Food & Drink

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Lone Star Beer

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.

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

Photo: Matt Alpert

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

Breweriana Screenshot

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

Flickr/TVZ Design

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

Flickr/Rich Anderson

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

YouTube/rare Jeff Porcaro Screenshot

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

Flickr/thesmuggler- Night of the Swallow

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

YouTube/Col B Screenshot

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

LBJ
Wikimedia Commons

The young LBJ was hired by Harry Jersig, the company president, to open ranch gates for him. He was paid 25 cents a day. If that doesn’t add some Texas legitimacy to the saga, we don’t know what does.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Lone Star Beer