Pabst to close Pearl brewery

And this time the brewing company apparently means it

Feb 27, 2001 - San Antonio's historic Pearl Brewery may have dodged a bullet for the last time. Pabst Brewing Co. has told brewery workers they should expect to be out of work by the end of April -- and this time Pabst means it.


Pabst announced last April that it would shutter the 115-year-old brewery, then reversed ground and promised to keep it open three more years. It laid off about 300 workers while retaining 80.

It said at the time the facility would continue to produce Pearl and Lone Star, two beers that were first brewed in San Antonio, as well as (malt liquor) champales. However, it contracted out much of that production to a Miller Brewing facility in Fort Worth. Instead of producing the 500,000 barrels it said it would, Pabst brewed just 50,000 barrels in San Antonio in the past year. As recently as 1999, the brewery made almost 1 million barrels at the facility.

"We really wanted to give it a try," Jim Walter, chief operating officer of San Antonio-based Pabst Brewing Co., told the San Antonio Express-News.

Union officials are holding out hope that the brewery can be saved. Teamsters Local 1110 Business Manager George Eichler said in a written statement that the present move is a "bump in the road." He said, "Now we are concentrating on having other investors buy and keep this San Antonio landmark operating for the benefit of the employers, our city and history."

Pabst will retain its corporate staff in San Antonio but will operate only one brewery, the Lehigh Valley Brewery in Pennsylvania.

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