The doors opened on Feb 3, 1896 with the help of two major St Louis brewers Adolphus Busch and William Lemp. The Galveston Brewing Company was a state-of-the-art facility with a functioning ice plant and many cold storage rooms. The company produced beer for 23 years until 1918 in which the facility was used to produce a non-alcoholic “cereal beverage” during Prohibition. That product was proven to be unpopular, and the complex traded hands once again. With the brewing equipment removed, the Southern Beverage Company started to manufacture various ginger ales and root beers under the Triple XXX label. It was not until after the Great Depression and the end of Prohibition that the facility started to produce alcoholic beverages again.
The Galveston-Houston Breweries Inc purchased the buildings in 1934 and then in 1955 the facility was sold to Falstaff Brewery. Due to change in how the public consumed beer, Falstaff was forced to closed their El Paso Regional Brewery. The Galveston complex was able to survive thanks to its ability to mass produce “throw-away” containers, such as glass bottles and metal cans. The brewery finally closed its doors in 1981 and later dismantled their facilities, sending equipment as far as China.
Surrounding residents are hopeful that the abandoned brewery will be demolished and some city officials have labeled it a safety hazard. Since it’s formation the Brewery has weathered many Hurricanes and endured many acts of vandalism. The Galveston Historical Foundation placed the brewery on their “Heritage at Risk” list in 2007. Foundation members hope that the immensely stable structure can be renovated and they believe it is a good candidate for adaptive reuse. Even with all of that optimism it is uncertain what will come of the abandoned brewery.