We arrived at the brewery’s hospitality room in time to catch the afternoon tour and were led through the modern brew house with its gleaming copper kettles to the bottling room, where seemingly infinite lines of brown bottles are filled, capped, pasteurized, labeled, and boxed.
We learned that there’s no forced retirement at this brewery—Joe Green holds the record for employment with 63 years of service when he retired at age 81.
Following our informative tour we headed back to the hospitality room to trade our wooden nickels for cups of beer.
Spoetzl Brewery has been doing special beers celebrating the brewery’s German and Czech heritage since 2005 with Shiner 96. That was an Oktoberfest, or Marzen-style lager.
This was followed by Shiner 97 Bohemian Black Lager, Shiner 98 Bavarian-style Amber, and Shiner 99 Helles. The black lager, or schwarzbier, was well-received and put into the regular Shiner lineup as Bohemian Black.
Spoetzl’s current offerings include Shiner Bock, Shiner Blonde, Shiner Bohemian Black Lager, Shiner Hefeweizen, Shiner Light, Shiner Dortmunder, and Shiner 101.
Reflecting the tradition of genuine Bavarian beers, Shiner Bock—Spoetzl’s flagship beer—has been brewed since 1913, almost as long as the Spoetzl Brewery has been in business. However, it wasn’t until 1973 that Bock went into production year-round. Bock was considered a lent beer, and therefore was only made around that season. Today over 80% of the beer made at the Spoetzl Brewery is Bock.
Shiner Blonde is the direct descendant of Spoetzl’s earliest brew. Although Blonde has carried numerous names, such as Shiner Special, Shiner Premium, and Shiner Texas Special, the recipe has been virtually unchanged since it was first brewed in 1909. For this reason, Blonde carries Brew Kettle No. 1 on its label.
Originally a limited edition schwarzbier for the Spoetzl Brewery’s 97th anniversary, Shiner Bohemian Black Lager became a permanent part of the brand portfolio in late 2007. Black Lager uses imported Austrian Saaz and Styrian hops and dark-roasted malts.
Shiner Hefeweizen (Hef-ay-vite-zen) recalls the classic beers of Bavaria as a true unfiltered wheat brew. This beer captures old-world Munich Malt, wheat grist used in a scant 1% of all brews worldwide, orange and lemon zest in a frothy classic example of bottle-conditioned beer. Clover honey and yeast is added just before it’s bottled touching off a unique, secondary fermentation process inside before its final release from the brewery.
A deep amber brew blended from choice Munich malts, select hops, and pure Artesian water, Shiner Light sacrifices none of the taste while reducing calories and carbs. Shiner Light has the lowest production numbers out of all of the year round beers.
Shiner Dortmunder has a smooth, well-rounded flavor—the perfect fit for any Springtime activity. Because of the unique nature of the style, Shiner Dortmunder satisfies the palate of a diverse crowd.
Shiner 101 is a well-crafted beer with no frills, classic recipe, and bold taste. And with just four ingredients—hops, barley, yeast, and water—Shiner’s 101st anniversary beer is the culmination of more than a century of brewing know-how.
Texas Spoken Friendly
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.