Headshot of Carlos AlvarezOur Benefactor

Carlos Alvarez’ success story began in June 1981 in Austin when he sold the very first cases of Corona in the United States. Carlos and Malú Alvarez moved to San Antonio with their two daughters in 1986 and founded The Gambrinus Company, which became the U.S. importer for the Grupo Modelo beer brands. For the next 20 years, Gambrinus was responsible for selling and marketing what would become the most successful brand in contemporary beer marketing history—Corona Extra.

In 1989, Alvarez acquired the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. At that time, the historic Texas brewery had been in decline for several years and faced serious financial difficulties. Having seen Austin’s developing consumer support for Shiner and recognizing the brewery’s heritage which dates back to 1909, he became convinced of the brand’s potential. After investing in the brewery’s facilities and in selling and marketing efforts behind its beers, today Shiner is a leading independent craft brewery in the U.S. with Shiner Bock as its flagship brand.  Gambrinus also owns and operates the Trumer Brewery in Berkeley, California, brewer of Trumer Pils, the most awarded pilsner in the world and a leading brand in the Bay Area.

A prominent community leader, Alvarez served on the boards of Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc.; United Way of San Antonio; the World Affairs Council of San Antonio; and was a member of Haven for Hope’s Leadership Advisory Council.

At the national level, he served on the boards of National Public Radio and the World Affairs Council of America, both in Washington, D.C. He was a trustee of Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina; a former trustee of School Year Abroad, North Andover, Massachusetts; and a member of The University of Texas System’s Chancellor’s Council.

Recognized as a legendary Texas businessman, Alvarez was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2011, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which celebrates inspiring immigrants to the United States whose philanthropy works for the betterment of their communities. He received a bachelor’s degree in biochemical engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and an honorary doctorate from St. Mary’s University.

Alvarez passed away in 2024.


College Naming

Carlos and Malú Alvarez committed $20 million to The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business in March 2021, which resulted in the renaming of the college to the Carlos Alvarez College of Business.

The first named college at UTSA, the Alvarez College of Business uses the gift to advance research-enhancing activities, including establishing endowed faculty positions, graduate research fellowships and undergraduate research programs.