|Children||Guy Spearman, Jr.|
Born in Tallapoosa, Georgia in 1896, Spearman attended high school in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn. He began his career in drafting and selling perfume before operating an ice and cold storage plant in Opp, Alabama in 1927. In 1929 he moved to Pensacola and formed the Crystal Ice Company.
At the end of Prohibition in 1933 Spearman served as a temporary distributor for Budweiser and Schlitz, as his ice plant was one of the few available that could refrigerate draft beer. He made several visits to the Casa Blanca Brewery in Monterrey, Mexico, and became interested in starting his own brewing company. San Antonio businessman Charles A. Zilker, who had first approached Spearman with an offer to buy the Crystal Ice Company, agreed to partner with him on the Spearman Brewing Company, financing a 49% stake to Spearman's 51%.
The groundbreaking took place in September 1934, with Mayor Henry Clay Armstrong turning the first shovel of dirt. The plant was designed by Chicago engineer Richard Griesser, who referred to it as his "pride and joy" and "one of the most modern breweries of its size in the south." The plant opened with grand ceremonies on May 18, 1935.
The brewery experienced tremendous growth in the 1940s, as it became a major supplier to regional military installations during World War II. Sales began to lag in the 1950s, despite a heavy investment in advertising, and a 1951 ouster replaced Spearman with B. F. Jenkins as president and manager of the company. He was reinstated a year later and continued to operate the plant until around 1960, when national competition, increasing debt and pressure from Zilker's widow convinced Spearman to sell to the Hertzberg Foundation. He continued to operate the Crystal Ice Company.
Spearman died in 5/1966.
References & notes
- Clifford C. (Kip) Sharpe. "The Spearman Brewing Company." Pensacola Historical Society Quarterly, Volume 5, Number 2.
- Note: some sources indicate he purchased the company.