Friday, September 16, 2011

Shiner Sneaking Into ACL Fest Again

The ginormous Austin City Limits Music Festival cranks up again today, and yet again, the great music is counterbalanced with mediocre (at best) beer. Craft beer lovers have long bitched about ACL Fest's selection, which I believe is just A-B products and Heineken, when they could be showcasing local and craft beers. There's even a Twitter feed devoted to this discussion. For the past few years, Spoetzl (makers of Shiner) have struck back in sneaky ways, and they'll be doing it again. Press release:
Spoetzl Brewery Moving to Austin?

Shiner Beers Brings Their Brewery to Austin and the ACL Festival

It started three years ago when Heineken was named the “official” beer of ACL – The Austin City Limits Music Festival. What? Heineken? At the Austin City Limits Festival? That hurt Shiner’s feelings. Even though the brewery is 90 miles away, Austin and Shiner have a long and strong connection. And Shiner has deep roots in music too.

So Shiner decided to be involved at ACL on its own terms. The first year it was by producing thousands of koozies that looked like Shiner Bock cans, then handing those out to fans on their way in to the festival. Cans of Heineken transformed into cans of Shiner Bock. Or so it seemed.

The second year, Shiner handed out wooden nickels to concert-gers. The same wooden nickels that visitors to the brewery receive and exchange for beer samples. Except these nickels could be exchanged for a free Shiner outside of the Festival, through Shiner’s Foreign Beer Exchange Program. Leave your foreign beer behind, in the trashcan or the port-o-let, and replace it with an ice cold shiner.

Last year we added music to the mix. A billboard across the street was transformed into a 20-foot tall stage where Austin bands – who were also excluded from ACL – entertained the crowd below.

This year we're bringing the brewery to Austin. A façade of the actual Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner will be built in the parking lot of Flipnotics on Barton Springs Road. Inside you’ll find a biergarten serving Shiner beers along with German and Czech food, some of it from restaurants in Shiner. While eating and drinking, you can enjoy the polka stylings of the Shiner Hobo Band on Saturday or Erik Hokkanen on Sunday. Learn more at


doncarlo said...

You'd think ACL would be excited to have local craft beers at their festival when they only allow local food vendors. I guess A-B gives too much money as a sponsor every year. This years boring beer selection is at least augmented by some A-B backed beers: (from the website) "crafts beers like Landshark, Shock Top, RedHook Long Hammer IPA, Widmer Hefeweizen, Broken Halo IPA, Michelob Ultra, ZiegenBock, Kona Longboard Island Lager, Drifter Pale Ale, Kona Pipeline Porter."

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you mention those beers. None of them were available at the festival.

doncarlo said...

It seems that they changed up what beers they offered at the festival. Note that these are not the beers offered at all the beer stands throughout the festival, but only at the one "Craft Beer" tent up behind the Austin Ventures stage.

On Friday they had Long Hammer IPA, Longboard Lager, Drifter Pale, and Pipeline Porter along with A-B's Shock Top and Shock Top Pumpkin. The Long Hammer, Drifter, and Pipeline were completely gone by 7 pm.

On Saturday and Sunday I was surprised to see Independence's Stash IPA on the list. I got a pint early on Saturday and it was sold out later in the day. On Sunday I tried to get a Stash around 3:30 and the person two ahead of me in line got the last one.