Tours weekdays only, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; 603 E. Brewery; 361-594-3383; shiner.com (last year’s Bocktober Fest brought nearly 20,000 revelers to the tiny town; don’t say I didn’t warn you).
115 E. Seventh (the sign out front reads Home Place; Jo will explain), 361-275-0999.
ANTIQUES, ART AND BEER:
720 N. Avenue E, 361-594-2337.
OLD KASPER HOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST:
219 N. Avenue C, 361-594-4336, oldkasperhouse.com.
I’D LIKE TO TOAST THOSE thin-lipped Puritans for settling along the East Coast and leaving a swath of Central Texas free for fun-loving Czech and German pioneers, who brought us kolaches, place names without vowels, and beer. If nothing else, it’s the perfect excuse for a road trip to Shiner, where prost is still frequently spoken. And what makes Shiner the unofficial Slavic-Teutonic capital of Texas, rather than, say, neighboring Moravia or Praha? Why, the Spoetzl Brewery, of course.
Now, the last time I’d seen old Spoetzl, thirty years ago, it was held together by baling wire and duct tape, cranking out just enough brew to satisfy locals and the handful of regulars welded to the bar stools in its tiny hospitality room, where samples were free and unlimited. The brewery’s sad state