Location: San Antonio, TX
Last visited: April 2019
Beautiful brewpub located inside the Hotel Emma in the popular Pearl District. The hotel lobby is impressive and worth a visit! Convenient to the scenic walking trail along the river.
The restaurant building was originally Pearl’s Brewhouse, built in 1894 and a San Antonio landmark ever since. The building was designed by Chicago architect August Maritzen in the Second Empire style. Maritzen specialized in breweries, designing more than eighty in the US, Canada, and South Africa.
Established in 1881 as the J.B. Behloradsky Brewery, the company was acquired in 1883 by the San Antonio Brewing Association, and by 1916, it was the largest brewery in Texas. Pearl was the only San Antonio brewery to survive Prohibition, thanks primarily to Emma Koehler’s astute leadership during those lean years. The fortunes of the brewery waxed and waned over the next six decades until it was closed down in 2001.
In 2002, Silver Ventures purchased the property and began the conscientious renovation and adaptive reuse process that has created today’s Pearl, a vibrant culinary and cultural village.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Head Brewer Les Locke discovered homebrewing in the Marines while stationed in Hawaii at the age of 19. After returning to San Antonio to attend college, Les discovered that San Antonio lacked a brewing culture and scene so he moved to Eugene, Oregon where he earned a Masters degree in economics and began his professional brewing career in a small brewpub. After moving back home to San Antonio and completing an MPA degree, he ended his career as an economist and opened Branchline Brewing as the Head Brewer. In 2014, he was hired as part of the opening team at Southerleigh as their Head Brewer.
They featured 15 beers on tap.
Semper Rye Helles (3.75) – Smooth and clean Helles lager with a touch of rye; low level of hop bitterness.
Gold Export Lager (4.25) – Refreshing, slightly sweet and malty; low bitterness level, it’s all about the malt; hugely drinkable.
Saba Copper Alt (4.25) – Big malt character dominates palate; sticks true to Altbier style.
Penelope Porter (4.25) – Sweet, creamy, rich porter; chocolate notes evident in bouquet; dessert in a glass; addition of more roasted malt would propel this beer to greatness.
Walter Cronkite And the Pop Tarts Belgian Sour (4.25) – Light and refreshing fruit beer; combination of sweet and tart cherries provides nice balance; very smooth, no pucker.
The more affordable lunch menu offers sandwiches, salads and large plates with choice of side. Other options include chilled oysters, crab, shrimp, caviar and the Galveston Bay Shrimp Boil.
The dinner menu consists of a half dozen appetizers and the same number of entrees. Hearty choices include crispy fried half chicken, pork schnitzel and ribeye.