Beer, actually, is all around us.

posted on December 28, 2008 in beer review, beerventure

The movie Love Actually was inspired by witnessing loved ones reunite at the airport.  And where there is love, there is also beer.

However, the beer selections at most airports aren’t all too inspiring, apparently unless you happen to be at one of these airports.  Unfortunately, the Southwest terminal at the Houston airport is not on that list.  Still, because I was at an airport, it seemed appropriate I should drink.  What do I mean?  Well, airports are like movie theaters in that all normal social rules don’t apply.  Ellen Degeneres talks about our behavior in movie theaters - our free pass to shovel popcorn into our mouths - and I am reminded of how it seems once you enter an airport, whether it be 6 AM or 3:30 in the afternoon, it is perfectly appropriate to start drinking.  Who knows what your actual timezone is?  Cheers!

So, naturally, I dropped into “Pappas Burgers” for a pint and some tortilla soup.  The soup was OK, though it was dominated by a block of cheese and a mound of tortilla strips while the “with avocado” apparently meant one measly slice.

Kyle Perfect10Model's lunch

Kyle Perfect10Model's lunch

Aside from Bud, BudLight, etc. on tap, Pappas also pours Fat Tire (which I almost went for) and ZiegenBock (which I ended up selecting because I had never heard of it).  Probably should have stuck with the Fat Tire.

I actually have nothing against lagers and generally can appreciate most styles of beer.  In fact, doppelbocks, marzens and pilsners are among my favorites; since I hadn’t had a bock in a while I was quite excited to spend some time with this one and get to know him.  Unfortunately, “Ziegenbock” is a bit of a misnomer; if I were to call myself KylePerfect10Model, you have certain expectations, no?  Well, Ziegenbock isn’t even described as a bock on its pseudo-website (part of the ICS website, owned by Anheuser-Busch, owned by AB-InBev) but rather as an American Style Amber Lager.  Well, OK, so how was it?

So glad you asked!

Name: ZiegenBock Amber

Style: Amber Lager

Brewery: Anheuser-Busch

Region: Houston, Texas

Pairings: Wasn’t bad with my tortilla soup.  In fact, amber lagers like this are rather tasty with Mexican.

Color:  Brown (on the darker side) with definite reddish tint; very transparent.

Carbonation: Almost no foam or lacing but tastes quite carbonated - but perhaps this was just the acidity.

Aroma: Very light, sour fruit and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Thin, does not linger, pleasant.

Flavor:  Not a lot to it other than soury-sweetness though this is somewhat balanced by a crispness lent by the hops and clean lager yeast finish.

Finish: Clean, sour and caramel are all that mildly linger.

Comments: Anheuser-Busch, now AB-InBev, only brews and offers this beer in Houston, Texas which is an interesting attempt to reach out to a local beer crowd.  I’d like to try some truly local craft brews to compare.  Maybe I’ll get to venture beyond the George Bush Airport next time. Digg Facebook Google reddit StumbleUpon


  1. Being a Texas native I have experienced Ziegenbock many times. I can’t prove it but I believe that this beer was produced to compete with Negro Modelo which is very similar in color, flavor and body.

    Its not an awful beer but its not a great one either. Its too bad they didn’t have any St Arnold on tap in the airport.

    Comment by brewtopian — December 29, 2008 @ 11:11 am

  2. Thanks for the heads up re: Good Airport Brews. I’ll make sure I’ll get to LAX a little earlier next time!

    Comment by Seth — December 30, 2008 @ 6:06 pm

  3. Brewtopian - Interesting. I like Negro Modelo and agree Ziegenbock wouldn’t be a terrible imitation of that. It wasn’t a bad beer at all I was just hoping for a little fuller flavor. Some on BeerAdvocate suggest it’s Bud’s attempt to compete with Shiner Bock; thoughts? How popular is Shiner out there?

    Seth - You’re mighty welcome. Draft recommends Gordon Biersch’s Hefe at LAX; I haven’t had their Hefe but I love their Pils - lemme know how it is. Also, if any of the servers know if their Hef is made with German or American yeast (German is usually considered superior) I’d be delighted to know (and impressed if the airport bartenders knew).

    Comment by kjdalton — December 30, 2008 @ 6:26 pm

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