On the road between Houston and Austin and have an hour or two to spare? Set the cruise to 74 on some back roads and hit the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. Any old GPS (or map) will get you there and it will be worth your visit.
I’ve visited a few breweries in my time and almost no one gets it as right as Shiner does. It was a quick, informative, free and tasty tour. On the beer trivia front, it was interesting to learn that Shiner has the capacity to bottle almost 500,000 bottles of beer a day. Not to mention, it brews everything from a “Light” to a “Bohemian Black” and can switch its bottling line from style to style in about 20 minutes. How’s that for old world beer and German engineering brought to small town Texas?
Finally, our gracious tour guide Anne, made it clear that some of the old world is still in this delicious Shiner brew. The hops. Yes, the hops come from “Germany and the Czech Republic”. When we queried our hostess on pinpointing the actual home of the hops, she demurred.
All that and a secret recipe, to boot.