Local man keeps San Antonio history alive with beer memorabilia collection

Charlie Staats shares his collection with KSAT Explains

SEGUIN, TexasEditor’s note: This content was created exclusively for KSAT Explains, a weekly streaming show that dives deep into the biggest issues facing San Antonio and South Texas. Watch past episodes here and download the free KSAT-TV app to stay up on the latest.

Most people like beer, but one local man has taken his passion a few steps further by keeping San Antonio history alive with his beer memorabilia collection.

Charlie Staats started collecting San Antonio beer cans when he was 13-years-old.

“That was a popular thing back then, like the baseball cards or comic books or Beanie Babies,” Staats said.

A couple of years later, when he was in high school, he got a job at the Pearl Brewery, and his collection started to shift from beer cans to beer advertising. He has continued to collect Pearl beer advertisements ever since.

However, though Pearl has continued to produce beer and advertising for years, Staats doesn’t really collect anything past the 1970s.

“In 1970, both breweries (Pearl and Lone Star) went from being locally owned to being corporation owned, and when they did that, their logos changed dramatically,” Staats said.

Pearl Beer block letter logo (KSAT 12)

In the image above, you can see the difference over time. The Pearl beer logo goes from a script font to plain block letters.

Staats said he also cares about the history behind the items he collects, including a bar tab from William Menger’s bar. The notebook has bar tabs from the time of the Civil War.

“Here is the bar tab book for the Menger Hotel. It has both Union and Confederate officers,” Staats said.

Menger bar tab from the Civil War. (KSAT 12)

The KSAT Explains team talked to Staats for our upcoming episode all about beer culture here in San Antonio.

You can stream the full episode here or in the video player below.

About the Authors:

Penny De La Cruz started working at WKMG-TV in September 2021. Before joining News 6, Penny worked at KSAT 12 in San Antonio, Texas.