San Antonio Brewing Association

Pearl Brewing: A Book Teaser Part III.

By late 1918, Federal Prohibition was in effect and with it a change in the San Antonio Brewing Association, now known as Alamo Industries. Emma Koehler and company were intent on riding out the storm, as many did not feel that the national ban on alcohol would last more than a few years...

" Period Three. Prohibition 1918 - 1933

Chapter Eleven

In the two years leading up to the start of Prohibition, San Antonio and Texas in general, was in its prime. San Antonio boasted six breweries: the San Antonio Brewing Association; Peter Bros Brewery; Degen’s Brewery; the Lone Star Brewing Association, Schober’s; and the Och’s and Aschbacer’s Brewery. 1916 saw these San Antonio breweries realize a combined annual income of $8,000,000 that was a ridiculously high sum that amounted to around a fourth of the city’s overall income. With 1,200 employees and a total payroll of a million, San Antonio’s brewing Industry was three times larger than any other industry in the Alamo City.  In 1917, with Prohibition on the horizon, the San Antonio Brewing Association introduced ‘La Perla – A Near Beer’ while still brewing XXX Pearl Beer.

Pearl Brewing: A Book Teaser

In December of 2015, my first book “San Antonio Beer: Alamo City History by the Pint” was released. Co-written with my friend, and fellow beer writer, Travis Polling, it chronicled the history of brewing in San Antonio from the early 1850's to the present. Two of the chapters alone were just the Pearl. It was through this research I realized that the full scope of Pearl's story could be contained in such a small number of words. Thus my second book "Pearl: A History of San Antonio's Iconic Beer" was born. Though the book will be released in December of this year, I wanted to release a series of 'teaser' posts. Below is the first of six previews. 


The early 1880’s were an interesting time for San Antonio. The population had 225,000 by 1880; the city’s second railroad, the International-Great Northern, had arrived and an industrial revolution had gripped the city. Modernization was in full swing, paralleling that of the country’s growth at the time. Having dropped slightly from being the largest city in Texas, San Antonio’s infrastructure boomed as well, with hospitals, paved roads, telephones and the like bringing San Antonio into the modern era and once again the State’s largest city.