Spoetzl Brewery is to craft beer in Texas what Psycho is to the modern slasher flick: the granddaddy of them all. Brewed since 1909 in Shiner, which is about half way between Houston and San Antonio, the brewery was known as Shiner Brewing Association. Spoetzl (or Shiner, as most people call it, but the official brewery name is Spoetzl) has become as iconic to Texans as football and barbecue. No list of Texas-brewed beer would be complete without mentioning the “little brewery in Shiner.”
In 1914, Kosmos Spoetzl was recruited to bring Old World-style beer to the brewery, founded in 1909. Being a savvy businessman as well as a brewer, he insisted on leasing the brewery for a year with an option to buy after that period. He exercised that option, and now Spoetzl produces some of the most accessible and tasty beer brewed in Texas. Spoetzl has since greatly expanded both its facilities and its brew line. Today, in fact, it is owned by the huge San Antonio-based beer conglomerate, The Gambrinus Company, which purchased Spoetzl in 1989 when it was on the brink of closing down. No longer constrained to Shiner Premium and Shiner Bock, the brewery now features several seasonals (Holiday Cheer was the seasonal brew through Christmas), one-time specials and a commemorative line that celebrated the countdown to Spoetzl’s 100th anniversary in 2009.Their beers are widely distributed throughout Texas and beyond.
By: Kevin Scott