Shiner's John Hybner is leaving Spoetzl after almost 40 years
- The passing of the brewmaster torch at Spoetzl Brewery was made official Thursday night with a grand tribute dinner recognizing John Hybner
...Long-time beer brewmaster John Hybner has retired from Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner after 391/2 years.
The brewery now markets six flavors of beer that he
helped to develop. Hybner
, who has been brewing beer for one of the country's leading independent breweries, started his
career at the brewery on Feb. 14, 1966.And while he
officially retired on May 31, Thursday's tribute - which was attended by more than 200 of Hybner's friends, Shiner residents and some of the state's other leading brewmasters - celebrated his
The importance of Hybner's contributions as both brewmaster and leader were emphasized with a standing ovation from the brewery's employees.
...Hybner also received a champagne toast led by Carlos Alvarez, president of the Gambrinus family, the brewery's owners.
"The moment I enjoyed the most was when the employees stood up and applauded John
," Alvarez said when it came it time to speak.
Alvarez then recalled his negotiations with Hybner
, then a part owner, to buy the brewery.
But behind the scenes, John
was asking the question, 'What are your intentions?' He
was looking after the brewery, looking after Shiner
, looking after you."
"Well, there is a fountain of anecdotes and stories about John
spirit, dedication and contributions to the brewery that will be told for a long time."
Cosmos Spoetzl bought the brewery in 1915.
family, the employees of the brewery and the Alvarez family.
"I had a lot of help getting to this point," he
then gave his
biggest thanks to his
wife, Florence, and his
family."They have been my biggest supporters," he
However, the brewery's new master, Mauric, said he
wasn't anxious over becoming the brewmaster because of the years of training Hybner
has given him.Starting as a bottle shop employee 27 years ago, he has served as the assistant brewmaster since 1991.
"The work has been a collaborative effort," he
said."No one individual making decisions.John
and I worked on our Light beer product and that was something we both always wanted and are extremely proud of doing.John
always kept me in the loop so I'm very confident and well trained to contribute to and continue the Spoetzl family tradition of brewing good beer."
isn't putting himself on a travel schedule."After so many years, I don't want a schedule," he
Besides now having the opportunity to travel, he
going to most enjoy not going to work.
"I haven't had the urge to go into the office once since May 31," he
said."I like the idea of not having to set an alarm clock.Yesterday, I took some of my grandkids fishing."Hybner
is now mostly interested in giving his
time to his
family."If you don't do it for your family, your kids and grandkids, what are you living for?"he
As far as trying his
hand at being a home brewer and whipping up batches of specialty beer for his
own use, Hybner
really doesn't see the need.
"I've left the brewery in good hands and they know what they have to do to make good beer," he