I blog primarily over at "geosciblog" (http://geosciblog.blogspot.com), I am doing this one for fun. It is inspired by 30+ years of beer can collecting and having tried more than 3,000 different American beers during that time. “. . . And beer was drunk with reverence, as it ought to be.” — G. K. Chesterton

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Shiner Beer

Currently owned by Carlos Alvarez of Gambrinus Brands, the Spoetzl Brewing Co. of Shiner, Texas, is the last of the original Texas breweries. The Handbook of Texas Online has a good article on the history of the brewery, some of the info below is from this article, some of it is from memory of past visits to the brewery. Shiner is located on U.S. Hwy 90 Alternate between San Antonio and Houston and the brewery is located adjacent to Boggy Creek, east of downtown Shiner (if memory serves me correctly).

It began in 1909 amid the German, Czech, and Austrian immigrants of Shiner, as the Shiner Brewing Association. Their efforts did not go well and the brewery was leased to Oswald Petzold and German-trained brewmaster Kosmas Spoetzl in 1914. The following year, Spoetzl purchased the brewery. During Prohibition, the brewery produced ice and near-beer.

When Mr. Spoetzl passed away in 1950, his daughter Cecilie (known as "Miss Celie") became the only woman to own a brewery in the nation, at the time. The Spoetzl family control ended with the sale of the brewery in 1966. After that time, the brewery changed hands several times. In 1989, Spoetzl Brewing Co. was purchased by the current owners, Carlos Alvarez and the Gambrinus Company, importers of Corona Beer. The fierce loyalty of Shiner Bock Beer fans apparently impressed Mr. Alvarez and Shiner Bock remains the flagship brand of this brewery.

Throw-away bottles were introduced in 1958 and cans in 1970. Until the late 1970s/early 1980s, the bulk of their sales were confined to the San Antonio-Austin-Houston triangle. Gradually, the sales area grew to cover most of the state of Texas. The purchase of Spoetzl by Gambrinus allowed the influx of capital for the expansion of brewing capacity and the utilization of the Gambrinus distributors in 20 states.

Prior to the advent of the microbreweries, local and regional beers, such as Pearl, Lone Star, and Shiner provided the only respites from the national brands in Texas. With the closure of the Lone Star brewery in 1998 and the closure of the Pearl brewery in 2001, Spoetzl became the last of the original Texas breweries.

Spoetzl's current offerings include Shiner Bock, Shiner Light, Shiner Summer Stock (kolsch), Shiner Blonde, Shiner Hefeweizen, and Shiner Winter Ale.

Some additional info on the brewing history of Shiner, Texas is available at TexasBreweries.com
Here in Texas, we love our Shiner. It's the National Beer of Texas. I personally don't drink it often, but that's because I don't really like the lighter beers. But if I want a lighter beer, I drink a Shiner.

Great site! You've encouraged me to try some more American made beers. I usually go for the British made (Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Taddy Porter, etc.) dark beers, but I have liked a few choices from Anchor. There's a great shop up the road from me that has the best selection of beer in the state, so I'll go through your site and pick out some microbrews to try.

I did find Baltika at the same shop, very nice. I've tried the 3 and the 4 so far, and still have the 7 and 9 to go. It's quite smooth and flavorful.

Great site!

Thanks for dropping by. I will try to provide some more info and entertainment.

I think the Shiner brands are OK, though I generally like the heavier and hoppier ales of the micros. Shiner Bock did get us through those times before the micros were widespread and it is a part of Texas brewing history. I do miss Pearl.

Do you have any thoughts on the current versions of Pearl and Lone Star, both of which, if available would be from Miller?
Comment ?
Question... Great site!, I hope you can answer what I cannot get from the Shiner web page.
Is Shiner Bock using rice? as do many of the American beers (it's cheap)
Nowhere on Shiners web page could I find a link for questions...makes one wonder if the FAQ page is real.
I don't know for sure. I would assume that corn would be the first adjunct of choice, as it is with most American non-micro beers. Budweiser is a notable exception with rice.
Could someone sell me a Shiners Bock poster?? A big one!! I live in Norway...
Shiner also has Black Lager which is an excellent dark beer. Mr. Norway, I will be happy to send a Shiner poster to you, free of charge. Johan Klaus, Moravia, Texas.
Update for Shiner fans: Shiner no longer produces Kolsch (Summer Ale). And the Winter Ale will also soon be replaced.
And sure, I can work on finding you a Shiner poster. Can you tell me how to reach you?
Want to buy a straubs bock poster?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?