Shiner Bock beer is brewed in the small Texas town of Shiner (pop. 2213). The city is located south-east of the state capital, Austin.
The original brewery was formed in 1909 by Czech and German immigrants that had settled in the area. They called their new brewery the "Shiner Brewing Association".
It was not until 1915 when the brewery was purchased by Kosmos Spoetzl that the fine beer we still know as "Shiner Bock" was created. Kosmos was a German brewmaster (he actually earned a degree in it) who worked in Germany and Canada before moving to the United States. When he purchased the S.B.A. brewery he began to use his own recipes for beer, most notably his "bock", and changed the brewery name to the K. Spoetzl Brewery.
A bock is a member of the lager family of beer, these are generally light to dark amber colored beers with a midrange alcohol content (3%-4%). Lagers are brewed in a process known as "bottom fermenting"where by the yeast are allowed to settle to the bottom of the vat during the brewing process.
Shiner bock is one of the most well known of of the American bock beers, and one of the few microbreweries to achieve major commercial success. This is due largely to the fact that in 1989 the Spoetzl brewery was purchased by the Gambrinus Corporation of San Antonio, Tx. Gambrinus is the company that imports Corona beers for the eastern U.S. and has helped Shiner beers to grow in popularity through a major ad/marketing campaign and by seeking out new distributors for the Shiner beers. Gambrinus has shown great soul and respect by not tampering with the brewery itself, or it's style of brewing. The Spoetzl brewery currently employs 50 people making 5 different beers, some of them seasonal brews available only in summer or winter. The brewmaster, John Hybner has been in charge of the brewery for nearly 25 years, and hopefully will continue to do so for many years to come. Shiner beers are currently available in only 22 states simply because that is all the demand that the little brewery can handle. They refuse to contract their recipe to other breweries, trading market share and profits for quality and personal pride in their product. They know not to tamper with something so right, a lesson many other companies could stand to learn.