kuhnhenn’s, New Holland, Bell’s, Founders…I’ve been thinking of doing a statewide brewery tour one of these days.

          I’d be interested to see some reviews of barrel-aged beers here like Dragon’s Milk, Bourbon County or anything by Hammerheart from Minnesota.

      2. They used to sell Pilsner Urquell in low-priced 24 oz bottles. Never fully appreciated in USA except by hipsters. Damn those trust-fund baby ironists, damn them.

  7. Jim Nelson says:

    ive never had a good witbeir. coriander never works. the belgian style is very fickle in my mind – 8 out of 10 stink and america is not adept at replicating it. the reason this style is popular is because the few that work are legendary and they are bewed by actual trappist monks. the westmalle triple is a very straightforward honest beer brewed by monks and has a lot of tradition behind it

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