05 Jun Back Pew Satyr’s Swill by Tony
Back Pew Satyr’s Swill
Packaging: Draft, 12oz. Cans
As I sit and write about Satyr’s Swill in the notes app on my phone, I’m watching the Golden State Warriors completely manhandle the Cleveland Cavaliers. Seeing 30’+ 3 point shots getting drained back to back, I’m reminded that craft beer and basketball are simultaneously re-writing history every day – the stuff we’re seeing done in both arenas is stuff that people never dreamed would be possible 10-20-30 years ago.
Anyhow, the first time I had Satyr’s Swill, I remember thinking to myself, “THIS. Is what every Bock wants to be when it grows up.” While Bocks have grown vastly from their historic German beginnings, it’s mainly due to demand. Shiner Bock is the 6th highest selling craft beer in America (last time I checked). If every Bock drank like Satyr’s Swill, there’d likely be more breweries taking on the style.
A very bold intro, right? I mean every word of it.
Time out. If you’re reading Satyr’s Swill as “Satire’s Swill,” you’re doing it wrong. Try this on for size: “Say-der’s Swill.” Satyr is a mythological man/goat/horse creature known for indulging in libations. And swill should speak for itself.
The artwork of Satyr’s Swill plays up the saints/sinners concept that Back Pew is building their name on with the mostly black can highlighted by white and red text. Like most other Bocks, the ram horns are front and center, but instead of coming from a ram’s head, they’re busting out of a barrel.
This Bock pours a crystal clear amber-brown with a foamy, tawny-colored head that dissipates quickly leaving little to no lace.
Satyr’s Swill has a subtle nose of bready-caramel malts and mild alcohol notes that appear as it warms. It smells like the beer version of bourbon bread pudding at your favorite American restaurant. The taste is similar.
As you take a sip, it starts off sweet and unassuming on the palette with the bready, malty flavors. That makes way for an even sweeter finish of the caramel notes and almost non-existent bitterness. There’s a mildly creamy mouthfeel that’s just short of heavy, but it really drives home the beauty of this bock.
Satyr’s Swill is truly a sneaky beer. Clocking in at 7.2% ABV, you could easily get carried away with how malty-sweet this beer is before you realized the alcohol.
Don’t get me wrong, I cut my (beer) teeth on Shiner Bock like so many other Texans, as we began exploring more of what beer had to offer, but to compare this Satyr’s Swill to that would be almost unfair to both breweries. I keep a few Shiner on deck at all times and I still enjoy them, but this is so much bolder. I’d compare it to Saint Arnold’s Spring Bock or their Oktoberfest, as they share some malty-caramel notes.
I love Satyr’s Swill, and I could never picture myself hunting the beer aisles or tap walls for a Bock, but I’ll pick this one on the menu just about any time I see it. Especially if there’s crawfish involved! Satyr’s Swill is my favorite beer to have alongside a few pounds of spicy crawfish.
That’s why I’m giving it 4.5 stars. I’m torn for 5, but if there’s ever a doubt, I round down. I’m considering busting out 1/4-3/4 stars for the team for this one.
Satyr’s Swill is starting to make it’s way around town in cans at HEBs, Specs and Total Wine, and you can find it on tap and in cans at a handful of restaurants and bars.
Satyr’s Swill is a Bock. No, most folks aren’t writing home about Bocks – I get it. But THIS. You just gotta try it for yourself. If you’ve had it already, let us know what you think in the comments below. Beers to you, Houston.