Carlos Alvarez was a true visionary and a legendary figure in the world of business. His remarkable journey began in 1981 when he sold the very first cases of Corona in the United States, marking the start of a remarkable success story. Alongside his wife Malú, Carlos founded The Gambrinus Company in 1986, which became the U.S. importer for Grupo Modelo beer brands. Over the next two decades, Gambrinus played a pivotal role in the unprecedented success of Corona Extra, making it one of the most successful brands in contemporary beer marketing history.
In 1989, Carlos acquired the struggling Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. Recognizing its rich heritage and the potential of the brand, he invested in revitalizing the brewery and its beers. Today, Shiner is a leading independent craft brewery in the U.S., with Shiner Bock as its flagship brand. Carlos also owned and operated the Trumer Brewery in Berkeley, California, which produces the award-winning Trumer Pils, an esteemed brand in the Bay Area.
Beyond his business ventures, Carlos Alvarez was a prominent community leader and philanthropist. He served on the boards of various organizations, including Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc., United Way of San Antonio, and the World Affairs Council of San Antonio. At the national level, Carlos served on the boards of National Public Radio and the World Affairs Council of America, leaving a lasting impact on the fields of media and international relations.

Carlos’s dedication to education and community development was evident through his involvement with institutions such as Davidson College, School Year Abroad, and The University of Texas System’s Chancellor’s Council. His commitment to philanthropy and community betterment was recognized when he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2011, celebrating his inspiring contributions as an immigrant to the United States.
Carlos Alvarez’s legacy as a legendary Texas businessman was solidified with his induction into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2010. His achievements, leadership, and generosity will continue to inspire generations to come.
On behalf of La Prensa Texas, we extend our deepest condolences to Carlos’s family, friends, and loved ones. May his remarkable legacy and the memories he created bring comfort and solace during this difficult time.
Rest in peace, dear Carlos Alvarez. Your impact will forever be remembered and cherished.