Monday, July 27, 2009

Pilgrimage

On Friday afternoon we made the drive to Shiner, TX, the birthplace of deliciousness. We had been wanting to arrange a trip to Shiner for over a year, but their hours are very restricted (M-F, 9 am-5 pm) and they are closed on all holidays. It's summer though, and with half of the group being teachers, and the two others by chance having some time off, we knew we had to seize the opportunity. The last tour starts at 2:30, and google estimated it would take 2:20 hours to get there. Manuel, Celita and I left early, but Ryan worked until noon. Amber was there waiting for him to get out and then flew across I-10 to ensure they'd make it on time.
Shiner is a small town, and the brewery sits back a little way hidden behind some tall oak trees. Apparently we weren't the only ones trying to get a glimpse of where our fave beer is brewed. It was packed! The small gift shop is also where you get your samples, and it was shoulder to shoulder. Our tour group consisted of 107 people, and our guide was pushing her lungs to hoarsely yell out all the historic information.

Interesting facts:
  • The plant is run by 63 employees
  • They only bottle one beer at a time
  • Shiner Blond was the original brew
  • Shiner Bock was favored during the Lenten season; it kept people full while they were fasting during the day!
  • Shiner is certified kosher
  • Shiner survived the Prohibition Era
  • It's the oldest surviving brewery in Texas

Though it's a small brewery and a bit out of the way, clearly there is love for Shiner and people are making their way there. I asked if it was so busy because it was a Friday, but they woman doling out the samples said that it has been packed every day from the time they open until the time they close. She attributes this to the fact that this is the centennial anniversary and that they are being featured in many different publications. If you find you way traveling along I-10 and are up for a detour, head south and pay a visit to "the little brewery in Shiner."

***HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SHINER!***

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