Shiner Brewery

When I was deciding between moving to Chicago to attend Kent and moving back to Houston to go to U of H Law, one item on my “con list” for Chicago was the lack of Shiner in the state of Illinois. Thankfully, during my 1L year this was no longer a problem. I was on the Halsted bus and saw an advertisement on the side of a building that said “Hi Chicago” using the H-I from the Shiner label and I freaked out: Shiner had arrived in Illinois. Needless to say, that it was clear that my move to Chicago was right, because Shiner followed me.

When I decided to take advantage of the cheaper flights and come home to hang out with my mom in TX, we planned to take a day trip (that turned into an over night trip) to Shiner. We ended up spending the night in La Grange, enjoying Kolaches, good BBQ, and painted churches (go to my Flickr page for more pics and I’m sure I will discuss the amazingness that is good Kolaches). But the highlight of the trip was definitely going to the Shiner Brewery. Shiner is celebrating its 100th year, so it really was a perfect time to go.

Shiner, Texas is a small town, just a little south of 1-10 about half way between Houston and San Antonio. This area of TX was settled by German and Czech Immigrants.

The brewery employs 60 people (from 2000 total population) and brews enough beer to reach 41 states (including IL YAY!) and now Mexico. I can’t remember exactly how many (so don’t quote me) but I think they brew 750K bottles EVERY DAY. If you could see how small the brewery seemed, it really is amazing. Since it was Spring Break our tour was on the large size so the tour guide was a bit overwhelmed. The best part of the tour of course was the FREE BEER.

We got to sample the Commemorator Centennial Ale Brew as well as Shiner Blonde and Shiner Hefeweizen.

I really enjoyed the Hefeweizen. After the tour, we listened to our tour guide’s tips and went to their little grocery store so that we could buy a “Family Reunion Pack” so that we could try the Kosmos Reserve.

The Kosmos Reserve is an “aromatic dry hopped lager that is specially brewed to celebrate the man who started it all.” Kosmos Spoetzl was the original brewmaster of Shiner and the Brewery still carries the Spoetzl name.

This beer was very tasty. I wish that I could some how get a bunch back to Chicago, but alas, I will have to settle for enjoying the 4 in the box in The Woodlands. I very much enjoyed our short little road trip to Shiner and I encourage any body to make the drive, and enjoy a day in the little towns near the TX Hill Country.

Prosit!

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14 responses to “Shiner Brewery

  1. Loooove Shiner Bock- They had it a pub in Ohio we used to frequent as college seniors and I also did a little dance when it showed up in Chicago. Diversification of brews is good for all!

  2. You make me want to try a Shiner Beer even though I’ve never heard of it. is Florida one of the 41 states that carry it?!?!

  3. Meghann-

    I am 95% sure that Shiner is in FL. Shiner Bock is their original (and most popular) beer but you might be able to find the other varieties. Hope you can find it! It really is a great little brewery.

    Whitney

  4. I love, love, love Shiner! I hail from El Paso and now live in Seminole,Florida and Yes, They do sell it here, GASP! I have actually found Shiner at a Super Target once here.
    I first found it at place called World of Beers in Clearwater on Gulf to Bay, its right next to the original Hooters. The guy knew I was from Texas when I asked if they carry it, LOL! I was recently on a trip thru Houston and came across the Black Lager from Shiner, since I hadn’t tried that version and just about died drinking it, thinking all hope was lost and that I would never be able to grab my hands on some more, The World of Beers place ordered it for me. They will get you just about any kind of beer you want. Good Luck!

  5. So sad, I miss Shiner so much. I lived in Austin for years and now in NYC. Once in a great while I can find it at a country bar in town, but just not often enough.

  6. The Family Reunion 12 packs are available at Woodmans in Carpentersville. Trying a Kosmos now for the first time!

  7. I had the same freakout when I saw that “Hi Chicago” sign, except I was driving and nearly caused an accident because i was frantically pointing and yelling “That’s SHINER!” to my bewildered girlfriend. I just picked up a family reunion pack but I haven’t tried the Kosmos yet.

  8. Nat-I’m glad you share my Shiner love. Hope you enjoy the Kosmos. I wish I could find some more!

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  10. Hi Whitney – Great Blog on Shiner! My favorite is the Blonde. I was wondering if you have found a place that sells it in Chicago? I’ve only been able to find the Bock. Shiner beers are definitely my favorite!

    Thanks,
    Andy

  11. Andy-They might have it (or could easily get it) at the Sam’s Wine store. I have been to the one near North/Clybourn and they have a few of the Shiner varieties and if they don’t have the Blonde, they would probably order some. The Blonde is very tasty, especially in the summer.

    Also, I have seen it in a few bars (Joe’s Bar on Weed comes to mind) so maybe you could find it there too.

    Hooray for Shiner in Chicago!

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  13. Can you tell me which Shiner has the two faces one up looking down and the other one down looking up. Thanks.

  14. ZG-I think you are talkin bout the Hefeweizen. Third from the left in the 2nd picture.

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