Monday, January 24, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Beer

The National Beer of Texas
Great taste or less filling? That is a question that has plagued the residents of Texas for over 170 years. That's right, today we are going to look at the history of beer in Texas. The appearance of beer in Texas followed the influx of a great number of German immigrants, who just so happened to have been in the business of brewing beer for hundreds of years before coming to Texas. These immigrants came from a country, Germany, that had followed strict beer-brewing regulations for over 300 years, thanks to the German Beer Purity Law of 1516, "or the "Bavarian Purity Law" in English, is a regulation concerning the production of beer in Germany. In the original text, the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer were water, barley, and hops. The law has since been repealed but many German and American beers, for marketing purposes, continue to declare that they abide by the rule, in an attempt to convince customers that only the three permissible ingredients are used (although technically all modern commercial breweries in Germany add a fourth ingredient, yeast)." Thanks to Wikipedia for that citation.

The Grandfather of at least one very famous Texan started his own brewery in 1855. Charles Nimitz, grandpa to Chester W. Nimitz, bought a hotel in Fredericksburg, built his own brewery and beer became a major part of social life in Texas. Such lumiaries as Robert E. Lee, Rutherforb B. Hayes and Ulysses S. Grant thought this was a great idea and so what is considered by many to be the beginning of beer in Texas.

Scholz's Garden in Austin has been making beer for Capital city residents since 1866. Pearl Beer, based on an old German beer recipe, came along in 1885 and in 1909 German and Czech farmers near the town of Shiner, started making Shiner and Shiner Bock beers in 1909 and still use the same recipe over 100 years later. And let us not forget the National Beer of Texas, Lone Star Beer, which is still a big seller in Texas and around the country.

The Super Bowl is just a couple of weeks away and beer will flow like water over Niagra Falls all over Texas on that day. It might be a good time to expand your beer-drinking horizons for the Super Bowl Sunday and have a Shiner or two. Has long has it been since you've a had an ice cold Lone Star? That's too long. At any rate, beer has been a big deal in Texas for coming up on 200 years, so it's just natural that after a hard day's work, during a friendly poker game or sittin' back with some friends and family watching the Super Bowl, that a couple of good frosty ones will be a part of the occasion.

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker