San Antonio

1958 tour of the brewery


Lone Star Brewing Company

St. Louis Brewer Adolphus Busch founded, or had interests in three Texas Breweries; American Brewing Company in Houston, Texas Brewing Company in Fort Worth, and the Lone STar Brewing Company in San Antonio. These companies were not a part of Anheuser-Busch, but were independant breweries.

The original Brewery was at 120 Jones Avenue. By 1896, a stone structure had replaced the original fram brewery. The brewing water was from an artesian well, eight hundred feet deep. By 1903, the brewery was selling 65,000 barrels of beer annually.

In a historical curiosity, the 1891 San Antonio City Directory lists a William Esser as the propietor of the Lone Star Bottling Works. The William Esser brewery closed in 1884, the same year the Lone Star Brewery was formed. Apparently, Mr. Esser didn't leave the brewing trade. The successor of Esser's brewery, Alamo Brewing Company, was purchased by Anheuser-Busch in 1895, and consolidated with the lone Star brewery.

From about 1897 until at least 1914, the brewmaster was Louis Fink.

After Prohibition, the brewery reopened under new owners. Their Lone Star Beer became the "National Beer of Texas." The March 1958 issue of the Brewery's employee magazine, Bru-it, had a 6 page tour of the brewery. Their advertising campaigns of the 1970s and 1980s used a never seen beer-drinking armadillo. The campaign was so popular that local craftsmen produced ceramic aramdillos, posed on their backs with feet arranged to hold a longneck bottle of Lone Star. I had a friend who, whenever he saw armadillo roadkill, would place an empty Lone Star Can nearby.

By the 1990s, Lone Star Brewing Company had been purchased by the Stroh Brewing Company in Longview, and production was moved there, and the local plant closed. Not long after, the Pearl Brewing company brought Lone Star Beer production back to San Antonio when it purchased the Stroh company. Today, Pearl brews the Lone Star brand, as well as its own Pearl brand.

This photo was taken around 1990, from the Aquacade pool by Jeff Holt.