The History of the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, Texas

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We couldn’t brew-lieve these photos date back to the 1900’s. | Photo via Pearl

What was once a thriving beer manufacturer with roots in Bremen, Germany is now the iconic cultural hub and staple for the Alamo City. The Pearl Brewery, known then as San Antonio Brewing Company, dates back all the way to 1883.

Here is a quick timeline of the Pearl Brewery’s history and impact on San Antonio —

1894 - The picturesque brewhouse locals see today was built by Chicago architect August Maritzen.

1916 - The San Antonio Brewing Company becomes the largest brewery in Texas.

1919 - Prohibition nearly forces the brewery to close. The company diversifies its services + changes its name to the Alamo Foods Company.

1933 - With the end of Prohibition and the start of the Great Depression, the company decided to change the name back to its original name.

1952 - The San Antonio Brewing Company officially changes its name to the Pearl Brewing Company.

2001 - The Pearl Brewery closes its doors after 118 years. Silver Ventures purchases the 23-acre site with plans to reimagine it as a cultural, food, and shopping hub.

2009 - The first year-round farmers market is held.

2010 - The Culinary Institute of America opens its campus + offers programs for food service industry professionals.

2015 - Hotel Emma opens its doors within the re-purposed brewhouse.

2017 - Food Hall opens next to the Park at Pearl.

2020 - Southline Residence opens luxury apartments at Pearl.

Present - Major renovations are coming soon to Samuels Glass Building + two other projects — see renderings here.


Park at Pearl and brewhouse building are lit up after every sundown. | Photo via @andrew.franke

Feeling nostalgic? You can still find Pearl beer around town + even buy a 6-pack at local H-E-B’s.

If beer isn’t your style, stop by the farmers + makers market every weekend on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. + Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. We hope to see you beer.