Shiner’s Legendary Craft: Inside the Time-Honored Legacy of the Spoetzl Brewery

by Dana Maass on May 24, 2023 in Food+Drink,

Shiner, a small town located about 90 miles southeast of Austin, is home to the Spoetzl Brewery, maker of the beloved Shiner beer. Taking a road trip to this small town is a “must” for beer lovers and travelers alike, offering the chance to experience the beauty of Texas’ countryside while tasting some of the Lone Star State’s finest beers. 

A must do while at the Spoetzl Brewery is to take a tour of the brewery. During the tour, guests will learn about, not just the history of the brewery, but also how the beers are brewed.
Photo Brian Maass Photography

The picturesque journey from Austin to Shiner takes you through miles of rolling Texas hills. Driving south on US-183, discover charming towns like Luling, where you can make a pit stop at one of the numerous Buc-ee’s in the state. Don’t miss your chance to dine on a carnivorous meal in the famous city of Lockhart, actually proclaimed by the state legislature to be “The Barbecue Capital of Texas.” If traveling to Shiner from Houston, make a cool stop in Brenham for a scoop or two of ice cream at Blue Bell Creameries for a sweet start to your trip. As if you need an extra reason to visit, their new flavor of “Dr. Pepper Float” may be calling your name. Only open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, Blue Bell may command an out-of-office reply in your email. 

Once the tour is over, stop in at the tasting room for a glass of the many tasty beers made at the brewery.
Photo Brian Maass Photography

Once you arrive in Shiner, begin with a brewery tour at the Spoetzl Brewery, founded in 1909 by German and Czech immigrants. Here you will learn all about the history and brewing processes of Shiner beer, explore the extensive brewing facility, and taste their most popular (and seasonal) beers on tap at the bar. Finally, grab some unique swag and souvenirs at the well-appointed Shiner gift shop. 

The new K. Spoetzl BBQ Co. opened April 1, and perfectly compliments the tasty beers the brewery makes.
Photo Brian Maass Photography

While best known for their excellent beers, The Spoetzl Brewery recently announced two exciting new offerings. First, the K. Spoetzl BBQ Co. officially opened on April 1 of this year. A nod to the brewery’s original German-American founder and brewmaster Kosmos Spoetzl, this on-site eatery will satisfy your appetite for Texas barbeque favorites such as smoked brisket, pulled pork, and sausage (ordered by the pound), or you can order your favorite protein on a sandwich. Other offerings range from pork ribs to green beans and cream corn on Thursdays through Saturdays. Try out the fully loaded baked potato, when visiting on Wednesdays or Saturdays.  

From loaded baked potatoes, brisket, and sausage, the K. Spoetzl carries on the Texas BBQ tradition. Tommy Schutte, who has over 20 years experience being a pit master, and brings that knowledge with him to the K. Spoetzl BBQ Co.
Photo Brian Maass Photography

On Memorial Day, May 29, the Spoetzl Brewery will open their brand new distillery to the public.  Shiner Spirits will be made available for purchase on-site at this second exciting new Spoetzl addition. Three spirits will be available, including Shiner Gin, Shiner Vodka, and Shiner Shine (moonshine). Before opening the bottle to make your own cocktails, sample one of the following onsite beverages made with Shiner Vodka: The Spoetzloma, Half Moon Mule, Bea’s 19th Hole (a spiked ice tea), or the aptly named “Kosmospolitan.”

The distillery pays homage to its heritage using original equipment designed by Kosmos Spoetzl, combined with hand-crafted world class Scottish copper distillation process.
Courtesy Photo

Whether you’re an avid beer lover or a traveler looking to explore the beauty of the Texas countryside, a trip to Shiner is sure to fill up your glass (or stein) in more ways than one! 

“The town of Shiner and surrounding areas have a colorful history of distilling that dates back to before Prohibition and ties to Shiner’s rich brewing heritage,” said Tom Florenzi Director of Brewery and Distillery Operations.
Courtesy photo
Visit the distillery, and try a cocktail made with one of the distillery’s spirits. Shiner Shine, Shiner Vodka, and Shiner Gin will be available when guests can tour the new distillery.
Photo Brian Maass Photography
In the not too distant future, the distillery will release their whisky and rum, but first both spirits have to age in barrels for two years.
Photo Brian Maass Photography


Cover Photo Brian Maass Photography

Dana Maass is a contributing writer, occupational therapist who lives with her husband and dog Chester in Round Rock, TX. Also an AirBNB host, she is a lover of travel, food & wine, nature, fitness, theater, live music, and community service. Maass volunteers with Sacred Heart Community Clinic and co-facilitates the “Still Standing” amputee support group, through St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.  Follow her on Instagram at dana_maass_adventures.