If you have been reading over the past few weeks you have probably been hearing a lot about the IL Bar and not so much about inspiring recipes in my kitchen. Studying for the bar exam makes you go on autopilot. Every day is a new subject that just gets put on an endless list and the last 2 weeks are filled with a 10-12 hour-a-day impossible review schedule and then suddenly it is the night before the Bar. Dave and I made a pact to wake up early this morning to get our body clocks in line, review until 10AM and then clean our apartment for the rest of the day, finishing with a early night of fantastic pizza and craft beer.
I just wanted to thank y’all for your kind words of encouragement this summer. I promise to be back with plenty of new things to share with you. I have been taking pictures of all the colorful bounty at the market and eaten simple meals but I just haven’t shared them with you. We are taking a post-Bar trip to TX to attend the wedding of one of my favorite sorority sisters and to take some law school friends to float the river and eat great tex-mex, bbq and fuzzy’s queso, and I will be sharing our fun with you.
When I was deciding between moving to Chicago to attend Kent and moving back to Houston to go to U of H Law, one item on my “con list” for Chicago was the lack of Shiner in the state of Illinois. Thankfully, during my 1L year this was no longer a problem. I was on the Halsted bus and saw an advertisement on the side of a building that said “Hi Chicago” using the H-I from the Shiner label and I freaked out: Shiner had arrived in Illinois. Needless to say, that it was clear that my move to Chicago was right, because Shiner followed me.
When I decided to take advantage of the cheaper flights and come home to hang out with my mom in TX, we planned to take a day trip (that turned into an over night trip) to Shiner. We ended up spending the night in La Grange, enjoying Kolaches, good BBQ, and painted churches (go to my Flickr page for more pics and I’m sure I will discuss the amazingness that is good Kolaches). But the highlight of the trip was definitely going to the Shiner Brewery. Shiner is celebrating its 100th year, so it really was a perfect time to go.
Shiner, Texas is a small town, just a little south of 1-10 about half way between Houston and San Antonio. This area of TX was settled by German and Czech Immigrants.
The brewery employs 60 people (from 2000 total population) and brews enough beer to reach 41 states (including IL YAY!) and now Mexico. I can’t remember exactly how many (so don’t quote me) but I think they brew 750K bottles EVERY DAY. If you could see how small the brewery seemed, it really is amazing. Since it was Spring Break our tour was on the large size so the tour guide was a bit overwhelmed. The best part of the tour of course was the FREE BEER.
We got to sample the Commemorator Centennial Ale Brew as well as Shiner Blonde and Shiner Hefeweizen.
I really enjoyed the Hefeweizen. After the tour, we listened to our tour guide’s tips and went to their little grocery store so that we could buy a “Family Reunion Pack” so that we could try the Kosmos Reserve.
The Kosmos Reserve is an “aromatic dry hopped lager that is specially brewed to celebrate the man who started it all.” Kosmos Spoetzl was the original brewmaster of Shiner and the Brewery still carries the Spoetzl name.
This beer was very tasty. I wish that I could some how get a bunch back to Chicago, but alas, I will have to settle for enjoying the 4 in the box in The Woodlands. I very much enjoyed our short little road trip to Shiner and I encourage any body to make the drive, and enjoy a day in the little towns near the TX Hill Country.
I just wanted to share my happiness of the TCU victory over Boise State last night. It was an INTENSE game but I was so glad that we won in the end!
I have also been enjoying lots of the amazing holiday style Shiner called “Shiner Cheer”. I actually found it at a bar in Chicago before I was home. If you live in a state that distributes Shiner, look for it. They describe it as “an Old World Dunkelweizen brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans. The malty flavors of this dark wheat ale are enhanced through the use of malted barley and wheat. And Kräusening ensures a smoothness that makes the subtle peach and pecan flavors all the more satisfying.” You can really taste the peach strong at first but then it mellows out to a rich beer.
I hope that you are enjoying friends and family where ever you are. I am heading back to Chicago tomorrow but I have enjoyed hanging out with my Mom in Texas. I have packed 8 jars of salsa and I am bringing back 60 flour tortillas to stick in the freezer. I forgot how much Tex-Mex is really something that you can only get in Texas!