Editor's Note: This post was originally published on October 25, 2017. We're sharing it again as part of our month long celebration of Texas.
Before I ever stepped foot inside the boundaries of the Lone Star State, I heard myths and legends of one yellow-labeled beer that I just had to try. People called it Shiner, and when I said I was moving to Texas, they would literally sigh and say how much they missed three things: barbecue (obviously), Whataburger and Shiner beer.
And it makes sense; While Lone Stars are every college student's dream beer (cheap as hell), Shiner Bock beer is like Lone Star's big brother. He doesn't like to leave Texas because he knows it's just better here. Here are 17 facts about the great Texas beer.
17. Spoetzl Brewery, where Shiner is made, is Texas' oldest independent brewery.
Born on Jan. 19, 1909, the little brewery grew into a big attraction for the tiny town of Shiner. Although, it's not the oldest craft brewery in the United States. Shiner fans from all over visit Spoetzl for brewery tours. To this day, every drop of Shiner is brewed at Spoetzl Shiner brewery.
16. Spoetzl wasn't always its name
It began as the Shiner Brewing Association in the legendary community of Shiner, Texas.
15. The Shiner Brewing Association was created because the German and Czech immigrants were just so damn homesick
Homesick for the kind of beer they drank at home, they decided to make it themselves. Thank goodness they did, too.
14. In 1915, with a co-buyer, Kosmos Spoetzl bought the brewery and gave it his last name
The brewmaster, trained in Germany, still remained true to Shiner and kept the beers named after their precious town.
13. Where else did Kosmos work?
Cairo, Egypt — and he made his way to Texas in search of better weather for his health.
12. Spoetzl Brewery survived Prohibition
The brewery survived by making something known as near-beer, which is basically a low-alcohol malt beverage that kept the brewery from closing down, something only four other Texas breweries could do.
11. Spoetzl still keeps things simple
Spoetzl only brews nine beers year-round, while adding four seasonal beers each year to the mix. Some notable seasonal beers include Shiner Prickly Pear, Ruby Redbird, Birthday Beer, Wild Hare, White Wing and Bohemian Black Lager.
10. The most popular Spoetzl beer? Shiner Bock, hands down.
Brewed since 1903, the crisp, clear taste and deep amber color of the dark lager combined with its light hop make it an ideal choice for any weather, but especially summer days. Though we're still huge fans of the Shiner Light Blonde and the Shiner Ruby Redbird. Oh, and their summer lager Shiner Sea Salt & Lime. Ok, we love all Shiner beers.
9. Shiner Bock was only made during Lent for its first few years,
Crazy as it seems, Shiner Bock was only made during Lent for its first few years, produced seasonally. The people demanded the Bock year-round, and lifetime production was born.
8. The town of Shiner, Texas has roughly 2,000 residents
In true small-town Texas-style, they have their own band, the Shiner Hobo Band, a group created after World War I.
7. The local gas station has draft Shiner
Shiner superfans know that beloved local venue Howard's has draft Shiners and a biergarten that hosts live music.
6. There have only been six brewmasters at Spoetzl, despite its 100+ year history.
And each one has run the brewery to perfection.
5. Spoetzl started distributing Shiner Bock nationally in 1991.
Distribution began exclusively to Nashville. That's right, for its first 82 years, if you didn't live in Texas, you were SOL. Today, the company distributes to every state except Hawaii.
4. Shiner has been featured on TV
One of Shiner's most notable television appearances from the show Weeds.
3. Shiner almost made it into a Jason Aldean song
Jason Aldean tried to make a song with Shiner Bock in the lyrics, but after a product deal fell through, so did those little words.
2. At Austin City Limits in 2008, Spoetzl was shunned and Heineken was chosen as the official sponsor.
So the famous Texas brewery did what any excellent company would, and made koozies that looked like Shiner Bock labels for customers to slip right over those pesky Heinekens.
1. On Yummly, a recipe search engine, there are over 46 recipes that feature this great beer.
That doesn't even scratch the surface of the number of recipes that are probably out there.
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