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San Antonio

San Antonio was explored by Spanish expeditions in 1691 and 1709, which named the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek. In 1773 San Antonio de Bxar became the capital of Spanish Texas. During the Texas Revolution, San Antonio was the site of several battles, including the siege of Bexar (December 1835) and the battle of the Alamo (March 6, 1836), which made it one of the most fought over cities in North America. After Texas entered the Union, growth became rapid, as the city became a servicing and distribution center for the western movement of the United States. Germans made up a large part of this growth; German speakers outnumbered both Hispanics and Anglos until after 1877. With the coming of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway in 1877, San Antonio, formerly without a transportation system, entered a new era of economic growth. . In 1881 a second railroad, the International-Great Northern, reached the city from the northeast, and five railroads had built into the city by 1900. Modernization was explosive in the 1880s, comparable to growth patterns across the United States.

The confluence of Hispanic, German, and Southern AngloAmerican cultures in San Antonio made it into one of America's "four unique cities" (along with Boston, New Orleans, and San Francisco). San Antonio has succeeded in merging its past into the new in each generation. Old Spanish walls remain beside modern glass towers, with rows of Victorian mansions a block away, a combination that lends the city a charm sought out by millions of visitors.

Henry Karber (?) (San Pedro Creek near Martin Street)

H. Hammer Brewery (?) (Near Karber's Brewery on San Pedro Creek)

William A. Menger, Western Brewery (1855-1878)
Mrs. W. A. Menger, Western Brewery (1878-1878)
Across the Street from the Alamo
Degen's Brewery (1879-1911)
Louis Degen aka Degen's Brewery (1911-1915)
William Menger arrived in San Antonio from Germany at the age of twenty in 1847. He rented a room from Mary Guenther's boarding house. Mary was a widow, and before long the two fell in love and married. In 1855, they moved the boarding house to Alamo Plaza. in 1856, Charles Degen was hired to run the brewery while the Mengers concentrated on opening their new hotel. The Menger Hotel became one of San Antonio's crown jewels. Mary, an excellent cook, filled their bellies, while Menger beer slaked their thirsts. Menger died in 1871. Mary ran both the hotel and the brewery until 1879, when Degen took over. Up until the 1880s this was Texas' largest brewery. Degen died in 1911, and his sone Louis ran the brewery for four more years.

F. Buelle & Co. ( ? -1874)

Wm. Esser & Co. 1874-1875
William Esser 1875-1884
(Flores St. between Hickamn and Krempkall Streets)
Alamo Brewing Co. aka Alamo Brewing Association 1888-1895
Alamo Ice and Brewing Company 1884-1884
After the Lone Star Brewing Company was formed, William Esser became the proprietor of the Lone Star Bottling Works. In 1895, Anheuser-Busch purchased the Alamo Brewing Association and consolidated it with the Lone Star Brewing Company.

Joseph Hutzler (1874-1878)
Joseph Hutzler was born December 27, 1840 in Oberentzen, Alsace, France. In 1846, his parents emigrated to the US with their 6 children. By 1850, they were living in San Antonio. Joseph was a tinsmith with no apparent brewing experience. Sometime after 1860, Joseph went to Mexico. He returned and in 1874 was operating a brewery on Presa Street. He died in San Antonio on December 29, 1895, and is buried in City Cemetary 5.

Lareoda & Beau (1878-1879)

J. B. Behloradsky 1881-1883
San Antonio Brewing Company 1883-1888
San Antonio Brewing Association 1888-1918
Alamo Foods Company 1919-1933
San Antonio Brewing Association 1933-1952
Peal Brewing Company 1952 - 2001
Click here for information

Lone Star Brewing Company (1884-1918) 120 Jones Avenue
Sabinas Brewing Company 1939-1940
Lone Star Brewing Company 1940-1983
G. Heileman Brewing Company 1983-1998
Click here for information

Felix Bachrach (1890-1890)

(Lorenz) Ochs & (George) Aschbacher 1890-1904
George Aschbacher 1904-1915
(530 Oakland Ave.)

Bongo & Weiss Beer Bottling Works and Mfg. Co.1902-1903 (309 3rd St.)
Brown Beer Brewing Company 1904-1905
Pfieffer & Huhn 1905-1906
Bergmann & Walz 1906-1907
Beck's Muenchner Weiss Beer Company 1907-1908

Peter Bros. Brewery 1905-1910 (427 E. Commerce St.)

Albert Drankowski 1906-1907

Schober Ice and Brewing Co. 1905-1918 (101 River St. - Near Josephine Street)

Joseph Wesp 1906-1908
Frederick, Joseph, and Herman Wesp, brothers, can be found the city directories for San Antonio in 1891 - 1894. Frederick was a saloon owner first listed in the 1891 city directory as Maggott and Wesp, a purveyor of Mineral Waters, at the corner of Soledad and Romana Sts. In the 1893 directory, a residence address of 505 E Romana was given, and in the 1894 directory, the residence was 505 E Elmira. The saloon was listed at 651 Soledad 1894. (Today, Romana and Soledad do not intersect. And Romana has been covered by a parking lot. Thank goodness for Google Maps.) Joseph is listed as a "cellar Employee" for the San Antonio Brewing Assn. (on Brewery Ave) in the 1891 directory. In the 1894 directory, Joseph is listed as a brewer for the City Brewery and is living at 324 E Josephine. Herman is listed in the 1894 directory as residing at 505 E Elmira (presumably with his brother Frederick) and working at the L S Brewery (Lone Star?). [The above information was provided by Arthur P. Wesp.]

Frio Brewing Company 1994-1999

Blue Star Brewery 1996-Present

Located in the Historic King William district, Blue Star Brewing Company is a brewery, a restaurant, an art gallery and a bike shop at 1414 South Alamo Street. Click their logo to visit their site.

Freetail Brewing Co. 2007 - Present
4035 North Loop 1604 West


Scott Metzger used a loan from his credit union to finance his dream brew pub on San Antonio's north side. He plans to make Belgian style beers, barrel aged beers, as well as IPAs and other pub standards. Click their logo to follow their progress as they head towards a June opening.

San Antonio Links:

San Antonio RiverWalk Hotels - Find hotels near San Antonio's famous RiverWalk!