Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beer, BBQ and the Beach

Wednesday was a cloudy day with a fine mist of rain off and on. It was not too wet so we decided to go ahead and ride the 50 miles to the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner Texas.


We arrived for the 11:00am tour with about 15 other visitors.  This Brew Kettle was the first one used in the factory in 1909. It was bought used and brought over from Germany. It was really small compared to the ones they use today.


Todays Brew Kettles


Spoetzl was founded in 1909, and is the oldest independent brewery in Texas. During prohibition, Spoetzl kept the brewery afloat by selling ice and making "near beer." After Prohibition only five of the original 13 Texas breweries were still intact. When the Prohibition laws were repealed larger beer plants, such as Anheuser-Busch, moved to Texas making life harder on the smaller independent breweries, but Spoetzl kept things small and simple never going more than 70 miles for business. Now they sell beer in 42 states.

The tour did not take too long but listening to the stories of how Kosmas Spoetzl still brewed real beer during the prohibition was interesting.  He always had one keg with real beer in it that was kept with all of the “Near Beer” kegs. He would allow the towns people to come in and get all the beer they wanted. The keg with a ladle on it signified the real beer. Needles to say, that is the keg the towns people always went to.

After our tour we went into the gift shop looked around. They gave us 4 samples of their beer. We tried different ones but after three I had to stop. We still had to get back on the motorcycle and we have not had lunch yet.

On the way back we did stop at a small BBQ hut in small town. It was okay, but BBQ is different in each state. It is funny reading all of the billboards that claim the worlds best BBQ. Now, how can all of these be the worlds best BBQ? I guess we will just have to keep sampling and we will make up our own minds. Open-mouthed smile

Thursday was still cloudy and windy so we just stayed home. Max went up to the club house and worked on a jigsaw puzzle and played Pokeno with some other people. I elected to stay home and read. I just bought and downloaded another Kindle book and wanted to get into it.

Friday we decided to take a bike ride to the Gulf. The closest route was straight down Highway 71 to Palacios Texas. The route took us through a mixture of cattle and farming country. We saw a few longhorns and various other types of cattle, goats and horses. We kept seeing deeply plowed rows and was wondering what they were growing. We eventually found out that it was rice.


Palacios Texas is situated on a bay and is a very small town. They do have a nice pier so we stopped and walked out. Here is a picture of the bay where we parked.


There were very few people around and no one was on the pier. We walked out and enjoyed the sounds of the gulls flying around and watching a few boats heading out of the bay.

As we walked back to the bike, this Heron came in to the shoreline to fish.


After watching him for awhile we saw his head go under and he came back up with his lunch.


After he gobbled it down he decided to try his luck farther away from us so he took flight.


We left Palacios and headed around the bay to the Matagorda Bay Nature Park.

The park is a 1,600-acre park and preserve at the mouth of the Colorado River on the Matagorda Peninsula. The park has about two miles of Gulf of Mexico and two miles river frontage and hundreds of acres of coastal marshes and dunes. It is one of the best birding areas in the nation. They are currently creating a couple of jetty’s at the mouth of the Colorado river so we could not walk down the river bank.

There were a lot of pelicans flying up and down the river but I just could not get close enough to get a good picture. We were able to see several of them from a spotting scope that was set up inside of the science center. Next to the science center is a nice campground. This would be a great spot to come back to after all the construction is done and spend a week.

This is the science center with the campground next to it. The Colorado river runs just behind them.


The beach was also not very busy


There is a long fishing pier also that leads out to a jetty.


I am quite sure we will come back to this area. It is very quiet and relaxing. There is a lot more here to explore that our limited time would not allow.

While we were at the coast, we were hoping to be able to buy a few pounds of fresh shrimp. We did stop at one place but the boat would not be back until late afternoon. Oh Well! We had to get back.

We left the coast and started our 2 hour trip back home. We made it back just in time for the BBQ buffet that a local restaurant has on Fridays. I think half of the RV park goes there on Fridays. It’s not the worlds best BBQ at all but there was plenty of fried catfish, shrimp and frog legs to go with it.

Monday we were suppose to head to Betty’s RV park in Abbeville La. Betty called me this morning and told us that she did not think she would be able to get us in the spot that she had in mind for us. All of her spots are in and around her house and it can be a chore getting in and out. The person leaving on Monday does not have a very large rig so she was concerned that she would not be able to get our rig to fit in that spot. I told her no problem we would try again next time we are in that area.

Not sure were we will end up next week but I bet it will be close to a billboard that say’s “Worlds Best BBQ”

Enjoy Your Day!

1 comment:

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I enjoyed reading your blog. It seems like you had lot of fun.. Thanks for sharing!!