Nearly twelve years ago, the Pearl Brewing Company in downtown San Antonio turned off its boilers, emptied its tanks and the production of the beer moved to Fort Worth. It left behind a historic but derelict 22-acre complex, anchored by a towering brew house. To the dismay of San Antonians who remembered the glory days of Pearl — the brewery was one of the larger employers in the city — it looked like the property was destined to be razed, its iconic redbrick smokestack most likely replaced with a boxy distribution center.
Enter Silver Ventures, a private equity firm led by San Antonio native Christopher “Kit” Goldsbury. The CEO considered the brewery a brick-and-mortar symbol of his city’s entrepreneurial spirit and rich industrial past. When he told his