District Texas History

The Birth of MBAA District Texas

Paul Langenbeck was a founding member of MBAA District Texas 52 years ago, and continues to be an active member. At the Summer 2002 District Texas meeting, Paul shared a review of the District history…and reminds all of the questions every District faces: Who are we? Where are we? Where are we going? It’s good to record the beginning, and then ponder Paul’s questions.

The first meeting was held on February 1951 at the Pearl brewery in San Antonio. It was a large inaugural gathering, The host was Harry Haglin, then Brewmaster at Pearl.

The MBAA National office was represented, as were other districts. Besides all the Texas breweries, the following allied industries were in representation:

Maltsters, corn grits, hop vendors, and machinery companies from brewhouse to packaging. Glass and paper vendors sent representatives. The principal laboratories of the day were there also: Siebel, Wallerstein and Paul Lewis Labs.

Breweries outside of Texas, which were represented, included Jackson Brewing Company, Dixie brewing, American Brewing Company, and Falstaff. The Texan breweries which were represented included El Paso, Mitchell, Blue Bonnet (Dallas), Grand Prize (Houston), Southern Select, Lone Star, Pearl and Shiner (Spoetzl Brewery).

Echoes of these times are still with us. Al Barney was Brewmaster at Blue Bonnet, and today his son Rick is well respected in the American malting industry. Besides Brewmaster host Haglin, the Brewmasters at that first meeting are still remembered:

Bill Biglar, Lone Star
Charlie Lieberman, Grand Prize
Gussy Haselbeck, Shiner
T.B. Given, El Paso
Otto Kraft and Louis Autry, Southern Select
Joe Goessel, Jackson Brewing 
Ed Schorr, American Brewing
Mel Helbig, Falstaff
Walter Lowenbaum, Dixie

From this first meeting, it was decided that there would be two technical meetings held every year in the Spring and Summer. The primary meeting would always occur in late July.