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Lone Star Brewing Company

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History

The Lone Star Brewery, built in 1884, was the first large, mechanized brewery in Texas. Adolphus Busch, of Anheuser-Busch, founded it along with a group of San Antonio businessmen. The castle-like building now houses the San Antonio Museum of Art. The original Lone Star Bottling Works opened in San Antonio in the 1890s and by 1903 was selling 65,000 barrels of beer annually. With the end of Prohibition in 1933, a new Lone Star brewery was built under new owners. The plant first produced beer under the Sabinas brand name and then the name Champion beer. In 1940, the name Lone Star was first used to market a beer from the brewery. The brewery also produced Lone Star Light, low-calorie Lime Lager(1970) & Brut Super Premium (1969).

 

It wasn't until 1940 that brewer Peter Kreil from Munich created the formula for the first beer to actually be called Lone Star beer. In 1949, under the leadership of Harry Jersig, Lone Star went public. By 1960, the brewery had 651 employees and by 1965, annual sales exceeded 1 million barrels.

 

Olympia Brewing Co. of Washington bought Lone Star in 1976, and it changed hands again in 1983 when Wisconsin's G. Heileman bought Olympia.

 

Detroit-based Stroh then bought Heileman and closed the San Antonio brewery in 1996 and beer production moved to Longview, Texas, signaling the end of San Antonio as a major brewing town. Pabst bought most of the Stroh brands, including Lone Star, in 1999 and began brewing Lone Star at the Pearl plant to great fanfare. In 2000, the Pearl Brewing Company|Pearl Brewery was closed because it was outdated and would have been too expensive to continue to operate or to bring up to date. Production of Lone Star is currently contracted out to non-Pabst owned breweries (Miller -Ft.Worth).

 

In 1956 the Lone Star Brewery purchased the Buckhorn collection. Harry Jersig, President of the brewery and a friend of the Friedrich’s, continued to add to the collection and had a special building erected on the Lone Star grounds to house the collection

 

In the '70s, Lone Star's sales benefited from a close association with Willie, the Austin music scene and their Giant Armadillo, in 1999, the company began to sponsor Texas singers and musicians, such as "Two Tons of Steel," with the beer's "It's a Texas Thing" advertising campaign.

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