Tag Archives: Shiner Beer

Postcards from Small Town Texas

The Complete Package and I have been enjoying scenic drives to small towns throughout Texas. This is the third in a series of photos documenting our lazy day adventures and highlighting these small town Texas treasures.

Third Stop: Shiner, Texas


Shiner has an unconventional downtown compared to other small towns we’ve visited. Instead of a town square, Shiner’s downtown appears to be one long street running parallel to a railroad track, with shops running for a block or two on either side of the tracks. While I missed that town square vibe, there were plenty of historic buildings to ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ over. Most of these were built in 1910-1911. I can never get enough of the gorgeous brick details in these old buildings. The craftsmanship is just stunning and so colorful.

This might just be my favorite downtown shop. Why? Because my mother’s name is Martha and she is an avid quilter; has been ever since she was a wee girl. If she ever decides to move away from Oklahoma, I think she could step right into this place and take over. How perfect is that?


Once you’ve hit all the shops and taken a lunch break, take a short stroll down 6th Street to this bridge over the creek (that’s downtown in the background).


For your efforts, you’ll be rewarded with a visit to the Spoetzl Brewery, home of Shiner Beer. For Texas beer lovers, this place is sacred.


There’s something about visiting the Spoetzl Brewery that makes you feel like you’re experiencing Texas history firsthand. Heck, I’m not even a beer drinker and I get excited seeing those gorgeous, enormous copper brewing kettles.


Tours of the brewery are only available Monday through Friday (I know… I don’t get it, either) so plan accordingly if you want to take in the heady brew room in person. If you find yourself in Shiner on a weekend, don’t despair. The gift shop is open on Saturday from 11am-3pm, and you can sample Shiner’s many varieties while browsing the t-shirts, ball caps and other treasures.


If you’re lucky, you might even find yourself there during a beer-themed trade fair. We found table after table of antiques & collectibles under the live oaks in front of the brewery. While we didn’t find anything we couldn’t live without, there was certainly plenty to see and some really interesting people to chat with.


Our last stop was one of the famous painted churches of Texas. Built by Czech and German immigrants, these churches are among some of our most treasured Texas historical buildings. This historical marker tells the tale of Saints Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church in Shiner (click on the photo to see it in a larger format, then click the ‘back’ arrow on your computer to return to this post).


Just outside the church, we found this pretty little grotto/shrine.


But the real show-stopper is the church itself. Built in 1920-21, it’s a testament to the faith and perseverance of Shinerites as well as a nod to their history and heritage. As luck would have it, the church was locked when we were there. To see photos of the painted interior, you can click on this link to a Google Images page or visit the Texas Escapes page for Saints Cyril & Methodius Church.


What I can tell you is that it’s enormous and absolutely gorgeous from the outside. Even if you find it locked, it’s still worth a leisurely stroll around the church just to enjoy the details of the exterior. It really is a lovely church.

Shiner is located approximately 125 miles west of Houston, 80 miles southeast of Austin, or 90 miles east of San Antonio. For more information on Shiner, visit their website at http://www.shinertx.com/ or visit the Texas Escapes Website.

To see the other stories in this series, go to:
Postcards from Small Town Texas – Hallettsville
Postcards from Small Town Texas – Yoakum

7 Comments

Filed under Travel Tales

Buy Local Spotlight: Eating out at Stomp’s Burger Joint in Bacliff, Texas

In an effort to promote local products and places, The Complete Package and I ventured out last Sunday in search of the perfect hamburger. There’s an urban myth in the Houston area that Stomp’s Burger Joint in Bacliff, Texas has not only developed near perfect hamburgers, but has also mastered the art of onion rings. We knew it would be a sacrifice, but we were willing to take one for the team to find out if the rumors were true. With our stretchy pants on and our camera in hand, we set out on the hour-long drive to Bacliff on Highway 146 along Galveston Bay, a few minutes south of Kemah.

Inside seating at Stomp's is limited, so go early or be prepared to wait.

We knew we had arrived when we saw a brown wooden structure with STOMP’S painted on the roof. As expected, the place was crowded and we found ourselves pulling into an over-flow parking lot adjacent to the restaurant. When you get there, it’s “seat yourself” and be forewarned, inside tables are hard to come by. If you insist on air-conditioning you may very well have to wait, but if you’re willing to brave the heat, Stomp’s has a screened patio with extra outdoor seating. Once you find a table, a busy waitress will greet you promptly and get to work on your drink order. Choices include tea (sweet & unsweetened), soft drinks and beer. We went for a Dr Pepper and a Shiner. This is Texas, after all.

The Yippee Ki Yay burger at Stomp's - it's a good one.

When it comes to burgers, there is something for everyone at Stomp’s. Like them plain? Got it. Prefer your burger with double meat, gooey cheese and chopped jalapenos? Done. Marinated in wine? Yep. Marinated in ranch? You betcha. Smothered in chili, salsa, mushrooms or refried beans? They do that, too. I chose the Hog Wild burger, which featured a single, hand-packed meat patty with smokey bacon mixed in. I topped mine with cheese, tomatoes, onion and avocado with a little mayo. TCP ordered the Yippee Ki Yay burger that included a single meat patty marinated in ranch and topped with BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and all the fixin’s. Both burgers were tasty. The meat is freshly ground and hand shaped, so there’s no fear of getting a frozen, pre-shaped patty. No mass-produced burgers here, folks. These things were fresh and homemade and lovely. They were crisp and smokey on the outside, and juicy on the inside.

The key to those big, gorgeous rings? Order them double-dipped.

Our next choice was fries or onion rings. Reviews we’d seen on the internet warned that the fries were of the generic frozen variety and should be skipped. Instead, we went for the hand-battered rings. We ordered one batch of rings the regular way and one “double dipped”, as suggested in one review. When they arrived, however, both orders came out double-dipped. Once we tried them, we were thankful for the mix-up. The double-dipped onion rings came out so thick and crunchy, they were hard to resist. We were also thankful we’d each ordered a plate, since both of us decided we didn’t want to share. A standard order of onion rings comes with 5-7 thick sliced rings. We agree with other reviewers: skip the fries and order the onion rings; double-dipped is the way to go.

Overall, we consumed two juicy, flavor-packed burgers, two orders of double-dipped onion rings, a big glass of Dr. Pepper and a frosty Shiner beer. Our total bill was $28 including the tip. So now the big question is, “Was it worth it?” Yes. I wouldn’t say it was worth driving 2 hours round-trip just to visit Stomp’s, but if we’re ever in the Galveston Bay area and we’re craving a burger & rings, we would definitely stop in again. So, it appears the rumors are mostly true. Stomp’s does make a great burger and they have definitely mastered the art of onion rings, especially if you go for double-dipped deliciousness. But best burger ever? I’m not willing to make that leap. I’d put them in our Top 5 in the Houston area. Maybe even Top 3, and that’s not bad. Not bad at all.

The Stomp’s website is sparse, with only a restaurant logo and a scanned copy of the menu to choose from, but thanks to YELP, you can get a map and read reviews posted by those who’ve gone before you. There are also a few photos to browse. I’ll admit, I read the reviews before we went and it paid off. We would never have known that you could order your onion rings “double dipped” without those reviews. Now, if only Stomp’s would switch to hand-cut fries…

For what it’s worth, you can find the Stomp’s website at: http://www.stompsburgerjoint.com/

To read what others are saying about Stomp’s, try YELP.com at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/stomps-burger-joint-bacliff

9 Comments

Filed under "Buy Local" Spotlights, Food & Recipes