San Antonio Beer: Alamo City History By The Pint


Brewing history and beer culture permeate San Antonio. The Menger Hotel and its bar notoriously frequented by Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders began as the city’s first brewery in 1855. The establishment of San Antonio Brewing Association and Lone Star Brewery at the close of the nineteenth century began the city’s golden age of brewing. Decades later, the Volstead Act decimated the city’s brewing community. Only one brewery survived Prohibition. Those that bounced back were run out of business by imports coming in on the new railroad. The 1990s saw a craft comeback with the opening of the oldest existing brewpub, Blue Star Brewing Company. Today, San Antonio boasts a bevy of new breweries and celebrates its brewing heritage. Grab a pint and join authors Jeremy Banas and Travis E. Poling for a taste of Alamo City’s hoppy history.



San Antonio Beer has the distinction of being apart of the research library of the Daughters of The Republic of Texas, keepers of the most comprehensive library of Texas history; as well as a part of the collection for the Weyerman International Beer Library located at Weyerman Malting in Bamberg, Germany.

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"This collaboration from local craft brew enthusiasts Jeremy Banas and Travis E. Poling is made for reading while drinking."
- San Antonio Magazine


Pearl: A Heady History of San Antonio’s Iconic Brew



The book will discuss the six periods of Pearl’s history. The first period discusses the Pearl Brewery’s earliest beginnings as the City Brewery in 1883 and its quick rise to dominance in San Antonio within ten years, quickly moving into the second period that saw fantastic growth, prompting the construction of a new state of the art brewery, stables, offices and bottling house in 1893, as well as cooperation with other Texas breweries in the formation of a Brewers guild to battle the growing rumblings of the temperance movement. The third period discusses the challenges that the brewery faced during the hard times of prohibition, the decision of the company to remain open under a modified business model to keep employees working and the post-Prohibition years that saw Pearl as one of the few remaining breweries in the United States under the leadership of founder Otto Koehler’s widow, Emma. After Emma’s death’ the fourth period begins in 1943 with the ascension of Koehler’s nephew Otto A. Koehler, who in addition to returning the name Otto to the management team, he oversaw unprecedented growth until his death in 1969. After Otto A’s death, the fifth period is ushered in and sees the struggle of company to maintain its position, its sale and its rapid decline until its closure in 2001. The sixth period sees the revitalization of the Pearl area as a shopping and dining experience beginning in the late 2000s and the eventual return of brewing to the Pearl area in 2012 with the Granary ‘Que and Brew brewpub and the return of brewing to the original brewhouse in the form of Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewing in 2015.