The Epicenter of Texas PrideBy Judy Jacobs

Remember San Antonio when selecting a site

The Epicenter of Texas Pride

There are a multitude of reasons to hold a meeting in San Antonio and its surrounding Hill Country. The city’s downtown area, where the convention center and major hotels are located, is walkable, the people are incredibly friendly and eager to please, and a wealth of attractions—the River Walk, The Alamo, 18th-century missions and celebrations thrown at the drop of a sombrero—make attendance numbers soar. People just want to go there.


San Antonio International Airport is located in the northern part of the city, 8 miles from downtown. The airport is served by most major U.S. airlines, which provide nonstop service to destinations throughout the U.S. and several in Mexico.

There Was Beer Here

As early as the 1840s, German immigrants began to arrive in San Antonio, lured by reports from those who had settled there and by a society created to encourage them to come. They established a community, bringing their customs and culture. And wherever there are Germans, there is beer.

Back then, there were several breweries in San Antonio. Pearl Brewery, which began in 1881 as the J.B. Behloradsky Brewery or City Brewery, was one of the most prominent. It was one of five Texas breweries to survive Prohibition and continue production, and more than a century later, in 1985, its parent company bought Pabst Brewing Co., which shut down the Pearl in 2001.

The huge complex that housed the facility has become the center of a vibrant revitalization project in northern downtown San Antonio that includes live-work spaces, shops, offices, the San Antonio outpost of the Culinary Institute of America, a Saturday farmers market, a collection of eclectic restaurants and the Park at the Pearl, which includes amphitheater seating and a stage. Ground has been broken on the construction of three apartment buildings, scheduled to bring 300 new living units to the neighborhood in two years.

The 22-acre development hosts groups in multiple venues. The brewery’s old horse stable is a top site for groups. Built in 1894 to house the 60 horses that transported the beer to market, the circular building is now one of the city’s most unique off-site venues. A dramatic entrance leads the way into the facility, which includes bronze relief panels inspired by historic photographs of the brewery around the hallway lining the building. The interior is decorated in dark wood and neutral colors, with antique-like chandeliers and other old-fashioned touches. The facility can host 350 people if the full dance floor is utilized, or groups of up to 400 on the ground and 50 in the mezzanine if it’s not, and 500 for a reception. An event at the barn not only shows a different side of San Antonio but will bring alive a long-ago era when beer-making was one of the city’s major economic endeavors.