The National Beer of Texas is way more than a refreshing brew with a snappy slogan. Lone Star has a complex and influential history that helped create the iconic status it enjoys today. Along with Shiner, Lone Star beer is one of the oldest native Texan beers. Though it was originally started by Adolphus Busch, Lone Star Brewing Company is now owned by Pabst Brewing Company. The Lone Star brewery is in San Antonio, brewed with what they claim are the “finest hops from the Pacific Northwest.” Do you know which United State President provided it at a party though? Here are 10 things you might not know about Lone Star beer
10. Austin City Limits, brought to you by Lone Star
The first television episode of Austin City Limits was filmed in 1974 and featured Willie Nelson. The spontaneous style of performance gave the nation a view into the diverse Austin music scene. It also made Lone Star a powerful player in the music world after it sponsored the taping.
9. Lone Star once bought an impressive trophy room in San Antonio
Back in 1956, the brewery decided to buy the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum in downtown San Antonio. Located near the Alamo on Houston Street, this saloon is chock full of artifacts, including mounts of wild game hunted around the world. The saloon’s first owner used to accept antlers and hides as payment. It’s one of the main attractions in San Antonio today, and you can still see the history on the walls.
8. Forget Bud Light Lime, Lone Star did it first
That’s right. Back in 1970, Lone Star brought out a refreshing, even lighter version of the brew. The lime lager came in a self-opening can. In 1969, they also tested out a Brut Super Premium line of beer. Good luck finding a can of these classics now.
7. They helped revive the longneck bottle
Lone Star kept the world of beer drinking mighty interesting in the 1970s. Marketers were working on how to get Lone Star to the younger generation in Austin and beyond. Jim Franklin came up with the slogan, “Long live long necks” in 1974 after hearing local, long-haired college students crooning over longnecks. The rest is history.
6. Lone Star helped popularize the armadillo as a Texas icon
Jim Franklin also produced the iconic beer posters and marketing images, which almost always included an armadillo. The beer campaign was influential, and, in 1981, the armadillo became the official Texas state mascot.
5. Musical heavyweights helped market the beer
The beer brand brought plenty of powerful talent on board to sell the brew. The Lost Gonzo Band, the Pointer Sisters and Freddie King all recorded radio spots for the beer. Conversely, C.W. McCall wrote a song which laments, “There’s more to country music than outlaws and Lone Star beer.”
4. John Travolta had a limelight moment with a Lone Star
Lone Star reached out to way bigger audiences than UT students and local Texans in 1980. The film Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta, featured the beer. The main marketing image shows Travolta in full cowboy gear, leaning against a bar with a Lone Star in hand.
3. Even the Kennedys drank Lone Star
The brand was so popular during the 1970s and 1980s that the beer was served at a Texas-themed party thrown by the Kennedys. The Manhattan party took place in Bloomingdales and little, old Lone Star was there to refresh the crowd.
2. You can explain M-theory with Lone Star cans
The trippy, thought-provoking first season of the hit show True Detective featured Lone Star. The character Rust Cohle uses the cans to explain multi-dimensional theories. You can also catch some Lone Star action on the hit TV shows The Big Bang Theory and most bar scenes in the sixth season of The Mentalist.
1. Lyndon Baines Johnson was part of the success story
The young LBJ was hired by Lone Star president Harry Jersig to open ranch gates for him. Jersig paid the future United States President 25 cents a day. If that doesn’t add some Texas legitimacy to the saga, we don’t know what does.