History of Pearl Brewing Company and meaning behind triple X on Pearl Beer labeling

Pearl Brewing Company dates back to 1880s in San Antonio

In this week's Throwback Thursday, we look at the history of the Pearl Brewing Company and how Pearl Beer got its famous name and labeling.

SAN ANTONIO – The Pearl Brewing Company traces its beginnings in San Antonio to the early 1880s when brewer Jaroslav Behloradsky opened the City Brewery and started to produce lager beer.

Behloradsky operated the company for a few years, but ran into problems and sold it to a group of local businessman including Otto Koehler.

In 1887, the brewery found its signature brew that exists today: Pearl Beer.

Pearl Beer was formulated and first brewed in Germany. It was originally called “Perlen” for the bubbles at the top of a freshly poured glass.

RELATED: Iconic Pearl Beer returns with new taste and look inspired by its San Antonio roots

“It’s always been a really cool tie back into German and Czech brewing tradition which is kind of what established the San Antonio Brewing Association,” said Daniel Crawford, Pearl brand manager.

When Pearl Beer came to the US, the spelling was changed to English. It also debuted with a set of triple Xs before its name.

“The triple Xs were actually the logo of the brewery before it was even called pearl,” said Crawford.

The triple X is a symbol that goes back centuries to designate the highest quality of brew by European monasteries. They are part of the recent relaunch of Pearl Beer.

“We really were excited by things like the triple Xs, that pre-prohibition signature of supreme craftsmanship that goes back to even medieval days,” said Crawford.

Pearl Beer and the brewing company immediately became a leader in the industry.

By 1916, Pearl was the largest brewery in Texas with a capacity of 110,000 barrels per year.

Prohibition halted production, but under the direction of Emma Koehler, the brewery returned in the mid 1930s and officially became the Pearl Brewing Company in the 1950s.

It closed in 2001 and years later became the Pearl Brewery complex we know it as today.

This month’s Pearl Beer relaunch was heavily influenced by its past and brings the story full circle.

“One thing that really separates San Antonio from another city in Texas and links it to some other iconic cities throughout the United States is it really owns its history and it is interwoven into the city so beautifully,” said Crawford.

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About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Rick Medina is a Video News Editor at KSAT. A graduate of the University of Texas' prestigious Radio-Television-Film program, he has been in the news business for more than 20 years. Rick is also a documentary filmmaker, helming the award-winning film festival favorites, “The Opossum Begins” and “Amigoland.” He is originally from Brownsville.