Shiner Brewery & San Antonio

K. Spoetzl BreweryLast Friday, some friends and I made the pilgrimage to Shiner, TX to visit the Kosmo Spoetzl Brewery. As it’s location suggests, this brewery is responsible for the tasty brews that make up the family of Shiner beers. We had been meaning to make the trip, and with the Spring Recess upon us and Graduation closing in fast, we finally did.

It was fun! First of all, unlike the St. Arnold’s brewery tour, there was actually a tour. We were taken through the area where the beer is brewed, with its great big copper vats, and then onto the bottling area, which was really fun to see. I’ve never seen a bottling facility in person, and I was amazed by the speed with which the process occurs. The tour guide gave some incredible figure about the amount that was bottled per minute. I can remember what it was, but it seemed absurd.

Also, there was a beer tasting session in the gift shop area. The beer was as good as it normally is, but not better. This was somewhat surprising, but Shiner in the bottle is pretty damn good to begin with. We got to take lots of pictures, and I bought a sign! My friends and me behind the bar at Shiner Brewery

Then, somewhat spontaneously, we continued on to San Antonio. Many in our party had never been, and those who had were eager to return. San Antonio is a beautiful city with a stellar downtown. It is the face Texas should, and to some extent does, show to the world. It is also everything that Houston is not. We had a great time walking around the Alamo and the Riverwalk. We had dinner at a Tex-Mex place named Casa Rio which was (you guessed it!) right on the Riverwalk. The food was modestly priced but unremarkable. The best part, however, came from the influx of college basketball fans, who were in town for the Final Four, which was to start the next day. It seemed the entire town was clad in Blue, Blue, Blue, and Powder Blue (4 number 1 seeds, all with the color blue as their primary color? All I ask is for some diversity of hue!). Apparently, Bob Knight and the ESPN college basketball crew was broadcasting from the Riverwalk that very day, but it must have been in the morning before we were there. It was fun to see all the different people and where they were from.
The Alamo Dome before the Final Four

We also saw bagpipers!

All in all, it was a great trip. Stay tuned for more pictures.

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