Shiner Brewery (aka Spoetzl Brewery) in Shiner, Texas, is mostly known for its iconic Shiner Bock. It receives average to above average ratings in general, but for many people, it is the only craft beer available in certain bars and small towns. Fair enough. It is not my favorite beer, but I would choose it in a heartbeat over Bud Light.
Shiner Bock has traditionally been a beer of the South, unavailable in many northern states. But this is changing in an interesting way. First, Shiner Bock will be available in Rhode Island starting immediately. The company was able to work out a deal with a chain of stores there to sell the beer.
Shiner Bock is also now available in Connecticut, due to an individual fan’s endless efforts. Scott Kerr may be the world’s biggest fan of Shiner Bock. The 44 year old man has been drinking the beer his entire life, to the exclusion of all else. But when he moved from Texas to Connecticut, he was horrified to find that he could not buy the beer anywhere in the state. Crossing into other states to stockpile the beer (bootlegging? I won’t tell!), he carefully rationed his supply at all times.
Mr. Kerr decided to run a social media campaign to try to convince Shiner to sell the beer in Connecticut. He would comment on all of Shiner’s Facebook posts with the words, “PLEASE BRING SHINER BOCK TO CT!” in all caps. The Shiner company noticed Kerr’s persistence, and so when they decided to expand their distribution, they not only included Connecticut, but also held a surprise party for Kerr — with family and friends — to personally give him the state’s first-ever case of Shiner Bock.
I find this story to be heart-warming. It is a rare example of a company actually responding to its fans’ requests — Kerr was the most vocal advocate of Shiner Bock in Connecticut, but not the only one. It humanizes commerce, capitalism, and the craft beer industry. And it also gives Connecticut residents an opportunity to try a very popular Texas beer. Overall, I believe that it is a win-win situation. What do you think?