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Carlos Alvarez, Visionary Behind Shiner Beer and More, Passes Away at 73

Carlos Alvarez, Visionary Behind Shiner Beer and More, Passes Away at 73

The beer industry mourns the loss of Carlos Alvarez, a pioneer who transformed the American drinking landscape. Alvarez, renowned for introducing beloved brands like Modelo, Corona, and Shiner to the U.S., passed away at the age of 73. His death, announced by the Gambrinus Company on Tuesday, marks the end of an era in the brewing world.

"Many of you worked closely with Carlos for many years. Please know that he deeply appreciated your efforts and the family-like nature of Gambrinus. We will remember him for many things but especially his leadership, charisma, and charm. He was truly one-of-a-kind," said John Brozovich, President and CEO of the Gambrinus Company, in a statement.

Alvarez's journey from his roots in Mexico City to becoming a titan in the beer business is a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit. Born into a family entrenched in the beer trade, Alvarez learned the ins and outs of the industry from a young age. After earning a degree in biochemical engineering, he honed his skills in Mexican beer exports before venturing into the American market.

In 1981, Alvarez embarked on a daring endeavor, introducing Corona to Austin without the luxury of a marketing budget. Through sheer determination and strategic distribution deals, he propelled Corona and Modelo to the forefront of American beer culture over the ensuing decades.

In 1986, Alvarez laid down roots in San Antonio, founding the Gambrinus Company, a move that would further solidify his legacy in the industry. Under his stewardship, Gambrinus acquired the struggling Spoetzl Brewery, home of the iconic Shiner beer, and transformed it into a thriving craft brewery beloved by beer enthusiasts nationwide.

Alvarez's impact extended beyond the boardroom, earning him accolades such as induction into the Texas Business Hall of Fame and the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Together with his wife Malú, Alvarez dedicated himself to philanthropic endeavors, leaving an indelible mark on the San Antonio community.

"Carlos had an intense passion for the beer business, but he was also incredibly passionate about his philanthropic endeavors, particularly through education-related causes," continued Brozovich. "Carlos and his wife Malt have supported countless charitable causes in San Antonio, the United States, and abroad. But above all else, Carlos cherished his immediate and extended family in United States, Mexico, and Spain. Carlos is survived by his wife, Malt Alvarez, his daughter, Malt Alvarez, his daughter and my wife, Carla Brozovich, and his two grandchildren, Carlos Alvarez Brozovich and Carla Isabella Brozovich. He will be missed by all those who knew him well.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg led tributes to Alvarez, declaring a moment of silence at a City Council meeting in honor of his contributions to the city. Alvarez's legacy lives on not only in the beers he brought to American shores but also in the countless lives he touched through his philanthropy and vision for a better community.