Support this site, visit My
Galveston Brewing Company 1895-1918
Galveston-Houston Breweries Inc. 1934-1955
Falstaff Brewing Corporation 1956-1981
Adolphus Busch and William J. Lemp of St. Louis were both major stockholders
that raised $400,000 to found the Galveston Brewing Company in 1895. Since
Galveston is an island, water was the critical problem. By 1895, the city
of Galveston had a water works department that utilized piped in water
from the Alta Loma wells on the mainland, eighteen miles from the coast.
In 1906, several wells were dug that gave them a combined water supply
of two million gallons per day. The Galveston brewery was so well constructed
that it survived the Hurricane of 1900 that destroyed most of Galveston
and killed an estimated 6,000 people. (For an exciting account of the
Hurricane of 1900, read Isaac's Storm, by Erik Larson.) After prohibition
forced the legal production of beer to cease, the brewery produced a nonintoxicating
cereal beverage called Galvo. This was basically the beer with the alcohol
removed, or "near beer." This product proved unsuccessful, and the brewery
removed the brewing equipment to produce soft drinks as the XXX Company.
It opened again in 1934 as the Galveston-Houston Breweries, Inc.
Photo from the Falstaff Brewery History Page.
J. A. Brockman 1906-1906
Weiss & Son 1907-1909
Herman Weiss was living in San Antonio in 1900, when the hurricane
destroyed Galveston. Perhaps seeking opportunity in the new city, shortly
afterward, he moved to Galveston. His sons, Herman, Jr. and Charles, helped
him at the brewery. The Weisses closed their brewery and moved to Shiner
run the brewery there. Who knows, maybe the pressure of competing against
Busch and Lemp's Galveston Brewing Company was too much. The photo below
was taken around 1900. Herman sits beside his wife, Herman Jr. is on the
far left and Charles is on the far right.
This information (and the photo) comes from Keith
Holt. The young man in front of Herman is his grandfather. And, yes,
Keith and I are related. Distantly. Which means I am also distantly related
to Herman Weiss. Small world, ain't it?