Yesterday I took the K. Spoetzl Brewery, home of Shiner Beers. A fairly short hour and a half drive from Houston and after turning off of I10 a really beautiful drive.
There is so much I want to relay from my trip from Shiner today that I’ve decided to split it up. Over the next two weeks I will be reviewing all Shiner Beers (leading up to my interview with Jimmy Mauric, Brew Master!!!) that are available to date and sharing everything I wrote/can possibly remember from this amazing day. Though I really suggest you pile a bunch of friends in a car and make the trip, you won’t regret it.
The tour starts in the gift shop where I was a little surprised to find everything was really reasonably priced. I walked away with Shiner Lip Balm, Coasters and Pint Glasses and I plan on returning soon for the Shiner Pop. 2070 sign and the 100 years of Shiner History.
After grabbing a Bock I spent sometime in the video room where you can view a brief history of the Kosmos Spoetzl and Shiner Beer.
Also in the Video Room this Sweet Mural…
We then headed to the Brewery where on the first floor we learned more about the History of Shiner.
Our Awesome tour guide Anne Raabe told us so much I wanted to go on every tour for the rest of the day so I could take it all in.
Here are a few fun facts:
-Kosmos always wore his hat tilted to one side, when asked about this he said it was because he kept his recipes in his hat.
-The record holder for longest employed was Joe Green who was employed for 63 years. If you’re doing the math that’s only 38 years out of the 101 years since Shiner was founded in 1909 that Joe Green was not working at the Brewery.
-Spent grains go to local farmers for feed (no alcohol content).
-The Family Pack is hand-packed.
-Everyday has a different schedule on the bottling floor. Shiner creates their schedule based on what orders need to be filled from vendors.
A great deal of the information that I was trying to process as I was scribbling notes furiously is in fact on this flow chart. What it doesn’t show is the time it takes.
Shiner truly is a family company as they say. Greg Hybner who is assistant Brewmaster is the son of John Hybner, the previous Brewmaster above is his wife who works in the Shiner Lab. There were several stories from the day like this, lots of family connections throughout the whole 67 employees.
One of our first and most stern warnings of the day was not to touch the copper. Apparently hand prints and the oils in our hands are detrimental to the copper.
Though pictures are not normally allowed on tours I got special permission to take these for my blog. There was another tour group blocking the way to the floor so I didn’t get pictures of that but needless to say you should go to Shiner and see for yourself, you won’t regret it!
And now for an EXCLUSIVE!!!!!!!!
During my interview with Jimmy Mauric, Brewmaster at Shiner (which will be up soon!) He gave me permission to preview the new label for Oktoberfest!
Though the pictures came out somewhat blurry when I tried to get a close up (stupid iPhone) The very tops says EST. 1909 underneath printed on the shield: Spoetzl Brewery Shiner TX
and on the banner: Nothing Finer Than A Shiner
on the main logo: SHINER Marzen-Style Oktoberfest
underneath oktoberfest is a banner reading: A deliciously festive seasonal ale
on the side is a small diamond reading: fl. 12 oz. Ale
and on the very bottom: crafted with pride at the Spoetzl Brewery-Shiner Tx 77984
This one came out more blurry than the first. Sad Face. But here is what it says: Raise a Stein to Oktoberfest Here in Shiner, Tx (pop. 2070) we’re suckers for tradition. Which is why this classic Oktoberfest brew is made with the highest quality two-row barley, Munich and caramel malts, along with German grown Hallertau Tradition and Hersbrucker hops. It’s our way of honoring our ancestors and the beer they loved to celebrate with. So raise a stien to tradition and enjoy this utterly classic brew. PROIST! Then a government alcohol warning and So Fine In a Stein!
The Neck label reads Shiner 96 and then Shiner Marzen-Style Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest is a re-issue of Shiner’s 1996 anniversary brew. According to Shiner it is “A celebration lager typically brewed in the Spring, stored cold during Summer and served in Autumn. Features all Two-Row Barley with Munich and Caramel Malts for a deep amber color and slightly toasted flavor. Initial rich malty aroma and sweetness with a moderately dry finish. Hop bitterness is also moderate using German grown Hallertau Tradition and Hersbrucker hops.”
Original Gravity: 13%
Real Degree of Fermentation: 68%
Bitterness: 18 IBU
Color: 12 SRM
Calories: 170/12 fl. oz.
Carbohydrates: 12.9 g/12 fl. oz.
This had to be one of the most exciting days of my life! Everything from their history to a nice man named T-bone in the back is fascinating. I don’t think I blinked the entire day. There aren’t enough Sparkles in the world! Thank You Shiner for making my day so so wonderful!
There’s nothing finer!