Texans love their beer. And in the not-so-distant past, when they were drinking beer brewed in Texas, they were drinking Pearl, Lone Star or Shiner.
Today, our choices are far more plentiful.
Going way back, the brewery scene was lively until Jan. 16, 1919, when national Prohibition forced 13 Texas breweries to stop legal production of beer, according to The Handbook of Texas.
The Galveston Brewing Company (1895–1918) was one of the few regional breweries that survived Prohibition. Adolphus Busch and William J. Lemp of St. Louis were both major stockholders of the corporation that raised $400,000 to found the Galveston Brewing Company in 1895, according to the handbook. Suffice it to say, the many iterations of Galveston Brewing Co. didn’t survive.
But today, thanks to changes in Texas laws and regulations, the island is once again home to a thriving brewery — Galveston Island Brewing. And the surrounding region has seen a proliferation of brewers churning out craft beer, as you’ll read more about in this issue. The craft beer boom delivers more than just good brew in inviting settings around the upper Texas Coast.
Consider an article in the March 2016 edition of The Atlantic that provided a summation of James and Deb Fallows’ 54,000-mile journey around America in a single-engine airplane. The Atlantic writers traveled the country asking what separates successful cities from the rest. The Atlantic published part of their reporting online under the headline “Eleven signs a city will succeed.”
No. 11 was that cities have craft breweries.
“One final marker, perhaps most reliable: A city on the way back will have one or more craft breweries, and probably some small distilleries, too.” The writers challenged anyone to find an exception. Their findings make sense and bode well for this region.
We’ll drink to that.
Coast Monthly would like to thank Deen Davis of Galveston Island Brewing for bringing the beer and modeling the jeans and boots for our cover photo. We’d also like to thank Carolyn Gaido for allowing us use of her beautiful camp on Sportsman Road in Galveston.