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Pabst Brewing Co. bringing 'organic' arts complex to downtown San Antonio

by Brigid CooleyNov 15, 2020
Pabst Brewing Co. is planning to build an arts complex inside this warehouse at Avenue B and Sixth Street.
Pabst Brewing Co. is planning to build an arts complex inside this warehouse at Avenue B and 6th Street. Photo by Ben Olivo | Heron

After recently relocating company headquarters to San Antonio, Pabst Brewing Co. is embarking on a new project: a 1.5-acre culture park to be housed in a renovated warehouse on the corner of Avenue B and 6th Street. The complex will include an indoor skate park, a bar, a rooftop movie theater, an art gallery, retail space and other attractions upon its projected spring 2021 opening, the San Antonio Report reported last week.

Pabst President and CEO Matt Bruhn told the Report he views the build as a way to support the community that supports them.

“It was very much that creative class, that kind of urban-dwelling, poor, cool, hip crowd that picked the brand up, so it became a symbol of that kind of movement,” Bruhn said. “So ever since then, because that’s who rebirthed the brand, we’ve been supporting the community.”

The announcement of the project comes just two months after the company relocated to San Antonio for the second time in its 176 year history.

The property is being leased to Pabst by real estate developer David Adelman, who believes the unique features Bruhn plans for the culture park—like a BMX track and skate park—will provide the city with more diversity and invite new demographics into the downtown area.

"An urban neighborhood is kind of like a fish tank and the most interesting fish tanks have a multi-species ecosystem … I feel like the urban core of San Antonio is like that," Adelman told the Heron.

According to Adelman, the 24,000-square-foot warehouse originally was the Spires-Douglas Buick auto garage and service base built in the 1950s. The renovation will be overseen by local architecture firm Lake Flato.

Bruhn said the project will be “an organic build,” predicting a six month timeline for the project; three for planning and another three for building.

Bruhn told the San Antonio Report that building the arts complex will not only help elevate the city but also draw more employees to Pabst.

“The better the city is perceived, the more successful we’ll be as a company recruiting people to come to the city to work,” he said.

Pabst was founded in 1844 in Milwaukee and has previously held corporate offices in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Antonio. The company was based in San Antonio from 1996 to 2006, and owned the Pearl Brewing Company.

Brigid Cooley is a Heron intern this fall. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, where she also serves as editor-in-chief of The Mesquite newspaper. She can be reached at brigid@saheron.com, @brigidelise1 on Twitter

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