During Thanksgiving week, my friends Mike and Brian joined me at the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner Texas for their “tour.” This article at wikipedia gives a nice update on the history of this brewery (the oldest independent brewery in Texas). Another interesting fact (I thought) was that the Spoetzl Brewery is owned by the The Gambrinus Company (in San Antonio).
I use the word tour very loosely here … this is the first brewery I’ve ever been to where the tour was completely restricted. No Photos, we went into a small area where the original kettles were and looked through some windows. A complete letdown in my mind. I had all of this wonderful hype in my head about this tour … dud.
The people, however, were very nice. They also had a very nice selection of their beers available for “sampling.” If I remember correctly, we were given 5 tokens to use on any of the beers they had on tap. I obviously had to sample the Shiner Bock at its home (see picture).
The other thing we noticed about this brewery is that they do use some cereal in their beers — I thought they were an all-grain beer, but they either use rice or corn … I couldn’t figure out which. Maybe that’s why they wouldn’t let anyone take pictures.
My two favorite beers of theirs: The Old-Time Alt and the Holiday Cheer weren’t available at the Brewery — however, we found them at another restaurant in town. Win!
If you are in the area it is worth a visit … but I’m not sure it’s worth a detour.