Shiner sent me some samples of their new "Sommer bier," Shiner Smokehaus, a helles-style lager made with malt smoked over local mesquite. And it was smoked locally, too: the pictures show two Shiner employees smoking the malt out back of the brewery, loading 50 lbs. of malt in each tray in the smoker (the smoker's in the back of a truck; this is Texas, and you never know where you might need to smoke some meat). The firebox is juiced with wet, aged mesquite and started with propane, then the propane's turned off and the mesquite smolders smoke up through the trays.
As you might know, I'm a big fan of Schlenkerla Helles. Light smoke goes great with this kind of beer. The Shiner Smokehaus is more than light smoke, but it didn't overpower the beer; maybe it's the mesquite, maybe it's the solid malt quality of the beer, but it was juicy-good and fantastic with grilled beef.
This is not a big bear of a beer like Schlenkerla Märzen. It's summer-weight, and very drinkable. It's going to be a love-it-hate-it thing with people because of the smoke (getting panned in some newspaper columns by sunny-day "beer experts" who don't get smoke...risks of stretching the paradigm), but you can put me down in the love-it camp. If you're in a Shiner distribution area, get some of this before it's gone.