8. K. Spoetzl Brewery
2012 production: 524,000 barrels
Do not discount Texas' love of beer. While small breweries are making big advances in Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio, there's still a whole lot of love for those yellow Shiner Bock labels. Spoetzl's history dates back to 1909 and coasted through the recession selling ice and alcohol-free beer. It wasn't until the early 1980s, however, that Shiner started to catch on and develop a cult following among Texas country musicians, South By Southwest and Austin City Limits attendees and Texas drinkers in the know. In recent years, however, Spoetzl has added variations including Premium, Bohemian Black and Hefeweizen to the Shiner lineup, as well as a full slate of seasonal and small-batch beers. Shiner production that lingered around 36,000 barrels in 1990 grew to 393,000 barrels by 2008. Now owned by the San Antonio-based Gambrinus family of brewers -- which also owns Portland, Ore.-based BridgePort, the California-based production facility of Austria's Trumer Pils and the defunct Pete's Wicked craft beer label -- Shiner is available in 40 states and still spreading the Texas love to any barfly willing to take a sip.
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