Texas won’t run out of Shiner

Were Texas beer drinkers ever worried that an announcement the Spoetzl Brewery would begin selling beer in Chicago meant there might be a shortage in their home state?

“I can assure you that we will always make sure that Victoria and the state of Texas will have plenty of beer,” marketing director Charlie Paulette said at a gathering in Victoria. “We are fully staffed and have plenty of capacity, so there won’t be a shortage of Shiner beer in Texas.”

Paulette did go into surprising details about marketing plans for the Windy City. A few highlights:

– He said the natural reaction of distributors in the past has been to place Shiner in country-western bars and steakhouses with a “Texas” name. “And then they think they’ve done the job,” he said. “Actually, the places that originally made Shiner popular were those real, authentic music clubs, like in Austin, and the neat, eclectic places around the state. University of Texas grads really helped us establish the brand originally.”

– He said Paulette said the company would be concentrating on its lead product, Shiner Bock. The consumers are people who have experience with the beer – graduates of the University of Texas, North Texas State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech who live in the Chicago area. He said contact would be made through offers of beer donations to alumni group functions and e-mail “blasts” to members of those groups.

– Chicago was selected quite a while ago, Paulette said, and will be the only market expansion for Shiner beer this year. “We tried to move into Atlanta in 1995 and into San Francisco about six years ago and weren’t very successful,” he said. “You would now be hard pressed to find Shiner Bock in either of those cities. But Chicago is the third largest market in the country and the third largest market for craft beers, so it can be a place where we are successful. And we’re always getting asked by people from that area when they were going to start getting Shiner beer.”

2 Replies to “Texas won’t run out of Shiner”

  1. When I was a grad student in Austin in the 60s, there was no Shiner Bock. There was however a wonderful beer known as Shiner Texas Special.

    A couple of urban legends were circulating at the time about Shiner Texas Special. Word was that it was made with apples and was therefore good for your health. Hence, (1) if you were ever put in the hospital in Shiner, Texas, you got a bottle of beer a day, and (2) Shiner was the only (or maybe one of the few) breweries that was allowed to remain in operation during prohibition.

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