The Pearl Brewing Company has plenty of historic roots in San Antonio, dating all the way back to 1883. At the time, the location was founded as City Brewery, with the beer known as Pearl rolling off the line and into taprooms as early as 1887; the same year the San Antonio Brewing Association was formed. Through prohibition from 1919 until 1933, the brewery changed it’s name to Alamo Industries to focus it’s efforts toward bottling sodas, near beer, creating dry cleaning materials and ice cream. However, as prohibition ended, trucks loaded with beer begin to exit the brewery again. In 1952, San Antonio Brewing Association changes it’s name to Pearl Brewing Company. Pabst Brewing Company acquired the operation in 1985 and held production there until 2001. At that time, the 22 acre property was purchased and developed by Silver Ventures, hosting lofts, retailers and even The Culinary Institute of America at the space.
On any given day, you can find school field trips, Farmer’s Markets, photographers and patrons of the wide variety of shops out and about. The space is sprawling, well maintained and frankly a refreshing mix of history as well as progressive ideas to incorporate within the space.
Even if the site no longer produces the alcohol of the same name, the “Pearl District” carries weight to those familiar as well as new to the area. It is something that has lasted well past it’s start in 1883. There is tradition observed as well as created. And in that vein, I divulge into a more personal practice.
Upon learning that I would be welcoming a daughter into the world last year, I’ve committed to a few traditions that I hope to pass down. Each Christmas, there will be an ornament for her commemorating the year. I bought her first installment last year from @riseandwander , who artfully created something more adventure adjacent than holiday focused which I was over the moon with. I know that there will be plenty of years with Disney Princess’, but I hope to be able to share that sense of wonder and exploration with my daughter. For now, we can hold off on officially licensed gear in exchange for quality time. And, you can bet that I will be looking for more of Aftyn’s work each year as well. She is a talented printmaker and artist across mediums.
I have also started a collecting specific records to share with her as she gets older, sometimes tucking a note as to why I chose the piece. Something it meant to me growing up. Sometimes aspirations I hope to achieve. Sometimes dreams I hope that she conquers. Music has been such a powerful tool in my life that I would be remiss for not only showing her my favorites, but encouraging her to find her own.
Bonus Sidenote story: After my daughter was delivered, I played Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” on my phone standing bedside so it would be the first song that she ever heard. I regret nothing about that decision.
Finally, I bought a typewriter a couple of years back with the intention of typing more. There is something that speaks to me about notes and letters hard pressed into paper by the keystrokes of the punching digits. When I receive something handwritten or typed, I pause to reflect on the intention and extra care someone thought of to get a message to me. There is no spellcheck on a typewriter and mistakes are more easily made than I would like to admit. However, each year starting at the anticipation of her arrival, I type her a letter. So far, I have managed to share parts of the experience that may be more readily inaccessible as time passes.
I am protective of my daughter, as fearless as she may be. I hope that in reading this one day or in my typed letters that she recognizes the lengths In which I will go to always make sure that she is cared for and loved fiercely. In the feast and in the famine.
The song this week is by another Texas Legend, Janis Joplin. The track, “My Baby” from the album “Pearl” was a specific selection due to not only the album name, but because I think that it adequately reflects the kind of relationship that I hope to provide to my daughter. When even the world may seem to be headed against us, she will always be able to rely on me and a safe place to call home.