A beer named “Alamo” has not been brewed in San Antonio since the beginning of Prohibition in 1919. The 95-year wait is finally over. Alamo Beer Co. brewery hosted a symbolic ribbon-cutting at its new facility located at 202 Lamar Street, just beneath the historic Hays Street Bridge and a half-mile from the Shrine of Texas Liberty — The Alamo. The ribbon-cutting marked the beginning of production.
At a cost of $8 million, Alamo Beer Co. will have the eventual capacity to brew 40,000 barrels, or 560,000 cases, of beer within its first five to seven years of operation. The Beer Garden and Beer Hall will open to the public on March 6, 2015, the 179th anniversary of the historic Battle of the Alamo.
Eugene Simor, president and founder of Alamo Beer Co., spoke at the event. Other speakers included State Representative Mike Villarreal, State Senator Leticia Van de Putte and Mayor Ivy Taylor. The press conference began promptly at 10:00 a.m. on December 5.
The last beer to bear the Alamo name has a rich history. Founded in 1884 by William Esser as Alamo Ice and Brewing Co. the beer was no doubt part of San Antonio’s early landscape. Also known as Alamo Brewing Co. and Alamo Brewing Association it was purchased in 1895 by Anheuser-Busch and consolidated with Lone Star Brewing Co.
“Building this brewery has been my vision for some time. As we were constructing the facility, the historical significance of what we were doing became apparent,” stated Simor. The brewery is slated to produce its staple, Alamo Golden Ale, as well as Alamo Pilsner, Alamo German Pale Ale and it will pay homage to the original Alamo Beer with an introduction of Alamo Amber Lager. The Amber Lager or Vienna Lager is known for its reddish-brown or copper-colored beer with medium body and slight malt finish.
The internal workings of the brewery were designed by brewmaster James Hudec. Hudec, who was trained in Germany and has been a part of other significant brewing operations throughout the country, created the brewing masterpiece. With large onion domes on the kettles and flat-winged lids on the lauter tun (brewing vessel), Hudec captured the essence of German breweries in the Alamo facility. Other unique innovations in the brewery include traditional style copper wort grant, pitch tank and 12 single-wall lagering tanks.
Although the brewery will begin operation in December, two key areas will not fully open to the public until the spring of 2015. An 1,800-square foot Beer Hall and 14,000-square foot Beer Garden sit adjacent to the beer brewing facility. These two spaces are available for rental and will surely be a draw for San Antonio’s multi-million dollar tourism industry.
“At the end of the day, we want locals and tourists to have a great experience by giving them a taste of San Antonio and of a great craft beer,” concluded Simor. The Texas craft beer industry is a $2.3 billion industry while the San Antonio tourism industry has an economic impact of more than $12 billion.