Workers are in the home stretch of finishing the interior of Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery at Pearl. The brewpub has just begun to produce beer, and will serve 21 different types of beer on site alongside a menu of Texas/Southern style cuisine. Courtesy photo.

Beer has begun to brew at the iconic Pearl Brewery building for the first time in more than 12 years. But the brew is being developed by Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery, a brewpub that will open to the public in late March.

Southerleigh joins a rising number of micro/craft beer breweries in the San Antonio area. March will also see the public grand opening of Alamo Beer Co. on the city’s near Eastside. Freetail Brewing Co., based on the far Northside, opened its second production location on South Presa Street last November.

Southerleigh is the brainchild of Chef Jeff Balfour, formerly of Citrus restaurant at Hotel Valencia, and Les Locke, past head brewer at Branchline Brewing Co. According to the release, Southerleigh will be the 10th biggest brewpub in the nation and strive to provide local foodies with its contemporary take on Texas cross-cultural cuisine.

“I am very honored to call San Antonio my home, and I’m excited to be part of such a fantastic development at the historic Pearl,” said Balfour in the release.

“We are looking forward to being the third generation of brewing in the original brewhouse and serving San Antonio with proud Southern hospitality and a menu that is very dear to our Texas heritage.”

Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery is a brewpub that has integrated much of the old Pearl Brewery building into its contemporary design. The brewpub will open to the public in March 2015. Courtesy photo.
Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery is a brewpub that has integrated much of the old Pearl Brewery building into its contemporary design. The brewpub will open to the public in March 2015. Courtesy photo.

Philippe Place will manage Southerleigh’s restaurant operations. Place has worked in many high-profile positions across San Antonio’s culinary industry, from owning Coco Chocolate Lounge and Bistro, to helping to open Sustenio at Hotel Eilan Resort and Spa.

Balfour said Southerleigh’s menu will feature traditional Texan cuisine and reflect the region’s tastes of each season, with a focus on Gulf Coast dishes.

“Southerleigh’s offerings will be representative of the influences of all parts of Texas, while highlighting in particular the strong Southern sense of the Eastern Texas Gulf Coast,” Balfour said in the release.

Southerleigh will house a custom manufactured brewery designed by Portland Kettle Works, including a 15-barrel brew house, six serving tanks, and a firkin/wood barrel-aging program. Southerleigh plans to offer up to 21 beers on tap, including three hand engine, which will be sold by the glass, bottle or growler.

Balfour and Locke have previously said they wanted to pay tribute to the Pearl Brewery’s storied brewing past in developing Southerleigh, which will share space with Hotel Emma, all part of the renovation of the main old brewery building.

Construction crews have integrated parts of Pearl’s original brewing system, even keeping one of the former grain silos to use for private dining space, which seats up to 20 people. A second private dining room can hold up to 75 people. Additionally, will be bar and patio seating. Southerleigh will also offer event space with parties of up to 200 people.

Southerleigh’s address is 136 E. Grayson St., Suite 120. For more information, visit The company is keeping San Antonians up-to-date with its progress via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

*Featured/top imgae: Construction continues on the historic Pearl Brewery, soon-to-be home of Hotel Emma and Southerleigh Brewery. Photo by Edmond Ortiz.

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Edmond Ortiz, a lifelong San Antonian, is a freelance reporter/editor who has worked with the San Antonio Express-News and Prime Time Newspapers.